Grinchy, grinch, grinch

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right? Today was like that for me. I’ve been in my apartment for almost a year and still can’t get adjusted to my oven. Seriously, it’s a nightmare every time I have to use it, and since I bake A LOT, I pretty much want to break out in tears every time. On the same note, since I bake A LOT, you would think I’d have found the magic cure to the oven’s nasty temperament. NOPE! It’s just gotten even more evil.

Case in point: last night I whipped up a quick batch of Grinch Cookies. They are so super cute (see photo above) for the holidays. I love the red and green and they remind me of one of my favorite Christmas movies. The cookies are very simple and you only need 6 ingredients: white cake mix, 1/3 cup oil, 2 eggs, green food coloring, powdered sugar, and a red heart candy sprinkle. Mix the first four ingredients together and chill for 10 minutes, roll in powdered sugar, and press a red heart into each one. Bake for 8 minutes at 350. Easy, right?

Well, last night they came out perfectly and I had a few…just to test them. I brought the rest to a Christmas party. Today, however, was a completely different story. Same ingredients. Same conditions. Horrible mess. I wanted to bake another batch for some cookie boxes I’m making up, but I had to trash the first batch because in 5 minutes they were burnt to a crisp on the bottom and gooey (in a bad way) on the top.

How could this be?  Well, I’ve done my research and have tried using different pans, playing around with the oven temperature, and chilling vs. not chilling dough. So far, nothing has worked. One time I even had to reduce the temp by 100 degrees. Yikes! My oven hates me.

After I had to throw out the first batch of the day, I was feeling very grinchy. Today I had planned on making several of the recipes on my Christmas 2015 Cookie List, but it wasn’t starting out well. So I took a break. I turned the evil oven off and focused my attention elsewhere.
When I finally went back to it, I had a new outlook: I’m going to bake these damn cookies even if it kills me! (That’s the Christmas spirit talking.) And you know what? It worked. Same ingredients, same conditions, beautiful outcome. I also made three other cookies from the list that turned out (surprisingly) well.

If I’ve learned anything from baking/cooking it’s this: if things aren’t going well in the kitchen, take a break. As with all things, sometimes you just need time to clear your mind before continuing. It helps.

And as for my oven, I don’t think there is any hope.

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