Sunday, October 16, 2011

To Begin, We Fail.

Let me first begin by saying this: I love baking.

I really, really love to bake.

It's not a greedy thing, either; more often than not, I give what I bake to my friends or family or co-workers. But there's something undeniably fulfilling about pulling a pan out of the oven with beautiful, moist, delicious cookies or cupcakes that makes me feel proud.

Sort of like giving birth, only without 18 years of financial dependence.

And to this day, I've yet to have a failure. I follow recipes exactly, substituting only when absolutely necessary, and timing just so that they come out delicious and perfectly cooked. Until, of course, today.

Today, I attempted to make a recipe brought to my attention by a friend: White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Cookies. These are delicious. They really are. However... I managed to fail horribly at making them.

First, there was a mad dash for ingredients, which was just oh-so-fun to live through. After running to the store while the oven preheated for baking soda and brown sugar, I returned, still relatively excited to do this! They promised to be absolutely amazing, and they tasted phenomenal as I mixed them.

This was also my first time creaming anything, and I was so excited when that turned out easier than I thought it'd be. Next, we added eggs and vanilla in exchange for brandy, though I could've used less vanilla for a less overwhelming flavor. Finally, the flour and baking soda.

...This is where things got ugly.

Unbeknownst to me, I only added 1/2 cup of flour, whereas the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups. This was an error I did not catch until Batch One came out.

And oh, how horrid batch one looked.

Go ahead. Take a gander.

Horrible, right? They're like little manhole covers! In my distress, I ran from the kitchen to the dining room in search of my mother. Her advice, when I explained how I screwed up oh-so-horribly? "Add more flour. But not too much."

Enlightened by this new prospect, I added more flour.

Too much flour. Just what my Mom warned me against. Crap!

These cookies went into the oven nonetheless, because I would NOT fail again, right?


Wrong. Well, sort of.

These cookies took almost fifteen minutes to bake through all the way. They didn't spread as much as the manhole cookies did, but they also didn't look quite...right? To me. So I left them. And left them. And got fed up, pulled them out, and...

They don't look too bad.

See? Not too bad. Still, my greatest fear is baking a cookie that isn't cooked all the way, so I sliced one in half.

Looks good to me.

And the taste? The taste in both manhole cover and too-much-flour is phenomenal. There's a bit of a vanilla punch, but if you use brandy, it won't be as overwhelming as the vanilla. All in all, this recipe was salvageable, but god help me, I'm going to make these cookies the right way next time.

So ends my catastrophic cookie failure. Now, I'm going to get some milk and start dunking.

... Hey. They're not pretty, but they're still totally edible.

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