there is laundry to do and a house to clean and news releases to be written and what am i doing?
i am searching furiously for a good how-to on sugar cookies and piping and flooding royal icing. i bake when there is a lot going on. a habit i picked up in college.
when there is a lot to do, i look for something to bake. cooking and baking have this complete start-stop. beginning, middle, end. at first they are ingredients, then there are lots of steps, and then there is a nice result at the end.
when a cookie is made or a cupcake is frosted, you can’t go back. you can’t undo and restart. you can’t analyze it further or re-write it better.
when i am baking i am alone. with written instructions that don’t talk back or make other suggestions or tell me i am wrong. there is no one to impress. this sounds heartless but some people are energized by being around a big group. i am energized by being alone.
when i am done, i don’t have to turn my baked goods in anywhere. anyone who gets them is pleasantly surprised, rather than expectant, as with the nature of work. and if i messed them up? fine. no one knew they were coming anyway.
i get a renewed sense of confidence. somehow, i think that if i could make these cookies well, i surely can plan an event or be a good friend/mom/wife. i can quickly and efficiently show myself i can actually do something. well.
that is why i bake.
here are some of my favorite baked things:
olivia’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
chocolate chip cheesecake brownies
classic crumb cake
peanut butter cookie pie
cream cheese pound cake with blackberry sauce
flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache