This is a cautionary tale, folks, a warning for those of you who sometimes feel an urge to bake but can’t drag yourselves away from the internerdz while doing so. You’ve got the recipe open on one tab, Gmail on another, Google Reader on a third, Jezebel on the next, and the PPK on yet another. Your iTunes is blasting some ridiculous and probably embarrassing tunes, and maybe you’re trying to keep up a Gchat conversation simultaneously. This is worse than drunk!baking, people. It’s distracted baking, and – much like texting while driving* – it can have Serious Consequences.
Sometimes, baking while under the influence of the INTERNETZZZ!!!11!1!!! can cause you to do things that make you seriously question your intelligence… or at least your ability to perform the simplest of tasks. Graduating magna cum laude with distinction in my major from a top college? No sweat; I can pull that off in my sleep. But reading a recipe? That’s beyond me. Somewhere between the [super embarassing] S Club 7 music video I watched on YouTube and the irritated e-mail I fired off to my best friend, I misread 1/4 tsp as 1/4 cup. Yeah. And the ingredient in question? Blackstrap molasses.
And the most embarrassing bit – the bit I very nearly decided to omit from this post – is that it took me an obscenely long time to realize my error. It wasn’t ’til I’d combined the wet and dry ingredients and was wondering why the result was more batter than dough that I figured something was wrong. And then – suddenly – I thought, “Hey… chocolate chip cookie dough isn’t s’posed to be brown.” Y’think?
So – let’s just say that my chocolate chip cookies quickly morphed into chocolate chip-molasses cookies. The good news? Dreena’s recipe can stand up to even this assault of stupidity; they were still surprisingly delicious, if a little too sweet, given the inclusion of maple syrup + sugar + way too much molasses.
I’d just like to try and recoup a meager 2% of my Baking Legitimacy by saying that this fiasco was caused because I was baking for the end results. When I bake for the sake of baking, I treat each step in a recipe with love and care, tenderly measuring flour and leveling the top of my measuring cups with a knife to ensure precision. I use my best Pampered Chef spatula to scrape the sides of a bowl, making sure no speck of flour goes unmixed. But baking for the end results is a much more slapdash experience, a mad rush of pouring and distracted stirring wherein all I care about is the finished product (and maybe a few spoonfuls of batter along the way). I’m disconnected from the end product and the recipe on the page; I’m pouring and mixing and measuring individual ingredients without thinking about how they’ll work together as a whole. It’s bad juju, man.
So, in conclusion – focus on your baking! That series of tubes might be super distracting, but don’t let it distract you so much that you commit a baking mistake that would make Betty Crocker cry and shun you from her kitchen forever.
*Plz don’t text while driving. It’s stupid and irresponsible. Guess what? In the olden days, people couldn’t even talk on the phone while driving – and they survived! You can wait 10 minutes to text your bff about the slowpoke old lady doing 25 in a 55 MPH zone. Trust.