It seems to me that people frequently find blogging success when they have some kind of challenge. Julie and Julia is perfect example: she challenged herself to cook all of Julia Child’s recipes in a year, and because she was living up to her own standards, she successfully maintained her goal.
My blogging comes and goes, but my interest in food and in particular, baking, has been growing exponentially over the past year. I’ve always enjoyed baking and cooking. In cooking I am fully able to improvise – just throw things into a pot, sans recipe, and come out with something scrumptious. In baking, for the most part, I stick to recipes. I do this because 1. It’s wise – baking really is a science, and you need to follow the chemistry accurately to end up with the best results (see: Alton Brown) and 2. I’m not sure how one would go about improvising a baking recipe. Sure, I’ll tweak with spices – an extra dash of vanilla, here, added cinnamon there. But I’m stuck to the recipe.
At my core, I am an avid learner (probably half the reason I decided to become a teacher; I can’t escape education). I want to know what makes baking tick. I want to be able to throw things in my stand mixer willy-nilly and know with confidence that something beautiful and golden and fluffy will come out the other side. I watch those people on the cooking shows and they just know the ratios and what makes cake and cookies work. I have an extra challenge, living at high altitude in lovely Denver, so I need that confidence even more.
So I’m forgoing the recipe. Well, sort of. My goal is to at least once per week create a new cupcake/cake/cookie/brownie/misc. baked good recipe. I will start off by using base recipes (white cake, yellow cake, sugar cookie) to get used to the feel of the recipe, but the recipes will all involve much more than that. Here’s the proposed starting list:
- Week 1: Margarita Cupcakes
- Week 2: Xocolatl Cupcakes (or cookies)
- Week 3: Red Wine Cookies
- Ideas for the following weeks: Champagne cookies/Cupcakes, Key Lime Cupcakes, Mandarin Orange Cupcakes, Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Mojito Cupcakes
Yes, there is a lot of alcoholic things on that list. 🙂 And yes, I need more cookie and brownie ideas. Suggestions? Desires?
Week #1 starts tonight. I will post at the end of the week. Here we go!