How not to bake

12 12 2011

Many of you may have read slept through my recent posting titled Wannabe Kitchenista. Apparently I haven’t yet given up the yearning to master all things kitchen since yesterday morning found me in the kitchen at the way-too-early-on-a-Sunday-morning time of 8:47 a.m, setting up shop to bake seven dozen (yikes!) oatmeal cookies for a cookie exchange the same day. I had at least four hours to accomplish this task, so piece of cake cookie, right?

I had the foresight to mix the batter the night before (industrious, aren’t I?), so all I had left to do was prepare teaspoon-size balls and start baking. Our stove runs cooler than the temperature I had to set, so after carefully bringing Batch #1 to completion, I determined that I would need exactly 12 minutes of baking time to get soft and chewy cookies.

Everything went fine for Batch #1-5. [Yay, me!] Just two more to go. And Nancy, the host of this soiree, said one batch was actually for me to take home, so I figured if I screwed up Batch #7, it was no great loss, right? I put Batch #6 into the oven and decided 12 minutes was plenty of time for me to check my e-mail really quickly.

Mistake #1. A minute of e-mail time turns into several minutes of blogging and then I remember the cookies. In my little cooking-challenged brain, I thought, “The timer will have gone off; the cookies might cook awhile longer in the residual heat, but the oven isn’t still actually on, right?”

Misguided Notion #1. It dawns on me at this point that the timer doesn’t actually turn the stove off; it’s simply an indicator to take your creation out of the oven. Duh. Yes, I’m sure that deep down I knew this fact. Fortunately, no smoke detector had gone off and the kitchen wasn’t overcome by noxious fumes yet, either (although I did see a tad bit of heat rising from the top of the oven).

I opened the door and saw the blackest cookies I have ever seen. Rock hard and black as coal. Culinary weapons, they were, like throwing stars straight out of a Bond flick. So, what was I, a guest at the “7 dozen, please” cookie exchange party, to do? I had to make another two batches from scratch. Lesson learned, I stayed put for the next 24 minutes, monitoring them diligently.

I toted my 84 cookies to the exchange, made some new friends, and let my host’s husband have my batch of oatmeal cookies. I don’t want to see oatmeal cookies ever again. What did I learn from this little experience?

Baking + e-mailing = throwing stars.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Below: my new not-cooking-challenged friends