So I experienced heaven last week. Let me explain.
I went over to a friend’s house the other day, because I haven’t seen her in 2 years and we wanted a baking night.
We started off quite innocently, with me making stir-fry for dinner and her experimenting with making chocolate plastic for a wedding cake decorations (this is a normal thing for a teenager to do, right?). At 9:00pm, I decided it would be a good idea to bake cinnamon raisin muffins.
It sounded reasonable.
“How many should we make? Twelve?” I usually bake 6 muffins at a time for my family, but she has three siblings so I assumed we needed more.
She turned and looked at me with raised eyebrows. “Twelve? No — make twenty-four!”
And then it began.
Never in my life have I used 2 cups of sugar, 4 eggs, and a half-pound of raisins in one recipe. In my kitchen, the phrase “I need a bigger mixing bowl” has been uttered a grand total of two times. I never get to see an entire stick of butter in its golden melted glory. I’ve halved and quartered and even eighth-ed recipes, but I don’t think I’ve doubled a recipe in my entire life.
What does 5 cups of flour even look like.
By the time I got to the actual mixing part, I was literally jumping up and down with joy. I took a big rubber spatula and sloshed the wet and dry ingredients together in a larger-than-life five-gallon mixing bowl.
If you’ve never baked on a large scale, let me tell you something. It feels like pure happiness. Dopamine floods your brain. Feel free to manhandle the flour into the mixing bowl that’s bigger than three of your faces. You have no cares, absolutely zero concern for the feelings of granulated sugar or the complaints of the giant bowl of raisins. The large quantities make it feel industrial and mechanical and somehow magical. You’re on a high, and it’s not only because you just inhaled about 200 cups of cinnamon.
You don’t even need to worry whether your it’s-too-sweet-wait-no-it’s-not-sweet-enough-why’d-you-have-to-put-so-much-chocolate-in-the-chocolate-chip-cookies parents will like it. Because your friend has two teenage brothers, one of whom is currently sitting there at the kitchen counter, happily chewing on a cupcake drowned in chocolate plastic, at 10:00pm.
Although my friend had a ready supply of xantham gum and literally 30 rib eye steaks, she didn’t have baking powder — only baking soda. Looking back, I should’ve improvised with cream of tartar and cornstarch.
But the worry of deflated muffin tops quickly disappeared when, to my delight, there was even more batter than 24 muffin cups could hold. Yep, I had to spill over into an unprecedented third muffin tray.
In the end, there were 30 muffins, 6 of which came home with me and 12 of which were apparently eaten the next day by eager teenage boys.