I made snickerdoodles the other day. Click HERE for the recipe.
Look closely at the picture above. Two of the cookies were made following the recipe; the other two were made substituting baking powder for baking soda. Can you tell which is which? If you guessed that the cookies on the left were made using the substitute, you are correct. They had an odd flavor and did not "flatten out with crinkled tops" like they were supposed to.
According to my research, sometimes it is possible to substitute baking powder for baking soda with no negative effect. Come on! You wouldn't think that a tiny teaspoon of ANYTHING would make a hill of beans' worth of difference. But, as you can see, sometimes it makes all the difference in the world.
The lesson? Baking is a science. To be successful, it is important to follow the directions. Precisely.
And listen, my friends. There are many situations in life in which following the directions is the only means of achieving an optimal result. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to make substitutions. Sometimes you can't simply wing your way through.
But, unfortunately, it seems that when it comes to some of life's most important scenarios, there ARE no directions.
Take child rearing, for example. How many times have you heard people ask why children don't come with an instruction manual? The answers to that question are complex and varied. But the fact is, they don't. You do the best you can, and you hope for a positive outcome.
Marriage similarly comes to mind. Because it seems like a girl can do everything right and still her spouse will have a midlife crisis and buy a sports car and have an affair with a woman young enough to be his daughter and leave her out in the cold.
Maybe that's why I enjoy baking so much. It's something I can count on. If I follow the directions to the letter, I am guaranteed a good result.
So tomorrow I will post another recipe. See you then!