A few lessons learned from today's bake-a-thon for the Boston Coast Guard Spouses' Association Bake sale scheduled for Valentine's day this week:
1) The instructions on the back of the white chocolate box are BS. They say to microwave the chocolate 60 seconds and then stir, then microwave another 60 seconds. It is still rock solid after the first 60 seconds, and totally burnt after the second 60 seconds. Tomorrow I'll buy more chocolate and try again.
2) Don't promise your three year old he can sprinkle the chocolate covered pretzels until you're sure you're not going to ruin the chocolate for the chocolate covered pretzels. I'm pretty sure Pete's new nickname is going to be meltdown.
3) Red velvet cake batter smooshed in your two year old's hair looks shockingly like a serious head wound.
4) Red velvet cake batter in general is a bad idea. From the head wound scare to the smudges on the counter to the spot on my favorite camel sweater, that batter jumps from the bowl to cause havoc and stain anything it reaches.
5) Those super cute heart cakes aren't going to come out level on that baking sheet, so leave lots of room for frosting to fix them. The brownies do come out level, however, which leads me to a serious dilemma: ugly baked goods.
I wasn't planning on donating the brownies to the bake sale. The brownies were Pete's reward for being so patient and helpful. But the brownies are the cutest of anything I baked today. Once we slather on some frosting, and sprinkle with Valentine sprinkles, they could be sliced up and served in Valentine baggies with pink ribbon ties. It will look like a 12 year old girl went to town decorating them with all the pink and purple and hearts all over, but it will be festive and pretty. Except that I had planned for my family to eat them, not donate them....
My Red Velvet heart shaped cakes are uneven, sloping noticeably to one side. I know that even with copious amounts of cream cheese frosting, they probably won't be adorable. They'll taste great, but they'll be as ugly as my failed attempt at sugar cookies back in December.
The chocolate covered pretzels might not even make it to the table if I can't figure out how to properly melt the darn chocolate.
Do I send the ugly baked goods, and keep my brownies to eat, or do I bite the bullet and donate the pretty brownies? At this point, I'm very close to buying some festive bags, filling them with pink and white candy and calling it a day. It's been hours, my kitchen is trashed and my kids are angry about the sprinkles.
So the next time you're passing a bake sale, just take pity on the ugly baked goods. Someone tried very hard, and those ugly baked goods will taste just as yummy as the beautifully decorated cookies. And if you find a decorative bag full of candy, you can assume some one's weekend was pretty miserable. Either way, make a generous donation please!