Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cari Crocker No Longer

Long ago a friend of Scot's dubbed me "Cari Crocker" because I love to bake and I'm pretty good at it (if I do say so myself).  The moniker stuck and when I get my bake on, it inevitably comes up.

I may have to resign my position after yesterday's mishap.

At the beginning of the school year I volunteered to be a baker for various school events that needed baked goods.  Well, Open House is tonight and Thursday night so (among many others) I was asked to provide some cookies.  I thought "Great!  I'll whip up some chocolate chip cookies, send the requisite 3 dozen to school, and have a few left over for us."

Yesterday afternoon, while Jamie was napping, I got to work.  I normally use the Toll House recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag and the only thing I change is to use all brown sugar instead of a mix of white and brown.  I threw the softened butter in my mixer, grabbed the 3/4 cup measure out of the drawer, and proceeded to measure 1.5 cups of brown sugar into the bowl.  I then started creaming the butter and sugar.

While that was churning away, I pulled out a separate bowl to measure out the dry ingredients.  When I looked for the 1 cup measure for the flour, I got confused because I couldn't find it.

Then a horrible thought occurred to me and I turned to look more closely at the cup I had used to measure the sugar.

1 cup.  Oh damn.

So instead of using 1.5 cups of sugar, I had put in 2 full cups.  At that point I was too far in to go back, I didn't know how to adjust other proportions to fix it, and I didn't have the ingredients to start over.  Moreover, Jamie was taking a monster nap and I was not about to wake him up so that I could go to the store for more.

I chose to push forward and hope for the best during baking.  I tasted the dough before I baked it and it tasted just fine.  I hoped that if they baked OK I could salvage them.

It was not to be.  The first batch came out of the oven as flat as roadkill.  They barely had enough integrity to maintain cookie shape.  They went in the trash.

The second batch were no better despite the fact that I baked them for slightly less time.  They were a tiny bit puffier but they were raw in the middle.  It was clear to me that these cookies were not going to work out.

I tossed the second batch in the trash along with the rest of the dough.  Then I tried to figure out what I was going to do.  Scot offered to stop for replacement ingredients on his way home from work so I could bake later in the evening.  It wasn't ideal but it was looking like my only option.

Then I realized I had another recipe I could use for which I almost always have all the ingredients in the house.  I looked at the recipe and I had everything except the required 2 cups of flour.  I called a neighbor and she generously gave me some flour.  I whipped up those cookies (being careful this time about how I measured!) and ended up with exactly 3 dozen cookies for Open House tonight.

Crisis averted.

For someone who can make pies and cakes and cookies of all kinds, this was a colossally stupid mistake.  Cari Crocker?  Maybe not so much.

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