Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jekyll & Hyde Kitchen Mom's (Contains Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe)

Since the beginning of time, nobody has worn a bigger bulls-eye than mothers.

Being that their plight is constant and without recompense, common sense might suggest that that their biggest supporters would be their daughters.

LOL......I don't think so.

I can't tell you how many baking, cooking, home economic classes that I have taught or attended where 1/4 of the women present will make statements like........

"It's my moms fault that I can't cook. she never took the time to teach us."

Its a convenient answer, and who knows...maybe in some cases its true.

But Klecko thinks more often that not, the ignorant culinary pupil who just threw their mother under the bus doesn't understand "Regular Girl Rules".

For over 200 posting I've inundated you guys with an anthology focused on my masculine code, but now lets just take a second to regulate the fairer sex.

Ladies....there's only 2 kinds of teaching styles that take place in a kitchen.

Truth be told, it doesn't even matter if the kitchen is residential or commercial, the same rules apply. It doesn't matter if the person in charge of the facility is a man or a woman.

There is only 2 teaching styles...and that's a fact.

For explanatory purposes, we'll stick with the home kitchen.


For starters, Mom #1 usually has a name like Mary or Cecelia and loves to control everything that moves under her nose. This is "That Woman" who demands that her husband hands over his paycheck every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month.

In culinary terms, she can be hard for a young daughter to work with. If you haven't noticed, home economics wasn't usually presented to young adults until they were at least 15.

I don't know where you grew up, but on Main Street U.S.A. I have yet to meet a 15 year old girl that deemed it cool to be compliant.

It simply isn't in their D.N.A. and to be honest, I think that's why I like them.

Mom #1 works off of recipes from a cookbook collection that will weigh more than a collection of 1954 Encyclopedia Britannica's.

Mom #1 never varies from the script even if weather or ingredients hoist red flags of warning from the stove top.

The woman who sports this anal demeanor is really easy to pile on, because often times there isn't a shred of romance in what she executes.

Mother #1 simply isn't an artist.....she's a technician.

I'm willing to bet that as you read that description, most of you have already attached it to the face of somebody you know/knew well.

Who knows, you might have even caught yourself chuckling, and you know what? I get it.....that woman is kinda a trip, but I'll tell you what.

Even though you may disagree with every component of Mother #1's life, she's still the best resource you'll ever have if you want to become competent enough to craft edible traditions for your family in years to come.

So go ahead, sit in the boat house with your cousins and make fun of Mom #1's shoes or let you uncle drink too much and rail on how she drives with her left foot on the brakes........

But don't you dare criticize "That Woman" for not helping you along because conversely, this is the same woman that goes to bed and prays for a protege to drop from the sky.

The only thing you're going to have to remember while working with Mother #1 is simple.

Keep your mouth shut!

She doesn't want to hear your opinions or ideas, and why would she?

Passing on a lifetimes experience is going to take complete focus from the student.


OK.....what's mothers #2's name? I don't know, maybe something like Rhoda or Celeste.

Mother #2 might have a cookbook collection, but if so, I'll bet it doesn't pierce double digits, and none of the books will be dogeared or have gravy stains in the margins.

When cooking with Mother #2, you might want to notice how she doesn't issue commands, but every once in awhile.... she might drop a hint.

If you get that hint....well who knows? she might expound, but then again...she might not.

And another thing that is peculiar about working with her is that while preparing this meal, she almost never talks about the ingredients or cooking techniques that will be involved in the preparation, instead she'll express an opinion about Lady Gaga's newest wardrobe selection, or talk about the neighborhoods new off street parking ordinance.

Basically Mother #2 is the one you want to be with if you get trapped elevator.

Mother #2 is more concerned with being your friend, not your mother.

When I was younger, and I heard these women bi****** about their moms lack of commitment to their culinary education, these lamentations just went over my head.

However, now that I older (and a little more curious) I try to meet or get a rundown on the complainants mother, and I'll bet you that the vast majority of the time....the complainant's mother wasn't negligent in rearing her daughter.

