Baking: A Lesson in Overcoming

The old me would have been ok with whipping up some boxed brownies and calling it a day. But one of my love languages is food and I wanted this dessert to speak loudly.

Those who know me know I’m a cook, not a baker. Baking is a mystery to me. Reading a recipe is like an attempt to read Italian, I can pick out some of the words but the meaning gets lost in translation. Asking a friend with mad baking skills only goes so far. Sometimes you just got to let go of fear, get in there and give it a go.

Thankfully the internet is full of great information for baking dummies like me. How to soften cream cheese. How to frost a cupcake when you don’t have the right tools. So I did a good bit of prep work, read the how-to tips and watched some videos. They made it look do-able. What should have taken 2 hours according to the recipe actually took much longer than I care to confess.

Ingredients laid out and measured, I whipped the cover off my two year old, brand new Kitchen Aid mixer. Cream cheese and butter softened per internet instructions, I got to work mixing them. Which attachment do I use? How long and what speed? No clue. They said until light and fluffy. I pressed on.

They didn’t say whether to stop the mixer when adding dry ingredients, like flour or confectioners sugar. After adding the first cup at medium speed, me and my counter top looked a lot like an episode out of I Love Lucy. Experience is a great teacher.

Once the cakes were sufficiently cooled and frosting was beaten to the consistency of tile mortar (because when you google how to tile a backsplash they say the tile mortar needs to be the consistency of cake frosting). I grabbed a ziplock bag, spoon, cup and scissors. Who needs a special piping tool with fancy tips, this worked fine on the how-to video. The first frosting attempt was lopsided, the second lopsided but leaning the other way until finally I got the hang of making a large sweeping outer-circle and spiraling inward to make a cutely dressed cupcake.

Life-lessons of the day:

Do everything with great love.
Prepare the best you can.
Don’t allow fear to keep you from trying.
Learn and get better as you go.
Keep a good attitude.
It’s ok if it isn’t perfect.

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