Friday, January 9, 2009

Martha, Martha, Martha!

Martha, Dark and Bright

I am writing tonight in both disappointment and embarrassment. The food and domestic goddess, Martha Stewart, must be on the wane--it's no wonder I've been turning to Paula Deen in recent years, if only for comfort and laughter (and not necessarily for recipes that too often include boxed cake mixes or canned soups, as available as they might be in one's pantry).

You see, yesterday at another Mennonite cookie bake my credibility as a home baker was compromised by a lackluster cookie recipe. Something that should have been foolproof was not. One assumes when one (perhaps foolishly) purchases a magazine of recipes and craft ideas on impulse at the grocery store for a small bit of change that they have been tested. Clearly not. Make joy! as the cover enthused turned into Make big sticky mess!

The culprit cookie? Molasses-Ginger Crisps from Holiday 2008. I see in perusing the on-line version that some other bakers had a similar experience: too sticky to roll into a ball, spread a great deal, not as dark or as crisp-looking as the photograph. The women at the cookie bake and I all agreed when we tried to wrangle them off the pan by slicing the melded baked dough into thin squares that they likely needed more flour and were hardly crisp. The flavor was delicious but who wants to eat scraped cookies? (well, I mean, ok, but who wants to present them at a cookie bake for take-away consumption?)

All of this said, I really am tempted to try these again but with a bit more flour and in my own oven (I believe too many cookie sheets may have been put into ovens at once and I'm also not used to gas or wood-fired ovens.) But I've learned a valuable lesson: don't bring a cookie to a cookie bake that you haven't first tested yourself. Also, beware of false domestic prophets and their pricey, catchy magazines!


a Cupcake near you! said...

Oops. Well, gotta tell ya--I like Martha's decorating and I like her presentation of food but I stay clear of her recipes. (Didn't we have this conversation before?)

Even the best sounding recipe can be a clunker. I'm sure your Mennonite friends have had a clunky recipe from time to time so I'm guessing your reputation is intact. I'll vouch for you any day!


Mrs. Arrow said...

poor Catherine! Shame on you Martha.
I've always referred to Martha as "domestic porn", you could NEVER do it yourself but it sure is fun to watch!