Baking disasters are a gift to a blogger. Instant content. But it’s a sad sad consolation prize compared to the cookies or pie or cake that never was.
I bake a lot, but I’m pretty new at it*. (See some of my more successful efforts here and here.) Although my mother was an excellent baker, and I baked with her a lot as a child, as an adult I barely baked at all until about 4 years ago (yes, during one of the employment downsizings). There have been a lot of, um, learning experiences. The time I used polenta thinking it was cornmeal. The brittle pie crust (we’re talking before I baked it). The non-rising baking powder. The eggplant bread. (It wasn’t bad, actually.)
On Thursday night I decided to take advantage of my uncle-in-law’s gift of homemade (from his own orchard) apricot compote and make some apricot newtons.
I’ve made fruit newtons before; they were delicious. Sadly, I did not mark or copy the recipe I used, because the one I found this time did not work. This is one of the problems with learning to bake on your own, and relying on the internet for recipes. (I couldn’t find a newton recipe in any of my books, or on any of the more reliable sites.) So if you don’t really know what you’re doing, you don’t really know when, or how, you’ve gone wrong.
The dough was supposed to be rollable, but it wasn’t. It was just cookie texture.
An experienced baker would be able to say– this is a drop cookie. An experienced baker would recognize the combination of ingredients and know what kind of dough that is likely to create. An experienced baker would know better than to try a one-off recipe found on the intarwebs. An experienced baker wouldn’t smash the *&$#(*%^ dough onto the floor and then have to clean it up. (I deny that I did this. My floor is now very clean.) She would have said, hmmm I can turn these into apricot thumbprint cookies, before she consigned the whole mess into the trash.
The goal is to get excellent at this by the time any as-yet-mythical grandchildren are old enough to bake with me. Meantime, I’ll continue to see how well baking disasters can be used as floor polish.
And by the way, if you’ve got a good recipe for fruit newtons, I’ve still got tons of apricot compote left.
*I am a very good cook. It’s the baking thing that stumps me.