Bake All The Things!

I made my first taco shells just over a week ago.  But that was mostly my dad’s work, I just decided to try making one.  And besides, I have far previous food adventures to talk about right now.  Go ahead, call me a procrastinator.

Risk taking, in cooking, doesn’t only involve the throwing together of ingredients for an unknown result. It also concerns the amount of work one takes on in the process.  Never mind how well this applies to the semester I’m starting right now (thank God I’m not a procrastinator), but when I got home for winter break, I was so excited to start baking.  So when my mom asked if I wanted to do any baking, I told her I would…

You know, except bake instead of clean.  But I cleaned too.
Credit to Hyperbole and a Half, if you didn’t know already

 Apparently she believed me.  She helped enough, which was nice, but if you’ve ever tackled more than… two baking projects at the same time, all with different oven temperatures for baking at, I’m sure you understand how much coordination it takes.  And time.  It takes a lot of time.  Especially if you haven’t made 3 of the 4 recipes before and don’t know what you’re doing.

For me it took almost a whole day.  From like… 2 in the afternoon until 10 that night, I think.  I started with bagels, delicious, chewy, New York style bagels that… well, I might just have to go make some tomorrow because I’m making myself drool.  (I’ll be more than willing to make some for you if you’re interested.  Yes, you.)  First time making the recipe, and it’s a relatively simple and not very time-consuming recipe until you consider that they had the highest baking temperature and were the first thing I started to make.  I thought rise time would account for that difference, but… you know.  Nope.

 Then the cookies started to happen.  First came shortbread.  A rolled and cut cookie, this one is a bit of a hassle, but it’s the only cookie that really screams “CHRISTMAS” at me (my family hasn’t made gingerbread since I was in 5th grade).  Since it’s rolled, the dough needs to end up in a ball of some sort.  Since it’s winter and our house was cold, this was surprisingly difficult.  Still delicious though.  My favorite?  Shortbread with a cinnamon “sprinkle” in it.  Recipe comes from Meta Givens Cooking Encyclopedia, I think.  But, you know, standard shortbread, pretty much.

 Hm.  You’d think that Blogger would let you rotate pictures in the blog editor.  Whoops.  I guess I have to go re-upload this one.

Anyways, these cookies were the adventure my mom was excited for.  One of her coworkers brought in almond spritz cookies, a recipe she got from her mother… and passed on to my mom.  We made them wrong, adding baking soda as per an online recipe because we couldn’t figure out what would make them rise.  As it turns out, they aren’t supposed to rise.  Still delicious.  Also, tons of fun to make.  You put all the dough into a spritzer and pull the handle and a cookie pops out in all sorts of fun shapes.  I could eat some now, but no spritzer.

These are seriously addicting.  First batch of cookies to disappear, I think.  Naturally, the bagels were gone first, but there were only 8 of those.

By that point, I was tired of making cookies.  Ready to call it quits.  You know, I was like…

Except, again, bake.

Everything that we’d started was done, but there was one more cookie I’d planned on making – the only chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever truly loved, recipe thanks to my significant other’s mother.  My mom finally convinced me that I’d been going for so long that I may as well make the last batch, and I’m glad she did.  These cookies are so good, and I swear they last forever.  I ate the last ones after a day of skiing three weeks or so after doing all the baking, and they were still good (though a bit stale, the cold helped disguise that).

 So that’s my crazy day of baking.  Remind me never to do that again… or at least, to pick recipes that all bake at the same temperature next time.  Seriously, too much work.  Though delivering a plate of fresh baked chocolate chip and other cookies to a handful of hungry guys (and having delicious cookies for weeks after the fact) was definitely worth the effort.

Stay tuned for some salmon and crab bisque fiascoes.  Happy baking!