Midnight is not generally the time I would finally be running water in the kitchen sink and returning the stray ingredients back to their cupboards. It was tonight, however, as I breathed a sigh - I'm not so sure of relief, but more of, "Please don't ever speak to me of raspberry muffins again" - and wiped down the sugar-coated counter-tops.
Failure in the kitchen, while not a regular occurrence for me (I can generally follow a new recipe with fairly acceptable results), has been known to happen. Typically, however, I am not baking what I know to be an insufficient amount of food for some 120 guests who will be attending what has been marketed as a rather formal Ladies' Tea at our church the following morning.
So as I pulled my horribly bluish-purple monstrosities from the oven, I shook my head in resignation. One bite told me they looked better than they tasted - even with the formerly forgotten sugar hastily whisked in at the last minute, these muffins were unacceptable. I pictured the bowl of the most unattractive baked goods I had seen in my life amidst the fancy silver platters and glass serving dishes. Who would deem to disgrace their china plates with these train wrecks?
My mind raced. I can't not bring food to feed the elegant masses but I could not serve this mess, either. If only they were cupcakes - a little frosting, maybe even some sprinkles, and no one would be the wiser. But no such luck.
Then I remembered - we may not frost muffins, but I have heard of glazing them. A quick All Recipes search later, I was whisking together lemon juice and powdered sugar at an attempt to salvage this fiasco. It did improve the flavor, but, sadly, not the look - and besides, I ran out halfway through and had no further juice. So let's just continue down the fail funnel, shall we? Why not just throw together another glaze? My kitchen has now become a free-for-all of lame attempts.
Thus, I now have three trays of muffins, drizzled in white glaze (some boasting a certain lemony kick underneath, others not) that are pretending to be fancy and delicious. Unfortunately, I know their secret and I hang my head in shame.
To those who may try the raspberry muffins, I deeply apologize. And please help yourself to a couple cinnamon-rhubarb mini-muffins, their wonderfully savory cousins, just to remind yourself that I'm not a complete failure and sometimes, just sometimes, I can come up with something worth eating.