Wednesday, December 23, 2009


there is a reason i don't bake. especially when it comes to baking things that have layers. my first attempt at baking something on my own happened when i still lived with my parents and wanted to make my mom a birthday cake. i flipped around in the first cookbook i could find until i saw a picture of what i wanted to make. it was beautiful. it was chocolate and had layers and the frosting was a chocolate ganache. i remember that it involved heavy whipping cream and that the result looked nothing like the cake in the picture. it rather resembled something i had a bad dream about once. when i was first married and in need of a dessert to bring to a potluck, again i made the mistake of allowing a picture to draw me in with is mouth watering beauty. this one also involved layers and the result was so hideous that i found it hysterical. i took a picture of it (which of course i cannot seem to find at the moment) and went to the store and bought cookies to take with me to the potluck.

you'd think i would have remembered my past failings by now. oh no. i usually keep my baking simple (aka using a boxed mix) but i really REALLY want to find one more yummy recipe that josh will like so that i can make it year after year. i'm such a sucker for christmas traditions. i have had a recipe card in my possession since i moved called "chocolate mint bars". knowing that my husband generally loves the combination of chocolate and mint, i decided to give it a try. this was the result:

not completely disastrous, i know. when i cut them into little bars no one will know what they looked like originally. but still. i can tell you right now with all certainty that substituting butter for shortening when melted together with chocolate chips is NOT going to yield a good result. the chocolate turned all weird textured and impossible to smooth down, hence the awful looking brown stuff at the nearest end of the pan. thankfully i had some extra chocolate chips in the cupboard which i declined to mix with anything, and they smoothed on beautifully.....except for the fact that i obviously didn't have quite enough chocolate chips in the cupboard to cover the entire dessert. oh, and that green stuff? that's the mint frosting layer. it looks pretty, i know, but i have learned that when a recipe calls for peppermint extract, its best not to go out and buy just plain mint extract. the frosting tastes minty, but its more of a spearmint flavor, which just doesn't seem terribly christmasy to me.

who knows, josh may love it. but something tells me that yet again, he'll take a bite, frown a little and ask, "whats in this?" and i will sigh and try my hardest not to get hurt feelings while silently vowing to never again venture outside of my trusty betty crocker mixes.


lil said...

Thanks for you honesty, and EVEN posting a picture, Heidi!! I would love it, bec. I like spearmint better than just ming!!!
You could make Nanaimo bars, and make the icing layer mint. I've seen that done, with green food coloring, if necessary. Also, I find that if you melt choc. chips too long, they get thick and lumpy!! The secret is to melt it slowwwwwly!!
I hope Josh likes them anyway!!!

Jessica said...

Just looking at the picture of them, I got that Andes mints taste in my mouth. I'm sure they're awesome.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Wait a minute...Lovella says that Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

In fact... thousands and thousands of people all over the world have been looking at the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog.

Are you telling me that Lovella is not telling the truth...and that the cooking blog should be renamed "Some Mennonite Girls Can Cook" or "Mennonite Girls Except The One That Lives in Ramona and Whose Name Is Heidi Can Cook"?

I'm shocked. Seriously. Lovella always seemed like such an honest lady up until now. Tsk.

Well, I guess it is true...truth will always out in the end.