It's just that one of them was a type "A" and the other was a "B".

If progress is going to take place in any-any-any kitchen, both parties don't have to share identical temperaments, but they do have to buy into the same system.

At my home,my daughter KiKi hated taking instruction.

Her comfort zone was to simply watch and take mental notes.

None of us were good cooks at that period of our life, and she became the family member that really put together a system that Sue McGleno and I try to follow to this day.

By the time KiKi was 17, she was busting out our families Thanksgiving dinner.

I can't tell you how it cracked me up watching the wheels in her young mind spinning every time Sue McGleno braved boiling water.

In fairness to my wife, she has gotten much better in preparing food, but much of that is due to my KiKi's willingness to observe fault, learn, fail, expersize patience....and then teach.

I don't know if my daughter remembers this, but years ago (she must of been 13ish) her and I were in the living room watching Xena Warrior Princess.

Just a few feet away, off in our kitchen, Sue McGleno and young Tydus were baking chocolate chip cookies.

Noticing that her daughter wasn't present, Sue McGleno asked the eternal question that all mothers throw in the face of their daughters.......

"Do you want to come in the kitchen and bake cookies with your brother and me?"

Kiki had a puzzled look and leaned closer to me and asked for clarification....

"If they are just throwing those Betty Crocker cookie pucks in the oven, that's not baking is it?"

I shook my head "NO" and the two of us giggled for minutes.

About 20 minutes later, mayhem erupted from the kitchen.

The chocolate chip cookies were left on the sheet pan when pulled from the oven and the bottoms were torched.

As KiKi and I covertly accessed the've never seen bigger smirks.

At that point Big Papi stated the obvious....

"If you want them to turn out right, you might want to ask KiKi to bake those"?

My entire family is comprised of bullheaded buffoons.

To this day, 13 years later, Tydus and Sue McGleno are still known to burn Pre made cookie pucks.

OK Kids.....let's talk about baking cookies.

Old World Chocolate Chip Cookies


* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
* 1/4 cup shortening
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1 egg
* 1 egg yolk
* 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
* 1/2 cups walnuts


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Next you'll want to line your cookie pans with parchment paper. Pan selection is important. Make sure your sheet pans don't have rims along the sides. This will produce uneven baking.

2. Use your hand or mixing paddle to gently mix together the flour, baking soda and salt, and then you can set it aside.

3. Then in a different bowl, cream together the melted butter and shortening, brown sugar and white sugar until they are incorporated. After that, toss in your in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk and beat it until it turns creamy. You may notice that it will turn a little lighter in color as well. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts by hand. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are brown. Cool on baking sheets for no more than a few minutes and then place them onto a cooling rack. If you leave them on the sheet pan to long....just ask Sue McGleno and Tydus what happens.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT................

Soccer Moms, Hippies and is your chance LOL. Line up and bash Klecko for using shortening in his cookies. It's the vogue thing to do.

"Oh Klecko....I always use 100% unsalted butter in my cookies and they turn out fine!"

Good Grief Charlie Brown......I don't want to fight with you, but "No they don't!"

Or maybe they do, for you, and your family. Maybe you like a cookie with a low flash point from less viscosity.

Maybe you like a cookie that becomes brittle because it housing agent couldn't hold it's mud.

100% butter simply bleeds out guys.

Shortening in large doses is gross, I so get that but is you convert 25% to 33% of your fat in will turn out better.

The only thing I ask is if you want to argue this point....bring it on, but only after humoring me and trying my method.

Danny Klecko isn't combative by nature.....he just wants all his lady friends to experience cookie harmony.

Oh last thing. Crisco shortening is now trans fat free, so that is great, but if you try this brand....just get the original, the butter flavored version tastes raunchy.

Good Luck.


  1. What would you use butter-flavored Crisco for anyway?

  2. I echo your question Mike & Sometimes Rachel, I think Crisco thought that the butter flavoring would pursue people who didn't like Crisco's gritty flavor to think it was now kinda exotic....but it isn't. Its synthetic.