Prompt: The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
*I have been struggling to express myself through my personal statement and would be extremely thankful for any feedback especially with the flow and conclusion of the essay.The conclusion is the part of the essay that is lacking the most and I'm still not sure how to end it.
Sold at Costco, Kirkland's "Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookie" was a piece of heaven that my mother didn't like to buy for me (probably because I finished the whole box within 2 two days). To make sure I was able to indulge in the chewy, chocolaty goodness, I decided to bake them myself.
My craving for Costco's cookies had stayed with me after I had moved back to Russia. There were no cookie mixes and there definitely was not and aisle dedicated to baking ingredients at the grocery store. When you read a recipe it says preparation time 1hr but if you take into account the time spent in taxis and grocery stores in an attempt to find ingredients, 8 hours would be more accurate.
After going to 4 different stores, I had bought overly priced American brown sugar, cheap chocolate bars, vanilla sugar (alternative to vanilla extract) and salted margarine (alternative to butter that does not taste like butter). From having to convert the measurements to grams, to making sure the cookies don't stick to the pan, to trying to measure all the ingredients with an old Russian measuring cup, everything I did seemed to fail miserably. I learned on the spot that Margarine shouldn't be used for baking, cheap chocolate tastes like cheap chocolate and besides the inadequate ingredients, my grandparents' over 20 year old oven did not cook evenly. You'd think I was crazy because when I took the pan out of the oven I was excited, excited at the 6 burnt and 6 under cooked cookies that were a result of hours of mixing and measuring. The failure was a reason to bake again. I would never know what taste the cookie would have but I certainly put all my heart into making it taste the best. The charm of baking was in that uncertain result.
Almost every weekend I would try new recipes for chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and baked chicken. The number of desserts and dishes I had cooked were limited because I wanted to make the recipe my own. I may have followed a recipe at first but every time I cooked or baked that recipe again, I switched the regular dark chocolate for a mix of white and milk chocolate, made my own oat flour and replaced regular flour. These changes made the recipe mine and expressed my tastes and personality. I didn't know if these little experiments would turn out to taste delicious or outright disgusting, but I absolutely had to try. Each burnt cookie was a learning experience.
I'd become an experience cookie burner but came to realize that my passion could easily overcome the many obstacles in my way. Messily mixing the dry ingredients and getting my hands dirty trying to shape the dough was all a part of creating a part of me and after almost four years filled with spilled ingredients and a messy kitchen I had made the perfect cookie. What started off as an attempt to recreate the Costco cookie, became a greater search for myself. Beginning by recreating others' recipes I began to add my own ingredients and spices. The uncertainty and risk of trying new ingredients and recipes was what sparked my passion and made the whole experience fun. In the kitchen I crafted a wonderful cookies recipe and continue to tweak each of the ingredients. I began to create my recipe ingredient by ingredient and every time I was in that kitchen, I was changing for the better. However, I cannot settle for this one success and will continue to develop the recipe.