Yesterday, our first non-swim practice day, my daughter decided she wanted to spend the day baking. She had a modicum of success (if you discount the mess she left me) making cupcakes for her grandmother last week and so looked up a bunch of recipes she wanted to try. All at once.
She started with a recipe I asked her to make for no bake chocolate PB cookies. She melted the butter in a sauce pan and then mixed in the other ingredients while I worked. She called me down to see the end result – about 3 dozen beautiful chocolate cookies setting on wax paper and cookie sheets on top of the hutch in the dining room. There was still a little bit of batter in the bowl so I spooned it out for us to sample and then licked the spoon. Really salty.
“Huh,” I thought, “she must not have mixed the salt in very well and I got a mouthful of it.”
I spooned some for her and popped in in her mouth while she washed the bowl and then put the rest in my own mouth.
“Mommy, it’s really salty” she mumbled around her mouthful of chocolate deliciousness before spitting it into the sink.
“Yes, indeed” I agreed while I gagged over the batter and checked the recipe.
“I followed the recipe.”
“How much salt did you add, honey?”
“A quarter cup like it says.”
“Ummmm….K? It says ¼ tsp not ¼ cup.”
“Opps” We giggled over it for a while and I gave her a hug and a kiss and told her it happens to the best of us.
In the meantime, I enjoyed the burning sensation in my gut from swallowing that spoonful of salt while we called grand-mom, the keeper of all kitchen wisdom, to see if we could salvage it somehow. Her verdict? Other than making 100x the amount of batter to catch up to the amount of salt, nope. She suggested we bake them for the birds.
Good idea! We would bake them and take them to SC with us next week and feed the gulls and ducks. So I popped them in a 350 oven and went back upstairs. About 5 minutes later, I hear a somewhat frantic yell from the kitchen where K was still doing dishes…
”Mooooooommmmmmmyyyyyyyy!!!!! Is the oven supposed to be smoking like this?”
Oh brother. I ran downstairs, turned OFF the oven, opened the windows and told her not to touch it. The now baked salt-cookies? Totally stuck to the wax paper. I let them cool and harden into something approaching mortar and then chucked the whole batch while the oven self-cleaned whatever had slopped onto the heating unit.
Back to work. Again.
In the meantime, her friend came over to “help.” Once the oven was cool enough to open, they baked chocolate chip bars. Those actually turned out really well and were quite yummy. Next up? Amish bread.
Since they had successfully navigated the bars, I let them go for it while I worked.
“What kind of pan is a ‘bread machine?’”
Back downstairs where I tried very hard to remember that it is just flour and yeast and not gold bullion that she is using up on these multiple failed baking attempts and we tried to salvage the recipe. The dough was really gummy so I added some more flour, let it rise for an hour, let the mixer knead it again with a little more flour until it was finally a decent consistency, let it rise (and overflow) again, dumped it in a pan, let it rise a third time, and then baked it. It turned out okay although it won’t win any bread awards. We cut it for dinner last night and will subject my parents to it tonight as well.
What was next? Chocolate chip cookies.
They turned out fairly well too, although I suspect they may become a little like chocolate chip hard-tack in a day or two. Mom and dad will get them tonight too.
After that I told them no more (dear, God! No more!!!!) and they played with the dogs until it was time for her friend to go home. I ended up working until 6 PM, but it was okay. She had a good time, didn’t make too much of a mess, and learned a couple of valuable lessons about reading the entire recipe carefully before getting started (something I still don’t do, by the way).
I suspect that her dad is not going to let her bake anything today while HE is working from home though.