We were to have a pot-luck breakfast at work this morning, and in an attempt to bring culture and joy to the office, I planned to celebrate International Bacon Day one day early.
The muffins above are NOT mine, though that is usually how my baking projects turn out. (and on a side note, be careful when Googling 'muffin' at work to key the whole word instead of accepting the first suggestion the Mighty G offers you. Just sayin'.) Instead, I wanted to share bacon-cheddar corn muffins with everyone, because that's how I roll (or muffin, as the case may be).
Bad things, man. Bad things! Really. How difficult could it be to fry some bacon, crumble it and add it to a Jiffy cornbread mix with some shredded cheddar? It was, even for me, baking simplicity, and I don't bake, because for me baking is always a baking fail.
A lot of it comes down to three important factors, and I will always screw at least one of them up. First, there's the whole greasing/flouring of the baking pan. No matter how hard I try to get that right, somehow I manage never to do it right, as my baking sticks in non-stick bakeware no matter what I've done, even if I use Crisco and powdered Teflon, my baking will split in half.
Second, there's the distraction factor. If I'm cooking, it's an active process. Pans to watch, sauces and pasta to stir, temperatures to monitor. With baking, the prepared dough/batter/whatnot goes in a preheated oven, the timer gets set, and there's nothing to do. This often means I wander off to do something else, like mow the lawn or teach underprivileged kids to yodel, and I end up with baked goods that could have been manufactured by Kingsford.
Finally, there is the experimentation that for an accomplished baker would be child's play. For me, I end up messing up the wet-to-dry ratio, or completely missing that I doubled an ingredient that I already doubled once, and get a wet, sloppy mess that will never set.
Last night I committed sin #1, and despite heartily greasing my mini muffin tins, those damn things wouldn't come free for anything. I overfilled, which meant that I couldn't even get a knife around the sides without popping off the muffin crown. Cornbread, being crumbly like it's wont to do, wasn't cooperating on the properly filled tins, either, so I have two dozen mini-muffin crumbles at home.
Apparently, the road to pot-luck breakfast, running parallel to the road to Hell as it does, is paved with good intentions and muffin crumbs.