Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When Bad Baking Happens to Usually Good Bakers

Lately, my baking has been one disaster after another… Hence no post. However, I decided to at least let you in on the failed concoctions, but they did not last long enough to even show you visual evidence… So, sorry no picture.

Failure #1: On the food network, I saw a cookie challenge show and one of the contestants made a chocolate chip cookie with caramel Hershey’s kisses. I decided to recreate (or destroy) her cookie. Even though all the kisses were fully intact when they hit the oven, the caramel melted and oozed out all over the pan, making it one big sheet cookie of a mess. They actually tasted okay, but they did not look edible.

Failure #2: I wanted a simplified chocolate moose, more like a chocolate whipped cream. I found simple directions on-line. Melt the chocolate and fold into the whip cream with sugar if desired. Easy enough, right? Nevertheless, not within the bounds of common sense. Chocolate has a solidifying point of about anything under 93ish degrees. The whipped cream was fresh, just whipped from cold cream out of the fridge. Warm chocolate + cold chip cream= Whip cream with little solidified chocolate pieces in it. Not creamy, chocolaty goodness!

Failure #3: I made some homemade cherry preserves over the weekend and I wanted to wait for just the right dish to showcase them. I wanted to make cherry shortbread bars. All the recipes I found, called for grating the dough to make light bars. I don’t have an appropriate size grater, so I found a recipe that did not call for a grater and used almond meal as well. After I used all the margarine I have in my house and exchanged a little more almond meal for all-purpose flour then the recipe called for, I ended up with a big oily mess! Almond meal does not absorb oil the same way flour does, so by increasing the almond meal I made it impossible for my bars to absorb the margarine called for.

So, what have I learned from this experience- I have wasted 1 pint of whipping cream, 4 cups of brown and white sugar, 1.5 pounds of margarine, 5 cups of flour, and 4 evenings after work over the last two weeks- I should have just went to bed!

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