I don’t understand TikTok. It entered my life a couple of years ago through my niece and daughter setting up their phones in random spots (in the kitchen, in the target aisle, in the park) to video record dance sequences and lip sync. They would do said dance moves while at the dinner table, while errand running and spontaneously throughout the day.
During the pandemic, Lucy, my middle schooler, added to her TikTok feed- coffee recipes and food videos. Whipped coffee (which really is as delicious as they claim), and mug cakes (which are not as delicious as they claim) and a dozen other recipes have graced our kitchen, like this baked feta pasta and this nacho table.
TikTok has become a running joke in our house. When I ask where one of my daughters learned something- a recipe, a craft, a historical fact, a hair braiding technique, a makeup style, an ACT prep strategy (yep, true story), the
answer is 99% of the time, “TikTok”.
Dave sent me this article from the New York Times about the impact that TikTok is making on growing fame for home cooks. It’s incredible, really. I support home cooks getting exposure and income off of their good work. It’s just astounding to me that this is possible.
I have been encouraging my girls to use TikTok as inspiration but not the ultimate authority on things. These 60 second videos can’t possibly be! I encouraged Lucy, after a few dreadful mug cakes, to use it as inspiration but maybe not the recipe source. I have encouraged her to look in a reputable cookbook on our shelf, or google it from a trusted cooking source. Often times, the TikTok has a cute video with the recipe spoken or typed in the video but
there is no recipe written to access as you cook. I don’t get it. She’s having to pause the video to screen shot it frame by frame or write it down so that she can actually make it.
A couple of weeks ago she found a recipe when she had two friends over, made it and we were all so very
happy with the results. It is a classic Chocolate Krinkle Cookie– brownie-like cookies coated with
magically crackled powdered sugar. They are simple and delicious. I pulled out my Joy of Cooking cookbook (JOC) to see what the differences were. They were quite different. So I decided to do a test comparison. The TikTok was far simpler and less messy- 1 bowl, dump and stir, and scoop and roll.
The JOC required tempering chocolate chips, beating softened butter, 3 bowls, and triple the time. (See the mess below.) The mess is a big deterrent in my world full of messes.
However, the product of the JOC was superior (to the majority of the taste testers) but the shape and body of the TikTok were fluffier and prettier. The main differences ingredient-wise are that the TikTok has canola oil, no salt, and cocoa powder for the chocolate; JOC has butter, salt, and both melted chocolate and cocoa.
So, I thought I would meet in the middle and substitute melted butter for the oil (to give the richness of the butter flavor), add salt (because salt always makes desserts better) and stick to the TikTok methods otherwise (something that I think was superior in the TikTok recipe is that the coating is powdered sugar + cornstarch and JOC instructs to just sprinkle with powered sugar- the coating power of the cornstarch and the rolling provides the needed coverage!)
They are so delicious! Just as simple to make but with more of the rich flavor of the JOC ones.
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Mix together first 5 ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon or whisk.
Add in dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder & salt).
Mix together powdered sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
Scoop and roll dough into 2-inch balls. Dip dough in powder and roll to coat completely.
Place 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 350˚
It’s such a fine line to walk as a parent of teenagers… to reach into their world but also provide some wisdom in how they sift and absorb all they encounter. I believe it’s worth the awkwardness and vulnerability.