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.