Sweet Beginnings

This is the first time I’ve blogged since I was in college. Blogger was the first host that I recall, but I typically hand-coded everything in HTML, as I practiced it extensively in college. I was first introduced to the internet around 1994, when AOL (American Online) was still a new thing. Chat rooms were simply forums broken up into several categories and were filled with a couple dozen folks. The first shorthand terms I remember: “a/s/l/p” (age/sex/location/photo), and…”lol”. I looked forward to hearing, “You’ve got mail!”. I also remember thinking, who needs the internet?

Now that I’ve aged myself, I’ll begin with my recent journey into baking. All I wanted to do was make the blondie that Applebee’s had on their menu. It was usually served with ice cream and a white chocolate sauce, but that was more than I wanted to take on; the bar was enough. I tried Gordon Ramsay’s recipe on YouTube, sans dried cranberries, because I didn’t have any. It turned out to be pretty good, and my family enjoyed it. Within a month, I decided to try Gemma Stafford’s recipe (Bigger Bolder Baking). It was another success, and I’ve stuck with that recipe ever since. I already love to experiment in the kitchen, so I began selecting things to try from her “Best Ever” recipes. I just really enjoyed the whole process, and it makes me think how my favorite restaurant meals and desserts come together. After the blondie, I decided to tackle a cake: a 2-layer red velvet cake with Ermine frosting. While the result was delicious, it took a very long time. The frosting was the best part, as I’ve never had Ermine frosting, but making it was super fun.

My first scratch-made cake!

I gradually became more adventurous, and attempted a no-bake Oreo cheesecake. My ignorance led me to believe there was something magical about cheesecakes. Honestly, I didn’t even know what the primary ingredient was. I also didn’t know that a pickle was a cucumber when I was in my early twenties. Anyway, I think this was also my first time making a graham cracker crust and chocolate ganache. This dessert was a big hit at home and at some family gatherings.

First take!

While these were super yummy, I really wanted to master the chocolate chip cookie. It fits in your hand, is easy to make, and is quite the treat! When I was perhaps a teenager, I was the one who would throw all the ingredients into one bowl, mix away, and throw it into the oven. I didn’t think the sequence of steps made a hill of beans of difference. With this particular recipe, I was surprised how large the cookie dough balls needed to be prior to placing on a baking sheet (1/4c). I can place six to seven on a sheet, and a batch consists of 14-16 cookies.

Even better!

It turns out, combining the wet and dry ingredients separately, butter temperature, and consistent measuring will yield…consistent results! Once I finally got the hang of it, I decided to put them to the test through neighborhood sales. They’ve been a hit through our local produce co-op, securing some return customers! The word is getting around slowly, but that’s ok. Our family’s quite busy, and I’m happy to cater to my small circle of current customers. I advertise my chocolate chip cookies as my flagship product, as it’s my only product! But, a couple more of my favorite desserts will make it onboard, soon.

Christian Mendoza
The content you've just consumed has undoubtedly made you more complete or has left you with more questions. So long as you don't need answers, everything will be fine. I'm a husband and a father of four. As a dad, I've learned a lot about teaching, and as a person, enjoyed getting teached. I have a curious mind and enjoy the challenge of solving problems - just not those problems. It makes for interesting writing. Maybe. - Christian

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