I said that I would bring a treat in to work this morning. I said it on Monday, so I had time to plan – sort of. Other than being at work most of each day in between, sleep, eating, household chores and so on. And it doesn’t help that I haven’t really been to the store in over a week so some supplies are short. A few challenges.
On the plus side, I have been baking for a lot of years – since I worked on my Girl Scout cooking badge and realized that I liked to bake. And I’ve been a parent for more than a few years, so I know how to make do in a pinch. I do like structure, but I have learned how to take the structure I can find and make new connections to get where I want to be.
Butterscotch chocolate chip bars are the result. Baking requires more precision than other kinds of cooking, true enough – but experience in combinations and an understanding of the different ingredients means that a recipe isn’t absolutely rigid. A calculated risk or two can lead to success.
Substitutions need to have similar properties to account for consistency of the batter and the potential for flavor changes has to be considered as well. After looking around the kitchen and thinking about recipes I actually had a couple of choices. Since my energy level remains low thanks to the ongoing winter, I opted for a simple recipe even though I’ve never made it before. (A word to non-bakers and cooks – it is almost never a good idea to try out a recipe for an audience the first time.)
The bars smelled fabulous while baking, but that isn’t necessarily a good indicator. My son hovered ready to be my first taste tester, but he has inherited my sweet tooth so also not a good indicator of success.
I have had my share of spectacular failures as a baker. Mainly due to an excess of hutzpah and a glaring lack of experience plus knowledge. But I learned more from those flops than I would have if I had taken a more conservative route in my baking past. I think this is true in most aspects of my life.
Now it remains to be seen what my team thinks of my approach.
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Tagged: Calculated risk, Comfort zone, Creativity, Planning, Process, Skills
They sound yummy
Well, there weren’t any left when I cleaned up the treat table at the end of the day. I’ll take that as a good sign.