I realise a chronicle of my failures does not make for riveting reading. My unwarranted confidence is to blame.

Instead of leaving myself plenty of time to experiment, tweak recipes, and iron out any kinks, I figured “Hey, this recipe looks easy. I’m sure I can bake it then upload a blog about it a few hours later.”


I have been burned three times now (figuratively – I’m not that bad a baker) so let’s hope I’ve learned my lesson. Also, it’s becoming clear that while my mother’s recipes claim to be flop-proof, they are in no way me-proof.

Self-pity aside, let me tell you of my failed custard cookie attempt.

This recipe (which I will post next week) basically consists of flour, icing sugar and custard powder. With a little bit of butter.

I mixed this mess as best I could. The ratio is something ridiculous like four cups of dry ingredients to half a cup of wet. The recipe says the batter is dry, but when I saw the powder before me, I thought there must be some mistake. So I added an egg.

Never one to work hard, instead of mixing the egg in properly, I just kind of added milk until the dough seemed about the right consistency.

I realise my own improvisation is what caused the recipe to fail (and fail it did) but I investigated other similar recipes online. I tried, with my humble standard-grade maths skills, to devise a formula. Perhaps, I thought, there is an acceptable ratio of wet to dry that can save the recipe if I just apply it.

I worked out (again, with my rudimentary understanding of maths. I cannot overstate this enough) that the recipe my mom gave me has an approximate wet to dry ratio of 1:9. The other recipes I found fuctuated wildly (or just my calculations did) between 1:2 and 1:3.5. Nothing even coming close to my mom’s.

I thought my mom had simply mistyped the recipe, and it was supposed to be 1 1/2 cups butter (which would change the ratio to 1:3). She maintains the batter is just really, really dry.

I’ll have to experiment some more.