I have not baked in 13 days. That is nearly 2 weeks, which is also half a month. I cannot tell you the last time I have went so long without making some sweet-treat in my oven. Actually, I can tell you the last time-- it was two years ago when I was studying for the bar exam and I could not afford the time to look at a recipe, let alone bake something.
Now that I have finally got back in my kitchen, I am off. Not off to the point were what I make is inedible or unpleasant, and I am not setting the kitchen on fire; but off enough that my ideas, and even treats I have made before, are not turning out the way they should. It is one thing when my personal life is out-of-whack, but when it affects my baking life, the one thing that always makes me happy, it is a problem.
I got to shake this funk and get my baking back to normal. Nonetheless, the first disaster of this past week was S’mores Brownies, which I have made before. This time the little additions I added thinking it would make the brownies more decadent, actually made them more hard, crispy, and unappealing. The chocolate bars chopped on top burned and got gritty. The marshmallows turned hard and chalky. When I took a knife to the pan of brownies, all the topping fell off with each cut. Were the brownies inedible? No. But, were they ooey-gooey and delicious? I think not.
I was so embarrassed with the brownies that I could not take them in to my office. So, the next night I wanted to make a special peanut butter cookie for a friend I am seeing over the weekend, who loves peanut butter cookies. I figured I could make the cookies and take half the batch to my office and half to my friend. Not baking for 2 weeks means my office went without a real baked good for that long as well. (The cinnamon bun popcorn marshmallow treats do not count since they never entered the oven.)
I dreamed up a triple peanut butter swirl cookie. A chocolate chip cookie base with Butterfingers candy bar pieces, Reese’s mini peanut butter cups, and creamy peanut butter swirled in the batter. It sounds amazingly awesome, right? Unfortunately, it did not come out as great. The butter finger pieces melted into the batter making crunchy cookies. The Reese’s cups deflated and lacked presence. Finally, the peanut butter swirl caked and became brittle. The cookies were a pain in the butt to handle and crumbled easily. They tasted okay, but could be better. This is definitely a recipe I will be trying again to accomplish a better result, because I think the idea was good, but the execution did not adequate embrace the idea.
So how long will it be before I bake another fantastic treat which I am really proud of? I don’t know, but I pray it is soon!
Next day update: I was told by the kind and generous ladies in my office that the cookies were amazing. One lady told me it was one of her all time favorites that I have made. I was told this at 8:30AM. A glowing recommendation? I would say so. Nevertheless, I am still not as thrilled with them: Work-in-progress. Guess I am toughest on myself...