Measuring doesn't apply to cookie recipe

Teen improvises to create sweet treats

Teen improvises to create sweet treats

December 03, 2006

Ask the 16-year-old about her chocolate chip cookie recipe and she'll say it's a bit of this, a bit of that, a whole bag of this and a mere pinch of that.

"I'm not a measurer," said Janice Hull, 16, of Martinsburg, W.Va., as she pulled from the oven a batch of cookies with oatmeal and white chocolate and milk chocolate chips.

Janice, who is home-schooled, said she is unsure what she wants to do later in life, though she said she has considered opening her own coffeehouse where she would serve her homemade baked goods.

She might be well on her way. Much like a pro, Janice can create a generic cookie recipe on the spot if you ask for one, partly because she's honed her skills by crafting this recipe for at least seven years. It began as a "Wookie Cookie" recipe from a Star Wars cookbook. The chocolate chip cookie recipe called for semisweet chocolate chips and cinnamon.


But after years of tweaking and adjusting to personal taste, the recipe has evolved into something different. She no longer uses cinnamon. Instead of semisweet chocolate chips, Janice uses a combination of white chocolate and milk chocolate chips. She also has added oatmeal and has more than doubled the amount of vanilla from the original recipe.

The end result is a soft, sweet smelling cookie. The white chocolate and oatmeal keep the sweet vanilla from overpowering the overall taste. And if she feels so inclined, Janice might toss in a handful of walnuts for a light crunch - her mother, Lynette Hull, is a fan of cookies with nuts.

She even has a version called the "unchocolate chip cookie" for those who do not like chocolate.

Janice and her mother shared with The Herald-Mail their feelings on baking and general cooking while preparing several batches of chocolate chip cookies at Janice's brother's Hagerstown apartment.

Q&A with Janice Hull

Q: When did you start cooking?

Janice: Oh, I can't remember. I must have been really little.

Mom: You were probably helping out with dinner.

Janice: We always had to do it.

Q: Do you remember the first meal you made?

Janice: Probably boxed mac and cheese. Then we moved on to stuffed shells.

Q: So, Mom, where did she get this baking thing from?

Mom: I don't bake a lot. Her grandmother likes to take recipes and adapt them.

Q: Janice, might I assume you like sweets?

Janice: Actually, I don't. I don't even like chocolate. I might eat two cookies, but if I do, it's followed up by two large glasses of milk.

Q: That's interesting. So what do you like to eat?

Janice: I like Italian. Pasta, pizza, things like that.

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