ILP: LEARNING FROM MISTAKES

valentines-cookie-pic

As Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed.  I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  My ILP experience this week could be summed up perfectly using these words.

Even though Valentine’s Day was a week ago, I decided to bake Valentine’s themed creations now since I was busy learning other things before!  However, not everything went as I had hoped and planned.  A couple weeks ago, I found some of the most darling cookie cutters.  One was a large heart, one was two smaller hearts liked together, and the other was the shape of kissing lips.  I saw these in the store and was instantly excited to try them out!  Little did I know, these adorable white, pink and red cookie cutters would be the first domino to fall in what led to my baking demise this week…

In the past weeks, I have worked with baking mediums of both cake and brownies, but still had yet to experiment with cookies.  I figured that since I already had the cookie cutters, this would be the perfect week!  This was the second domino that fell.  It turns out that baking cookies into the exact shape you imagine them turning out to be is entirely harder than one would think.

I began my baking endeavors this week with some chocolate chip cookie dough, frosting, red food coloring, piping bags, a cookie sheet, and a small round piping tip.  My first attempt at baking these Valentine’s cookies began with me rolling out the cookie dough on a flat surface and cutting out individual cookies with each of the three cookie cutters.  Then, I placed them in the oven to bake at 350 degrees for about 12-13 minutes.  (I always try to undercook my cookies because I love when they are soft and gooey in the middle.)  As I sat in anticipation, waiting for the timer to buzz, I could hardly wait to see how my first batch of cookies turned out!  The second that the kitchen clock struck the mark of 12 minutes, I opened the oven door and while my nose was quite delighted, my eyes most certainly were not.  What had been just minutes before such cute holiday shapes, had expanded and now looked like nothing more than blobs.  They weren’t anything like what I had imagined. 😦

Amid my disappointment, I knew there had to be a better way to get the cookies to bake in the shapes that I so badly wanted them to look like.  For the second batch, I decided that I was going to bake the cookie dough all flat and rolled out so that it was sort of like a cookie pancake.  Then, after they had baked, I would press the cookie cutters into the “pancake” while it was still soft in hopes of getting the Valentine’s cookies I had planned on making. This method worked much better than the previous, and after failing miserably on the first batch, I finally had some cookies that looked like they were supposed to.

The struggles with this creation continued, however.  Prior to baking, I had spent a significant amount of time browsing Pinterest in search of the cutest frosting designs that I could use to make these Valentine’s Day cookies perfect.  I picked out a couple that I hoped to try and went about it with my frosting and piping bag.  To make a long story short, this was the final domino to fall.  I struggled to make the frosting the color that I was looking for, it wasn’t quite the right consistency to be piped through the bag, and I was not able to make these cookies resemble anything even close to the pictures I took my inspiration from.  You could say that I was a little disappointed.

Regardless of all these struggles and failures, I must say that this has been one of the most valuable weeks throughout my ILP.  I truly believe that we learn the most when we experiment and fail because we now know what not to do next time.  I’m sure that I am not the only person who’s ILP hasn’t gone flawlessly at some point.  I would encourage each of you to “just keep swimming” whenever you are experiencing setbacks with your ILP.  You might just find that in times of defeat, you learn more than you could have ever expected.

 

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7 thoughts on “ILP: LEARNING FROM MISTAKES

  1. I am sure they were still delicious! I do have to say it is nice to read an ILP post where someone had a little bit of a struggle, not to say I am glad you struggled at all, it is just good to see this side of learning that is a little messy, and doesn’t always go right! As you said “just keep swimming” you know better now, and will be able to move forwards in the upcoming weeks, good luck I’m rooting for you!

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  2. Thanks, Courtney! I figured it was just as important to acknowledge the failures as it is the successes. Learning doesn’t always happen smoothly and I definitely wanted to share my entire experience with everybody!

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  3. Those are darling cookie cutters! Cookies are definitely underestimated! Same thing happened to me this winter, found some adorable cookie cutters and when they went into the oven they looked precise, when they came out…they looked like potatoes. I have learned that chilling dough in the fridge before using cookie cutters helps quite a bit, at least with a sugar cookie recipe. Also, spraying Pam on the cookie cutters makes for an easy and clean cut (I’m not sure you had that problem, just thought I’d add it). I totally agree with the under baking of cookies for a dough-y circle of yumminess. Personally, why even bake dough into cookies?
    –a cookie dough lover

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    1. Haha, they looked exactly like potatoes!! Thanks for the tips! I will definitely have to try those in the future! While I also would love to just sit and eat the whole batch of cookie dough without baking it, I figured that I might not have much to share or write about if I let myself do that!:)

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  4. I love those cookie cutters! I feel like it is always hard to make something exactly how our mind is set on it looking, but I am glad that you found a way to cut the cookies out in these shapes successfully the second time. I’m sure the cookies from the first batch were still very delicious! I am anxious to see what the next weeks of you ILP bring!

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