So last week in the staff room when asked if wanting to volunteer as a part of the staff bake swap, my answer should have been a resounding "Faaaack no!" as baking is an art I have never mastered. In fact it's something I'm downright awful at. But I found my prelobotomized mind thinking 'This could be a fun chance to learn!' so I signed up with gusto.
What was I thinking?
The first attempt was Friday. Chocolate chip cookies are easy, right? Not when you put baking soda in them, in lieu of baking powder to ensure they won't rise. Then you use whole wheat flour instead of white flour to try to make them healthy. And then you eyeball the vanilla rather than using a measuring spoon to make them mmm,mmmm good. Those are mistakes I can take credit for.
The part of the recipe that gets me is the 'preheat the oven' part. Now, not once does it give you an exact timeframe to start preheating. Twenty minutes? Two hours? Who knows. I decided that more preheating would be better to ensure that they were cooked through and it would make the apartment warm and cozy for guests. Also, spraying the pan with pam to ensure non sticking is easy as can be. Nopers! I doused, feeling quite pleased there would be no sticky cookies. They did not stick to the pan, as they were too busy swimming in oil. The cookies that came out of the pan were one large melted cookie with blackened edges and no resemblance to anything cookie like.
With a cheerleading squad of friends drinking the vino at the kitchen table I took on the cookies and failed miserably. The kitchen and myself were coated in floor. There were at least 2 eggs dropped on the floor and one on the counter. The smoke billowed and the apartment was a million degrees. The cookies were not going to make it to the bake swap amongst the delicate truffles and layered bars of the baking friendly staff.
Attempt number two. Also not my fault. The recipe calls for oil to go into the cake mix for, well I don't honestly know what for but I'm sure that it has some purpose to be there. But the recipe did not ensure what sort of oil to use. Canola? Sunflower? Motor? Who knows. The only oil I have in the house is olive oils so I figured that would do. WRONG. Apparently olive oil is a heavier oil than say canola so rather than having nice fluffy cupcakes to serve to the staff I have lead bricks in cupcake liners. Not bad, but more brownie-esque than cupcakey.
So now I am onto attempt three. The cupcakes smell good in the oven, but I already know that it could be a trick. They have the right sort of ingredients, the right measurements, the right oven temperature. All the stars are lined up for the cupcakes to be awesome, and so with crossed finger I am off to check on them.
If this doesn't work I'm off to the store to buy something that would have a recipe to go with it to try to pawn off as my own. Nothing too complex or people will know I didn't do it. Do they sell Rice Krispie squares in bulk?