The worst and best of baking

I like to bake, but like everything else in life, it comes with a lot of ups and downs. Like failed bake sessions.

I tried to bake Ferrero Rocher cupcakes last week but only got the cupcakes part right. No gauche, and a horrible mess of an icing. It was so horrible, I can’t even describe how wrong it turned out to be (not the taste, it just refused to turn into icing because I think I used a wrong substitute for heavy cream). I think Life is telling me, “You can’t have everything!!!”

The icing (that I messed up) was 80% Nutella. A whole Php300+ bottle’s worth of Nutella and I just couldn’t bear to throw everything away. Adding more sugar and a bit of everything couldn’t fix it. I ended up trying to salvage the whole…alien mess by trying to bake it instead.  Continue readingThe worst and best of baking

Love is as sweet as baked dried apples

Following this recipe, I baked apple chips for the second time. The first time was at Charlie’s, when we made white sauce with white wine pasta (so, I know no better way of calling that), and aaaah, it’s so good. For some reason, apple tastes sweeter after being sliced and baked into chips like this. The only thing is that they’re not as crunchy as the commercial ones, but I wonder if it only means I should bake them longer, or if I should finally get myself a wire rack. :P

I want to pretend this is a healthier substitute to junk food when my oral fixation kicks in and I want to chew on something, but I need to keep in mind that apples have a lot of sugar. It’s still natural sugar, but sugar nonetheless.

Talking about sweet, here is a photo of Charlie with his niece from yesterday, when we attended her birthday party. Kids get away with crying, because they are so cute!

Charlie with his niece!

I love it when children are smart and cute and adorable, and even children who say the darnest things, ha!

Ninja apple pie

I baked apple “cookies” this morning using this recipe, but without cloves, nutmeg, walnuts, and dates. Basically, just apples. Like the reviews on the site said, it turned out cake-like and was actually more like apple pie. But shaped as discs. So it’s a Ninja Apple Pie, because it’s disguised as a very soft “cookie.” (Actually, I wonder if I didn’t add milk it would harden into a cookie? I added 1/4 cup as the recipe said, but maybe I can do this again but without milk next time.)

I had a second interview this evening, so I dropped by Charlie’s office in the afternoon first and brought the apple-pie-cookies (which, Charlie dubbed as “pookies”). There were two sets, one with medium-sized circles and another with giant circles. I told him one set was for him, and then another was for his to share. But he shared both of them anyway. His sister said they were delicious, and I think the people at his office enjoyed them too (I would like to believe that his boss found them delicious as well, and didn’t eat a couple only just because he usually ate a lot). So at least I didn’t visit their office as a hindrance — I came bearing a gift of offering. :P It was just too bad Charlie just started to get busy during the time that I was there.

My second interview was…okay. Just more intimidating that the first one. But I hope I still pass it anyway. If not, I know exactly what I need to work on. :P Will get the results by this week. Crossing my fingers!

Friends are made more amazing by cookies

Today is the last day for summer vacation and I spent it baking with old friends. It’s always amazing fun hanging out with them, and I know I owe them a lot! Like, I have a bad way with friends sometimes but I’m doing my best now. Even though if feels like I’m pushing this reset button and starting over (either with myself or with my relationships), it just went to show that they really are important for me.

Today is the first time I saw them since forever. I mean, I’ve been gone for four months and we haven’t been hanging out together prior to that, so I’ve been missing a lot from their lives.

us with our cookies.
us with our cookies framed in a blurry pic.

We baked some sugar cookies with royal icing (which we made an apple green color, naturally) because I really, really wanted the kind of cookies with hardened icing. Although we ran out of confectioners sugar for the icing, made worse by putting too much egg — amended by adding more sugar, it was still a good batch! I mean, definitely waaaaay better than the muffin mess I made last Thursday. I was trying to remember how Ayo did it when we made muffins at Gino’s, but well, the muffin batch practically proved my memory is made of fail. THE MUFFINS WERE TERRIBLE. Practically trash save for the blueberries. If not for the blueberries NO ONE would have eaten them.

APPLE GREEN ICING. the cookie on the right is supposed to be a BUNNY.
APPLE GREEN ICING. the cookie on the right is supposed to be a BUNNY. There are sugar bits because we ran out of confectioners sugar and put normal sugar instead.

At least this means tomorrow I have cookies to share with my friends!!! YES, I AM THIS EXCITED. I mean, the last time I remember making sugar cookies was in kindergarten, when my school was still called Little Farm House and we had this fantastic curriculum that included baking. Not that as a kid we really made them but I have this vague memory of a teacher baking so it was probably more of a one-day thing where they just showed us how. What I really remember are the red oven gloves and the wound on my knee that day.

But I digress.

I have so many plans for my next cookie session! I’ll learn to make customized cookie cutters because I don’t have one, but I want to invent my shapes. Plus, this time I’ll have enough sugar and more food coloring so I can DECORATE. I feel excitement literally bubbling from the pit of my stomach just thinking about it. (I might have been spending too much time on tumblr, surfing through pages of colorful cupcakes and cookies).

I really find baking fun! And making desserts and sweet things like that. Maybe one time I’ll just decorate a tea party and invite people over.