Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Crazy Coffeecake and Other Baking Disasters

Two days in a row this week I've had baking disasters. In a hurry while making shortbread cookies, I inadvertently grabbed a half cup measure instead of a full cup when adding flour. I finished mixing the dough and put it in the fridge to chill. When I tried rolling the dough into balls a couple hours later, the dough felt kind of greasy to me. Halfway finished, it hit me what I'd done. My dough was about 80% butter and 20% flour. Ooops!

I tried baking one tray to see what happened, and the cookies that should bake into nice rounded top gems came out of the oven flat as a French crepe. In the trash with them and back to the drawing board. I made the the correct way that evening.

As if that wasn't enough, another baking disaster hit yesterday. I made a sour cream coffeecake in a bundt pan. I'd planned to use my angel-food cake tube pan, but the recipe called for the bundt pan. It would look nice that way, I thought, so I greased it well with Crisco and popped it into the oven to bake. This particular recipe is from the Silver Palate cookbook of some fame a number of years ago, so I knew it would be good.

Took it out of the oven and let it sit the suggested ten minutes before turning it out of the pan. I loosened the edges with a knife and then turned it over. Out came the cake. Oooops, not the cake, 2/3 of the cake only. The rest remained in the pan. I mumbled and grumbled and loosened the remaining cake from the pan, then tried to remove it piece by piece. I plopped it on top of the cake on the cooling rack and stepped back to see how it looked. A disaster! It looked like a bomb had hit it. It looked like one crazy coffeecake. I nibbled a piece that had fallen off and it tasted great. What to do? Decided to keep it for us and put it in the freezer, I just could not bring myself to take it to our daughter's house.

This morning, Ken and I had a piece with our scrambled eggs, and it tasted soooo good. I looked at my cake, then at my husband and asked him--"What if I take this cake with me and tell the kids it's called a crazy coffeecake?" We both smiled and the decision was made.

I have a feeling my baking disasters of this year will be a story next year and the year after. It's these little things that happen in our lives that create the memories from which stories are born. So, if you have a baking or cooking disaster, don't despair. Just write a story about it.

For the record, I have a reputation as a pretty good baker. Maybe not after the Christmas of 2010!

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