Thursday, January 31, 2008

Over Flow!

My kitchen reeks. There is a faint, acrid smell lingering in the nooks and crannies and curtains of the entire rest of the downstairs of my house. I am so irritated!

I made butterscotch cookie bars today. As usual, I doubled the recipe. After all, if one batch of cookies is good, then two is better, right? And . . . well, there's no nice way to say this: I have two HOOVERS living under my roof, by the names of Shaggy and Dr. Doolittle. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I made a meal that had more than one serving of leftovers at the end. These boys are eating me out of house and home, and pantry and freezer and garage and . . . you get the idea.

So anyway, on the back of my recipe card, I had noted a while ago that a double batch of this recipe fills one Pampered Chef bar pan. I remember that I wrote it and felt proud of myself for writing it down so I didn't have to wonder in the future. Because I do that often. Double a recipe and while I'm doing it, wonder what I used last time to contain it all, I mean. So, I was happy to see my "note to self" and proceeded to mix and stir.

The whole reason I went with cookie bars as opposed to actual cookies was to save the "on my feet time." I was babysitting "Miss GOHgeous," writing the bulletin, and working on some renewal documents for the adoption process. Ha. So much for saving time. This particular effort at a double batch proved instead to be a huge TIME SUCKER! Yup, you guessed it. The bar pan seemed quite full once I transferred all the batter, but I went against my instinct and trusted the "note to self." After all, I did take the time previously to help myself for future efforts, didn't I? Oh, silly me!

About 12 minutes into baking time, I sniffed the air. Mingled with the pleasing scents of buttery, vanilla-y butterscotch chips was a faint stink. As I opened the oven door, the stink took over the lovely butterscotch scent. In fact, it took over the whole kitchen. The bar pan was overflowing on to my recently cleaned oven! One of the butterscotch chips actually caught fire. I pulled the bar pan out quickly, shut the oven door and turned on the fans. I threw open all the doors and windows and took out the oven racks to clean up the smoldering embers of butterscotch chips. I was smoldering by this time.

Once the mess was cleaned up and the smoke finally disipated, I threw the bar pan back in the oven, only to have to monitor it every 4-6 minutes while the oven re-heated and the bars baked. I had to keep scraping off excess that puffed up over the sides (which I admit made for some very nice snacking after I skipped lunch), and basically hover over the oven for the remaining bake time. I'm happy to report that only the crustiest edges taste faintly like smoke and the rest of the bars are creamy and yummy.

And all that time I "saved?" Well, now I can clean my oven. Again.


Heidi @ GGIP said...

That would go in the category of proving my theory that baking bar cookies is not as simple as it sounds.

Did you used to have a bigger pampered chef pan?

The Gang's All Here! said...

No, no bigger pan. I'm still wondering what happened. Guess I should get over it already! But I did go back and re-note that it fits the bar pan plus :)

buzzstamper said...

man, that's awful! although you're one up on me, cause i never clean my oven!! ;)

Melissa said...

Further evidence we are twins seperated at birth! hEE! hEE!

Livin' Life said...

See evidence of why I hate baking although my boys would have still wanted to eat the charred remains of the cookie bars.

BTW email me and I will reveal the big secret of my good blobbing friend. I think I accidentally erased your address instead of saving it.