Things Don’t Always Go My Way…

I guess my post title could apply to unpacking approximately 1 million boxes (it’s about as fun as working in a salt mine!), but this is actually a quick story to inspire any cooks who may struggle from time to time.  I’m DYING to get started with some fall recipes, though, so let’s hope for organized cabinets, clear counters, and an upcoming week full of delicious food!

Before our Australia trip and the move, one of Dr. O’s co-workers asked me to make Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps so they could “celebrate” Dr. O’s last day at that particular clinic location. The cookies turned out so beautifully last time – and they were soooo delicious! – that I was happy to put a batch together.

Happy until all heck broke loose, of course.

I had been pretty scattered as we tried to prepare for the move and our big trip, so I think “brain scramble” was part of the problem. First, I prepared the batter with a whole stick of butter instead of a half stick, so I had to start over. Once I had the correct batter formed into balls, dipped in powdered sugar, and on a parchment-lined baking sheet, I went to put them in the oven. I accidentally tipped my baking sheet a bit and watched in horror as three of the cookie balls rolled onto the floor of my oven – hitting the burner, of course. There’s nothing like the smell of burning sugar!

I still had one perfectly good sheet of cookies along with those that didn’t roll off the other sheet. I was afraid they would spread too quickly if they sat at room temperature for too long, so I decided to pop them into the freezer until I could cool the oven enough to clean the burned batter off of the oven floor. When the mess was cleaned up, I took the baking sheets out of the oven and let the cookies sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

It wasn’t enough.

The centers of the cookie balls were still frozen, so they didn’t spread properly. They seriously looked like eggs that had cracked open and cooked. To add insult to injury, I had to use my flash (yuck!) to take this picture since it was late, late, late in the evening at that point.

ARGH! The cookies were actually still delicious, but I couldn’t swallow my pride and send them to the office looking that way. Thankfully, Dr. O’s schedule changed and he had another day at that practice location; I attempted the cookies again and they turned out beautifully.

My message – if you didn’t get it already! – is that we all have bad days in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter if you cook twice a day or twice a month. We just have to be willing to pick ourselves up and try again. Food is such an integral part of life and a it’s great way to bring people together… Cooking is so worth the effort!

Recipe link: Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps


2 Responses to “Things Don’t Always Go My Way…”

  1. 1 Jennifer October 10, 2008 at 9:16 am

    I just read the recipe and it says to freeze the dough disc for 45 minutes prior to baking. It doesn’t say thaw, but your frozen dough was part of the disaster you described. Freeze or no then?

    Love your honest posts! Everyday isn’t perfect, but it’s always worth the effort!!

  2. 2 Jenny October 10, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks, Jenn! You DO have to freeze the dough for the initial 45 minutes. When it first comes together, it’s like buttercream frosting, so it wouldn’t be firm enough to work with otherwise. The fact that it was frozen in the first place is probably why I thought it would be fine to freeze it again, but those poor little dough balls froze much faster than the whole dough batch (naturally).

    Live and learn, right? 🙂

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