In the craft and food blog circuit, while there are a ton of great projects and tutorials, it doesn’t seem like people really talk about what happens when a project doesn’t end up entirely ruined, but also isn’t quite what it should have been. But whether you’re an expert or a beginner, it happens sometimes. Finding ways to make the best of it is a great skill to have, so When Things Go Wrong is a series about making the best when the unexpected happens.
This month, I’m (attempting) to only eat unprocessed foods as a part of October Unprocessed. I’ve needed this for a long time, but makes me a bit sad, since when my desert cravings come around, I’m not really sure where to turn, and don’t want to end up giving in to soda or a trip to the drive through. And yes, it’s only been a couple of days and I’m already thinking about sweets, oy.
Oh wait! I can make something! In the spirit of full disclosure: I’m being fairly lax with the challenge; I realize that the flour, margarine, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, etc that I use may not meet the criteria given, but I’m also taking the time to make something at home and know essentially what is in it, rather than I package of Chips Ahoy or the apple turnovers at the grocery store (out of curiosity, I checked their label. Ick! All sorts of things I can’t even pronounce on there). I’m of the “something is better than nothing” persuasion, and I’m applying that to this as well. Still an improvement over my usual junk food habits!
Anyway, where were we before that extensive sidebar? Ah, yes. Making dessert. I’d found an article on Lifehacker about using flipped over muffin tins to make cookie bowls, and knew immediately that I wanted to try it. But what to put in them? Hmmm… how about homemade ice cream? Oooh, ooh, and some homemade caramel. That would more than satisfy my sweet tooth!
But alas, sometimes things happen. I’ve made ice cream without an ice cream maker several times, always with excellent results (feel free to check out Brown Eyed Baker’s instructions if that’s something you’re interested in), but for some reason it never thickened past the custard stage.
Then, I didn’t take into account the spreading of the cookie dough I used, so I ended up with a pan-sized cookie with muffin indentations that absolutely refused to come off, and was underdone in areas where the cookies came together.
The caramel came out beautifully, but by that point I was too frustrated to feel celebratory. More out of frustration than ingenuity, I crumbled up the cookie that I could get off the pan and dumped it in a bowl. And then, inspiration struck: why not mix the cookie with the custard? I essentially ended up with rich cookie dough ice cream which is my absolute favorite flavor.
Lesson learned: if two foods would have been put together anyway, combining them in a different form will likely still be good. Cookie crumbles instead of cookie bowls is just as tasty, and the custard is even richer, if not as creamy, than the ice cream would’ve been.
But I’m not putting a picture of that up because, well, it’s brown and dark brown chunks in brown liquid. In other words, not exactly appetizing in appearance.
My faux ice cream was far too sweet to add the caramel to though, so I can show you how I paired that with a fresh, crunchy apple:
I would’ve been happy to triumphantly show off beautiful cookie cups with a mound of firm, creamy ice cream and a drizzle of caramel on top, but this isn’t so bad either.