Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Burning For You

My dinner last night was a fried egg sandwich, and my dinner tonight has so far consisted of Sour Patch Kids, so it's safe to say I'm not posting a new recipe tonight. However, my friend Katie posted on her twitter earlier today that she wished she could learn "how to not burn things from your blog." I think she meant it jokingly and in a different context, but I have nothing else to post so here we go. This is something that has taken me a long time to conquer, and I am still not awesome at it. But there are a few things that have helped me to learn to avoid burning things.

1. I check. A lot. And I always set the timer for the lowest baking time and then re-set from there. So if the recipe says, "Bake for 12-15 minutes," I automatically check at 12 minutes.

2. Make sure your oven is actually at the temperature it says it is. Sometimes ovens lie to you. You can use a meat thermometer or something else like that.

3. Good cookie sheets can help, especially the nonstick kind. I loved these cookie sheets until I destroyed them. I need to buy more of them. You can also get a whole set of them, including cake pans and muffin tins. I have those, and it's amazing how much better my food bakes in them. Plus, they don't stick! You could also just get some Silpat liners to bake on, but I still think that things turn out better on the cookie sheets than on the Silpat.

4. Don't let things stay in the pan! Take them out to let them cool on a wire cooling rack. I have burned many a cookie by forgetting to take them off the pan.

Examples of my own screw-ups (which are more often than not):

bananas
{Banana-Filled Graham Cracker Pancakes}

lemons
{Burst O'Lemon Muffins}}

crab
{Crab Fritters}

blah
And let's never (or immediately) forget the Great Mother's Day Meltdown in which I made this horrendous dish and collapsed in tears.

You know what I didn't burn though? Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. I didn't make them again (and never will), I just wanted to remind you that it is a thing.

The lesson to be learned here is that you can make little changes and be vigilant while baking, but we all screw up and burn cookies. Eat them or throw them away, but keep trying because eventually you will pull something delicious out of the oven and be proud that it is something you created.

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