1. Good baking requires patience. If you try to rush it, you will end up with a mess. A good cake, pie, cookie, the list goes on and on, cannot be rushed. Things tend to turn out half-baked (yes, literally) or so badly that they are not edible. People tend to frown at you when serve them burnt cookies. (Hey, at least I tried.)
2. You do not have to always follow the recipe. I have started to learn to cook and bake by feel and taste more than by following a recipe. If you do not like one thing that is in the recipe but you do like everything else that is in it, take out the thing you do not like. I tend to add more of things I like into a recipe (chocolate) and take out things I don?t (not chocolate). I have been known to add double the amount of chocolate chips to a cookie recipe and omit the nuts entirely. (Really, who needs all those nuts getting in the way of a good chocolate chip cookie!)
3. The devil is in the details. Little things like adding ingredients in the proper order can make all the difference. I have learned from very painful experience that putting the ingredients in the wrong way can easily ruin a baking recipe. The baking powder has to go in before you put it in the oven. (Who knew?)
4. It does not have to be complicated to taste good. Some of the best baking recipes that my mom ever made were ones that had five ingredients or less. If you are like me and do not have the patience to squeeze a million tiny dots onto a cake in order to make pretty frosting, it is nice to know that I can make something that is simpler and still tastes good. (Anyone have a recipe for dipable (yes, I just made up that word) frosting? Lets skip that whole thing of having to frost the cake entirely.)
5. Always mix in some love. I am convinced that this is why store bought sweets never taste as good as homemade ones. Machines do not know how to inject this special ingredient. All baking recipes at the very minimum need at least one cup of love to be any good at all.
I wish you all happy baking with lots of love baked in!