The Duck Doesn’t Do the Cookin’ By the Book

Even though I hear that I “gotta”.  (While that title appears to be a reference to a song from the child’s TV show, “Lazy Town”, it is not.  Well, okay, it is, but only because it was mentioned in the wonderful “Kingdom Hearts” fan fic, “Those Lacking Spines”.)  Ahem, sometimes, I like to try my hand at baking.  But, to be quite honest, I’m not a very good chef.  At all.  I don’t know what I do wrong, because even if I follow all the directions, everything I cook usually turns out nothing like it should.  (My frozen pizzas taste like cinnamon.  What unholy sorcery is this?!)  Okay, maybe I do know sometimes why my concoctions turn out disturbing.  Maybe it’s because I…well, sometimes I skip directions.  I mean, how different can it be if I just stir in the egg or the butter without beating it first or whatever other sadistic thing they want me to do to it?  And okay, I guess that sometimes, maybe perhaps, I suppose I leave out an entire ingredient.  Like eggs.  But, hey, I didn’t have any eggs at the time, so back off!  Ahem, sorry.  So, I guess you can say that I like to experiment (if you want to put it nicely and not just go right out and say I’m just a failure at following directions).  I can be a bit of a mad scientist in the kitchen at times, well, not really, but a little bit, and as a result, I have baked some rather distressing creations.

Take my eggless cupcakes, for example.  I decided I’d try making cupcakes, and with it being one of those days my house was lacking in the pre-chicken department, I thought I’d replace the liquid for the eggs with milk.  Because replacing one product from the really cold aisle of the grocery store with another such item that is usually found nearby shouldn’t make much of a difference, now should it?  Well, we all know the answer to that question, but I’ll answer it anyway.  Wrong!  For some unexplainable reason, this did not work.  These cupcakes, while tasting okay, were also utterly destroyed upon removing them from their liners, as they were so…sticky.  Who knew replacing eggs with milk would make cupcakes like glue?  Well, I do now.  Luckily, my eggless peanut butter cookies turned out fine.  However, regular cookies turn out runny without eggs, I found.

And then around that same time, I baked the worst thing I had ever made.  I tried to make cheesy biscuits, and I really think I had all the necessary ingredients, as no eggs were required, fortunately, though maybe I used butter instead of shortening…?  But, the dough was so dry, and so I added milk again, because milk is great, but now that I think of it, I think the dough was supposed to be dry.  And whether or not my biscuits could have survived a small amount of milk, I started to worry that all may be lost when I poured in a bit too much milk.  As a result, my biscuits ended up being wet and soggy and absolutely vile.  I had to throw them all away before they could inflict any more horror upon the world than they already had.

And then, not too long ago, I decided to go on another baking spree, this time equipped with all the eggs I needed (at this time, I ask that you play that tune in “Zelda” when you get an item from a chest, a rupee perhaps, while imagining me holding my arms over my head as eggs hover above me while slowly rotating).  In addition to eggs, I also had a bunch of other delicious things, like coconut and chocolate chips of all varieties (regular, dark, and white, but not those weird green ones I saw once), and I decided I’d make baked donuts (because I don’t fry stuff, because oil is terrifying) in addition to chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips.  A yummington moment if there ever was one.

Well, first off, the cookies were somehow not a success.  Again, I was lacking shortening (whatever the heck shortening even is), and so I thought, perhaps butter could be used in place of it, though I had my doubts when butter was also an ingredient.  So should I just do double butter, then?  And then, because the recipe made way too many, I divided the recipe by four.  And do you know how very hard it is to only use a quarter of an egg?  Because it is.  Quite hard.  In the end, I somehow…accidentally…poured in way too much.  Wondering if I should add more flour to combat the extra egg, I decided against it, as the melted chocolate thickened it up a bit.  Or I guess not, because these cookies ended up being horribly runny and as sticky as my cupcakes.  Okay, so I guess whether I use eggs or not, everything I cook is sticky.

The donuts turned out a bit better.  But, I tried to make plain donuts and chocolate ones, and I regret to inform you all that…my chocolate donuts…were not chocolaty.  I know, that makes me sad, too.  The plain donuts were also strangely bitter and unappealing.  But, they did turn out pretty adorable, as they ended up super puffy, even if they didn’t taste like how I wanted.  (And they were surprisingly filling for something that seemed so light.)  I also ended up trying different toppings, with varying degrees of success.  My glaze turned out okay, but it made the donuts much too soggy.  Okay, don’t dip donuts in glaze.  Ever again.  Said glaze also did not hold on the toppings as I expected.  Fine, one thing I can’t make sticky!  I also made vanilla frosting, which turned out quite lovely, just like the stuff you buy at the store, and some chocolate frosting where I didn’t totally melt the chocolate chips enough, so it was a little chunky, but mostly fine.  They were actually quite okay.  But, since the donuts were not great, and it was much tastier just eating the toppings by themselves than on the donuts, I threw all the batter away, leaving myself with an absurd amount of Tupperware to clean up.  And very little donut-y goodness occupying my duck belly.

And so I have now summarized for you all my adventures and trials involving baking, something I really shouldn’t do anymore because it usually creates a lot of work with very little in the way of edible rewards.  And it is cruel to the baked goods I create.  They are freaks of nature that will never be accepted by their own kind.  However, I am not a complete failure in the kitchen, as I can make some pretty great, but generously seasoned, chicken.  With patience, I can make a rather crispy frozen corn dog.  I can also make a mean cheese sandwich.  It just seems I am not so good with sweets…or biscuits.  My goodness, how bad I am at biscuits.  Oh, well.  I don’t need the calories.

Ducks Should Not Be Chefs

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4 thoughts on “The Duck Doesn’t Do the Cookin’ By the Book

  1. My first ever cooking-all-by-myself experience was cheese bread.
    I followed everything exact (except the pizza dough – the recipe said to use a bag, but I used my mum’s version), but yet it was entirely different from how the picture looked.
    The recipe said it made 12 (I think) small sticks, and I ended up with four huge ones. And the batter looked terrible.
    They somehow managed to taste very good, though.

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    1. Recipes never seem to turn out like they’re supposed to with me. My cookies are always flat with burnt bottoms, even when I follow all the directions exactly. Then, when other people do it, they get nice, fluffy cookies.

      As long as the food tastes good, though, that’s all that matters in the end. Mm, cheese bread sounds good. I should look into making some.

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  2. Not to get all Alton Brown up in here, but eggs works as binders in baking — so they help keep all the dough ingredients together. I imagine that’s why your eggless cupcakes turned out sticky. (Though I have also made eggless cookies before, and they usually turn out alright — a little soft but not inedible.) Also, you should be able to substitute butter for shortening (which is just solidified oil, and that doesn’t make it any less gross) in any recipe. You biscuits do sound like a case of too much milk.

    Also, depending on your preference, typical cookie recipes (like the ones of the backs of chocolate chips bags) made with 2 eggs turn out puffy and cake-like, while those made with 1 eggs turn out flat and chewy.

    But enough with the cooking lesson, I also hate frying (I can never get the oil temp right and things turn out burnt and smelly), so I’m curious about your baked donuts and why they turned out bitter. My brother recently had a go making donuts and it was a mixed bag. Maybe donuts are just one of those things best left to the professionals?

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    1. Ah, I see, so eggs are a very good thing in baking. I need to look for cookie recipes with two eggs, then. Or better yet…three eggs… Hmm, that might be a bit too much.

      Yeah, I guess donuts are better for people that really know what they’re doing. I have no idea why mine turned out yucky. How is it even possible for a donut not to be delicious? I’ll just buy donuts from now on, I suppose.

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