One of our daughter’s activities to get ready for Christmas is making a gingerbread house. She had canvased her friends to see if there was interest in a group effort and her friend Corey signed on. The activity was scheduled for today, but that meant that the gingerbread house parts had to be made and baked and ready to go. I got to help with that.
We found a recipe and set to work. While I drafted the pattern from the directions, Ellen pulled together the ingredients. Since the recipe listed the flour and spices first, she measured them carefully into the bowl. Then she added the next things, the butter and sugar. She put it under the mixer and all of a sudden there was flour going everywhere. Hmmm. What happened? Somehow she forgot everything her mother taught her about baking: cream the butter and sugar first, then add the rest. What to do? We set it aside and started over… Meanwhile, I drafted a tomb stone for our failed attempt.
The next batch went off without a hitch and we set it aside to rest. We decided that since most people don’t eat gingerbread houses, what did we have to loose. We pulled out the big chunks of butter and added them to a small amount of the flour mixture. When that started to look like dough, we added the rest of the flour and the liquids. Somehow it beat up ok so we set it aside to rest too.
When it came time to roll out the dough and cut the pieces, the botched batch worked out better and in the end was just fine. It was a slightly different color and a little grainy.