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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Lemon Burst Cookies (just follow the recipe)

I'm a terrible baker.  I am maybe an ok cook.  I make dinner 5 nights a week and it is a little more put together than simple meat and potatoes, and I like to think I make a mean beer battered fish taco.  But baking?  Baking is all specifics and measurements and I'm more of a rough estimate kind of girl.  As soon as I open a recipe book all I see are numbers like 1/2 a cup or 1/8 a teaspoon and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature.  Immediately I'm back in 10th grade math, while the rest of the class is nodding along I'm looking down hoping the teacher doesn't single me out and counting the minutes until class is over.  (lol, counting)

Mathematics aside, I also tend to improvise.  1 cup of sugar, that's too much, I'll use half that.  And flaxseed mixed with water as a substitute for egg, why not.  I've used maple syrup (a Gwenyth Paltrow approved condiment) in place of sugar more times than I can count.  And nothing ever turns out.  Crumbly, uncooked, burnt.  I've tried soo many times I had all but given up when something happened.  I tried actually following the recipe.  I diligently followed the measurements exactly, didn't use any substitutions, and even read the recipe through once first to make sure I actually had all of the ingredients, and you know what, it worked!  Last week at my husbands request I made chocolate chip banana muffins and I'd go as far as to say they even LOOKED as good as the picture.

With my newfound confidence this week I decided to give it another try with these Lemon Burst Cookies ( for the recipe).  It wasn't without incident.  When I first starting rolling the dough into balls I noticed a large amount of unmixed flour.  Normally I would of pressed on (which could explain why in my arsenal of bad baking experiences I have made muffins with cooked egg inside, and you wonder why I call myself a terrible baker?!) but instead I put the mostly mixed dough back in the electric mixer for another round.  And when the recipe said to roll the dough into balls and cover in icing sugar, which sounded easy enough, I ended up with gooey dough stuck to my hands instead.  But, rather then giving up, I found by wetting my hands first the dough rolled much easier and using a large bowl filled with icing sugar to roll the dough balls in worked great, a step that I think takes these cookies from good to great! Now I'm two for two in the baking department but I think my new joy of baking needs to come to an end.  Last night my husband asked me if I think he's getting fat, so I think next week I'll take a break from baking and cut up some fruit and veggies instead.  And I won't have to follow a recipe!

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