Baking: The Art of Failure and Perfect Mistakes

We learn in life that you can’t be good at everything.  If you can sing, you can’t necessarily dance.  You can paint, but you can’t sculpt.  And in many cases:  you can cook, but you can’t bake.   There are a few (annoying) people out there who can do both perfectly, but chances are your skill set lies more heavily with one than the other.  I, for example, make a much better cook than I do a baker.  I love to bake, or rather I love baked goods, but the reality of the matter is that baking is a science, it’s all about measurements and ratios, and that shit just doesn’t work with me.  I am a wing it kind of gal, which is what I like about cooking:  a little dash here, a pinch there and you’ve got yourself a meal.  One of my favorite things to do is metaphorically throw things at a wall, and see what sticks.   That’s just not an option with baking, everything must be precise.  But I try, with some successes and many a failure.  The first time I ever made my (now perfected) banana bread, I forgot to add baking soda in all together…it was not pretty.  However, as I bake, that old adage sticks in my brain, something about failure being the true markings over a person’s character.  If you fall down, or you burn your crust, you get back up and try again.

It was with that mentality that one of my favorite recipes was born.  It really wasn’t that big of a screw up, I’m just being dramatic (shocking, I know) but I sort of screwed the pooch with a cookie recipe last year.  The cookies were supposed to come out looking like this:  img_6094

But instead they turned out like a big blog of one giant cookie. Frustrated with myself, I opened up the trash can and was ready to shovel the cookies inside it when I stopped.  These were perfectly delicious cookies, they just looked a little crazy.   I was sure I could salvage them somehow, and before my mind even knew what I was doing, my hands went to work.  Thus was born my recipe for “The Perfect Mistake.”  Also known as that thing my parents call me.

The cookie recipe is from a blog called Handmade Charlotte.  These are probably the most delicious chocolate sugar cookies ever.  They are crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, perfectly rich and sinfully delicious (especially with a latte!)  The key to making these extra delicious is to cream the butter forever.  Seriously, I don’t think you can over cream it, but again, I’m not a baker, so definitely don’t trust my judgement.

One you’ve baked the cookies to her specifications, set aside about 5 or 6 of your uglier ducklings.  Wait for them to cool down slightly, (enough that your fingers don’t get burned) so that they are malleable.  In a greased pie tin, mush the cookies down with your hands until they form an even crust.  It may not look pretty, but it will taste delicious.  Once you have a sufficient pie crust, pop that puppy in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  

When the crust is nice and cool, scoop out a pint of your favorite ice cream for the tastiest homemade ice cream pie.  I live for mint chocolate chip ice cream, and in my humble opinion, nobody does it better than Talenti Gelato with their Mediterranean Mint.  Honestly, any ice cream would be killer with the chocolate cookie crust, but I am just a sucker for this ice cream.  Also, their containers are the bomb, and make the best tupperware ever because the top screws on.  It’s the little things in life, ok?


Anyways – back to the subject.  So, you scoop out the entire contents of the most delicious ice cream your heart desires, take a final baked cookie, crumble, and sprinkle it on top.  If you’re feeling festive, like me, you can use a cookie cutter to add fun shapes and decorations.  It’s your recipe, it’s your mistake: do with it what you want.

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