I'm most of the way through the cookie escapades. Chowhounds' tips for more tender cookies helped a lot, including using much less flour than the recipe says, and turning my oven down a bit. But now I'm puzzled -- the dough for one of my cookies, which had been chilling with the rest in its own ziploc bag in the fridge, turned a bit gray on the exterior surface. The other doughs did not. At first I thought that there were specks of vanilla seed that I was seeing as gray, and indeed there may be those specks. But between those specks, the outside surface of the dough is indeed gray. I"m trying to remember if I used my "homemade vanilla", where I boosted the end of a bottle of very good Penzie's Mexican Vanilla Extract with the ends of a bunch of vanilla beans and some bourbon, and let it sit around for months. But even if I had, why the gray dough? Very mysterious.