brioche-cinnamon-rollsI’ve been in the kitchen making cinnamon rolls this morning. In fact I got so excited about baking this morning that I temporarily forgot that I had signed up for a Segullah post today. My good friend had a baby last week, so in the grand tradition of Mormon women everywhere I am going to serve her by baking. I love baking. I love feeding people my baked goods. I love the praise I get and the smiles that follow. I love eating them too, which is partly why I can’t ever give up running, even on the days I just don’t feel like getting out of bed I figure the cookies I get to eat will make it worth it.

In fact, I spent a couple of hours last week reading blogs trying to find copycat cookie recipes for some stellar bakeries here in NYC. You can call me silly if you want, but I found it invigorating. I was so anxious to experiment, taste, and share. They turned out FANTASTIC! I always share my recipes. I figure, share the love, none of this keep it secret nonsense. However, you do have to actually follow the recipe, and that includes sifting when it says to sift, and room temperature butter and eggs are not optional if the recipe says “room temperature”. Baking is a science people! Anyway, that’s a tangent for another day. Because I don’t want to scare you away from trying new stuff. I want to remind you that the best way to learn is to do it. I gave an excellently delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe to a friend of mine and she still hasn’t tried it. I asked her, “What in the world are you waiting for?”

“I’m too scared to try it. I’m afraid they won’t turn out as good as yours.” I gave her the recipe THREE YEARS AGO! But fear of failure is a real thing. Whether it be about cookies or something bigger. And here’s where I make my English major leap to an article from the last issue of Segullah, Finding Courage by Nicole Trone. She shares her first experiences as a missionary with a nervous trainer during a steamy Ukraine summer. Go read it and relate. We have to find the courage to overcome things that scare us. We have to admit our fears and face them. The things that follow may be scary, and we may even fail, but we’ll grow; we’ll learn.

The first batch of dark chocolate chocolate chip cookies were over baked and a little too cakey, but next time around I’ll use less baking powder, more soda and bake them less. I only know because I’ve tried. Gotta run, I can smell cinnamon and sugar and yeasty delicious rolls about to be ready in the oven.


  1. wendy

    June 26, 2009

    My mouth is watering. I love to bake, too. Cooking? Not so. But let me bake and eat and share.

    I cringed, however, when I read, “Baking is a science, people!” That’s where I go wrong a little too often. I’m a short cut baker. I’ll have to try that next time I try a recipe that matters.

    Oh, and I probably should start running. I don’t bake as often as I’d like because I just. don’t. dare. 🙂

    Love your connection to fears!

  2. Strollerblader

    June 26, 2009

    Oh, sure, now that it’s way hot outside and full-on summer, you tease us by making us want to bake cinnamon rolls!! Torture!

  3. Sue

    June 26, 2009

    I wish I loved to bake. I am very impatient when following a recipe and can hardly wait to be done with the cutting, blending, measuring, etc.

    My mother is a wonderful baker, and I know how much baking can nourish and nurture others. She also found that the very act of baking brought her much peace and good feeling.

    I wish it did the same for me. Writing a poem does. So does arranging flowers from my garden. But baking…not so much.

    Your family is fortunate that this is a love of yours. I truly regret that baking and I have nothing more than an uneasy friendship.

  4. Tronchik

    June 26, 2009

    Yeah, I think I need to re-read my own words. I am in desperate need of some renewed courage as I start a new job in the same office. I know what my boss is like already (she’s a difficult woman) and yet I have agreed to stay on for longer when I would have been laid off. I know I am supposed to be here, but I cringe at the possibilities. Help!

  5. Kay

    June 26, 2009

    Baking is my therapy. Feeling sad, then bake. Feeling happy, then bake. Feeling cross, then bake. I find it covers most situations. People love to receive them too, it makes them feel loved that someone has made an effort for them.

    Trying something new in the baking world does not scare me in the least. However, new life phases, particularly those not chosen by me frighten the life out of me. We never know what we can achieve until we try though. Going forward is the only way.

  6. Aimee

    June 26, 2009

    I agree, baking is my THANG. I love the smell, the ooohs and aaahs. I love to experiment and come up with something fantastic and then the feeling of “I did that!” Some of my talents are not as easily shared, but those that are, are shared often. Better to try and fail than not to try at all.

  7. Jennie

    June 26, 2009

    I knew there was a reason I like you so much Heather! I’m an avid baker too. My love languages is gifts and to me a homemade goodie is the ultimate gift. Most of the weight I’ve gained in my life isn’t from pregnancy but from tasting things I make for other people.

    I don’t like to make something unless I have a pretty good idea it will turn out well. Not because I’m afraid, but because I don’t want to waste my time (and calories) on something bad.

