Refuse to be Passive

Learning from Failure

In Food, Life in General on March 3, 2011 at 11:53 am

Last night I was baking cookies. I’d just made a batch of ginger cookies and had decided that the same recipe would work well as a dark chocolate cookie. I reduced the flour to compensate for the cocoa (which I added too much of), used Crisco instead of butter to make them lactose free, used cinnamon instead of ginger, and then decided that I’d try making it without refined sugars, and so added agave and maple syrup. As such, the batter was too thin, so I added some crushed almonds. It was a bit of a disaster. My first batch came out looking alright but broke apart as soon as I tried to put my spatula under them to remove them from the sheet. I smirked at my experiment, saved the crumbs– because that’s what those cookies turned into– and then added some white sugar. The next batch came out much better.

The things I love about baking flops is that they’re never truly a failure. There’s always learning to be done. I now know that adapting that recipe that much was a bad idea. As such, I’ll stick with switching out white sugar with cane sugar, or some such thing, and not add so much cocoa next time. The key with baking and life is to accept your failures as they come and with a grain of salt. Learn to laugh at yourself. As long as you can step back and say, “Why didn’t that work? What can I do differently next time?” then you haven’t really failed. You’ve learned. And the truth is, if you always play it safe you’ll never get anywhere. You learn so much more from failure than success;  that my friends, is never a flop.

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