Thursday, January 7, 2010

Martha keeps the dream alive.

Before my mom even finished the sentence "I need to bake cookies for..." I was grabbing my Martha Stewart cookie cookbook and thumbing through the pages. Who knew there were so many different kinds of cookies out there? Seeing as nearly every page caused a mouthwatering sensation, I had a hard time picking which to bake. There were so many beautiful pictures! I love food photography... Anyway. I was finally able to settle on Chocolate Crackle cookies. The recipe didn't look that bad so I set to work.

And it was work.
Usually I love baking. I love having a set of guidelines but even more I love pushing the rules to test the outcome. Not this time.
My handheld mixer had burnt out a few days prior (it was from my mother's wedding shower... old!) so I dusted off the electric mixer from the basement which obviously didn't have the matching bowl with it. What a mess! No bowl fit properly so it had to be held in place, it was incredibly loud, and even the lowest setting whipped my eggs into a frenzy.

With ingredients spewing all over surrounding objects, I was overcome with a sense of defeat.
Baking should not be this upsetting; it's about making people happy.

I settled with my mousse-textured dough in the fridge to firm over night and decided to give the cookies a second shot in the morning.

After breakfast, I gathered my courage and faced the doomed chocolate that once looked so promising on Martha's glossy pages (but then again, doesn't everything?) The texture had improved slightly and I found it was somewhat workable. I followed the remaining instructions and rolled out about 50 little suckers.
And you know what? They turned out better than the ones in the book.

I learned a lot from Martha today:
  • Things (read: recipes) are never as easy as they look.
  • Electronic mixers won't always live up to your dreams.
  • Baking can be hard work and is not always fun.
  • Never let a few mishaps discourage you from doing something you love.
Maybe I should have given up when coco-powder fumed the air or when my softening butter melted all over the table. But I didn't, and it left me not only with a batch of delicious well deserved treats, but a sense of mixed accomplishment and humility.

XX bakey love

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