The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The snickerdoodle catastrophe

There is nothing Barack, Superbowl or Oscars in this story. It is a story of shame, my shame. Read on….

You are wondering why my posts have been light it is because I’m helping a friend out in her kitchen in DC where she makes a lunch for between 25 to 40 Harvard University Center for Hellenic Studies fellows and employees every day. Her part-time staffer is off on paternity leave and you don’t leave a friend hanging.

My day in the kitchen starts at 5 a.m. and if I am lucky I get out at around 3 p.m. I cut and dice, wash and dry, and don’t sit down the entire time. I’m amazed I can keep up with my friend who moves at a mile a minute.

3 days back-to-back

I didn’t say breaking my back though I feel like I am with the strenuous kitchen work. On day one, one of my projects was mise en place the dry ingredients for her snickerdoodle cookies. She is precise on how she wants the dry ingredients measured and I followed her instructions implicitly. She makes up the cookie dough and refrigerates it to be baked on the next day for dessert.

Day 2: My chef friend pops a couple trays of the snickerdoodle cookies in the oven. When Sylvia (nickname Szzyl) goes to rotate the cookie sheets they have all blended together in one big glob. She starts to angst as to what is wrong with the cookies. Was it too little flour, too much sugar, was it because she refrigerated the dough overnight, too much baking soda, not enough backing soda, too little cream of tartar.

Meanwhile, I’m embarrassed that I probably measured something wrong – me the cookbook author and semi-recognized food columnist. Once the globs cooled she tasted them and said the baking soda was correct and in her best estimation it was the measurement of the cream of tartar that threw the dough off. She made a new batch of dough and refrigerated some and baked the rest. They turned out.

Unfortunately the diners got Costco raisin oatmeal cookies for dessert with their lunch today.

Day 3: Well it isn’t here yet but my only redemption for the big screw up is if her refrigerated dough doesn’t turn out and I don’t think that is going to happen. I am just sooo EMBARASSED.

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