  8. Julie R.

    June 26, 2009

    Loved the line “In the grand tradition of Mormon women everywhere…” Made me feel part of something so much bigger than myself.

    I am thankful for the reminder about facing fears. I’ve been doing a lot of that this summer–with more yet to come. I have to get out of the mindset that I have to be a pro at everything I try or want to do. Fear of failure keeps me from doing so many things, and really not because I think I’ll fail, but more because I know I won’t be the best. Pride, anyone? 🙂

    At any rate, thanks for the reminder. Perfect timing. And now I’m off to bake zucchini bread and zucchini brownies…

  9. Faith.Not.Fear

    June 26, 2009

    Zucchini brownies?! Can you tell there is the “green stuff” in them? How do I find the recipe?

    Tronchik — maybe you could bake your boss some cinnamon rolls? 🙂

    “Faith not fear” is not always easy — I made it my “name” so I would be reminded of its importance!

    Sometimes fear looms large (remember how Laman & Lemuel were afraid of Laban, even after an ANGEL OF THE LORD told them that GOD would prepare the way?).

    But if we remember what Nephi did when he had a question or problem, we too can find comfort, guidance and peace through prayer!

    A Personal Experience: The morning before my son left the MTC for the mission field, my mind filled with every possible bad senario (lost tickets, lost passport, lost son…). The fear and anxiety grew and grew until it physically hurt.

    That’s when I began to pray and asked the Lord to please take these worries away. My son was in His hands, and I couldn’t do anything to fix those problems if they arose anyway.

    That instant the pain was gone, and so was the fear. It did not return, even when we found out that our son left his wallet on the plane (he was able to go back & find it)!

    I know Heavenly Father loves us, and watches over us, and that the Savior has taken our burdens upon Him — we just need to “let go and let God” guide, comfort, strengthen, lift, change… whatever is best for our eternal welfare.

    Not always easy — but absolutely possible:
    “With God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

  10. Dovie

    June 26, 2009

    One of my favorite therapies is baking and sharing and eating the baked deliciousness. I am too worn out from sadness this week to bake for real. One of my the only two posts that I have on my own blog is about chocolate cake. Chocolate cake that you can make for a little self sooth and soothing to share when you feel yourself wearing thin. I might attempt that later tonight. Food lovingly prepared can bring a special kind of comfort and I think that is a good thing.

  11. Sage

    June 27, 2009

    So, where is this yummy recipe for cinnamon rolls posted??! I love to try new things! I like your idea of running in order to eat the things you make. I put on weight so easily I try not to make as many yummy things as I want. Maybe I’ll try that!

    How many Segullah writers and readers live near NYC? I’m an hour north. It would be fun to have a potluck or picnic or something!

    Thanks for you enCOURAGing post!

  12. Heather H.

    June 27, 2009

    sage- the recipe I tried today was from Paula Deen of food Network fame, cut and paste this for the recipe

    I only used half the amount of butter and filling she suggested, which was PLENTY! In true Paula Deen style these are very rich and would have been ridiculous had I followed the recommended sugar/butter for the inside. Also I made a mascarpone glaze, which was delightful!

    wendy- some things can take shortcuts, and you probably know the ones that can. But if your cookies don’t turn out, don’t come crying to me ;-).

    kay- I wish I could approach all new challenges with the same excitement as finding and trying out a new recipe.

    There aren’t many people here in the East, but I’m up for a picnic. We’ll be away for a big chunk of the summer, but maybe we could do something in August.

    dovie- I agree. My friend who is scared to try the recipe said, one of the reasons your cookies turn out good is because they’re baked with love. There must be something too that.

    faithnotfear- your name reminds you and me. Whenever I see your name onscreen it does make me think, “faith, not fear,” I want to do that.

    tronchik- you can do it. Whenever we know we’re in the right place, we’ve been prayerful and sought guidance, there’s just so much peace in that.

    jennie- that’s why I like to try new things when they’re recommended, and not bother otherwise.

    kay- lucky friends of yours. I love to bake and cook with my kids as well. Some days are better than others of course, but there’s just so much to talk about and learn together. NO helpers allowed on a first-time recipe, but the tried and true chocolate chip cookies are even more fun to bake with my kids helping.

    sue- your family is fortunate that you arrange flowers and write. Writing is much more enduring than chocolate chip cookies.

  13. Evelyn

    July 2, 2009

    Where are links to the other recipes?? =) I would love a copy of the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and the bakery copy-cat recipes (I’m a sucker for those kind of things…)! =D

  14. victor binns

    November 1, 2009

    I have some problems with my web browser Home Page Reader on your site. The monkeys are still in the page :(.

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