Yesterday I had the holiday off from work and was determined to spend it doing what makes me happiest -- baking! I had two recipes I wanted to perfect and another to try for the first time. And then do a little cooking for my lunches and dinners for the week. While most of them went well (hello beautiful blueberry muffins and the chewiest chocolate chip cookies this world has ever seen), one in particular made me want to throw the finished product against my kitchen walls in protest.... but I love my clean white walls too much. This crap didn't even deserve such a dramatic death.
What is this "crap" of which I speak? It was a cookie, and I will give you no more specifics than that. I don't want to offend the author of the recipe... though I've gotta say, I've come to expect more from said author. Just goes to show that you should always test a recipe yourself. Hmph.
So, one thing that I especially love about baking is that it's an exact science. If you follow ingredients and directions precisely, the results should be the same. Right? Right. And I highly doubt most people "invest" (read: waste, for this instance) the money to try recipes numerous times if it isn't good the first time. Anyway, what really ticked me off about the crap cookie was that it wasn't initially awful. The dough tasted good at first... very promising since this cookie was copycat of a widely available commercial version. I thought, "If I can make this at home, I can have them whenever I want!" From now on, I will pony up the $3 or 4 to get the boxed version. And I will enjoy every last bite of those mass-produced beauties, blessing the kind people who make them with each mouthful. Sorry, I'll put the soapbox away for the moment.
After prep and chilling, the cookies went into the oven... and there stayed all of the initial flavor. They looked and tasted like tiny pieces of cardboard. And then I had to "dress" the cookies (again, leaving out specifics) and then they surely would taste good! Nope. Usually I'd try a few of the cookies, but I couldn't even down one. It was so bland and dry... and bland! Not outright awful, like bitter or sour or even poisonous, just so boring that I instantly hated myself for spending an afternoon on them (and making the 2 mile round trip trek to the grocery store in the 30 degree weather... blah exercise blah). The remains of the crap cookie went into the trash can.
But how is this possible? I followed the recipe exactly! I actually wish it would've been a fantastic down-in-flames (just the food, not my apartment or me) disaster. I'd have a better story and then it'd be more likely that I made a catastrophic mistake and not the quality of the recipe. Ugh. Stupid freakin' thing. Oh, and to top it all off, the little spring on my beloved ice cream scooper/cookie helper broke. Is this what Charlie Brown felt like? I really don't like that recipe one bit. And I'm pretty sure the author never tested/tasted it, otherwise he/she would've been ashamed. Hmph.
(Oh, if you're wondering, the other recipes were smashing successes! Delicious chewy chocolate chip cookies that will make you forget that any other kind of chocolate chip cookie ever existed coming tomorrow. Thank you for putting up with me today, whew!)