Baking soda vs baking powder

I finally got the end of the brownies in the mail and delivered this week. I wish I had kept track for curiosity’s sake, but a rough estimate says I used:

4-5 dozen eggs
4-5 boxes of butter
1 1/2 pounds of sugar
6 bars of Ghirardelli chocolate
2 boxes of Baker’s chocolate
1 can of cocoa powder
2 boxes of Andes mints
1 jar of peanut butter

And a surprisingly small amount of flour. I didn’t realize before that brownies were basically all egg, sugar and butter with just enough flour to hold it all together.

Well while making the second batch of peanut butter brownies I pulled out the can of baking powder and thought, ‘This isn’t what I used last time…’ Yes, I had mixed up the two, and realized it after they were already in the mail. I tasted the leftovers and they seemed fine so I’m not telling anyone who got the ‘mistakes’.

This prompted me to look up what exactly baking powder is though. It turns out baking powder is baking soda (not surprisingly), with an additive. Cream of tartar, to be specific, the stuff that makes a snickerdoodle a snickerdoodle. Both are used as leavening agents, making carbon dioxide when the baking soda hits an acid, but baking powder has the acid built in. Soda for already acidic ingredients and powder for non-acidic. I learned about food science!

Yay science!

I also got a crazy little seed of an idea stuck in my head this week. While I never thought of cooking or baking as my “thing”… and even after it became my thing, I’ve not had any interest in culinary school or see myself cooking in a large scale or in a restaurant. I don’t want to turn a hobby into a chore, but I started realizing that if I was to take one of those career tests that asks what you like to do for the sake of turning it into a job – I like baking for people. I would like to make brownies and cookies and somehow make a living at it.

It’s still a crazy little idea, but I started doing some research. I had forgotten about Etsy which would make it possible to sell things right now if I was set up to. I know I would need access to a licensed kitchen and I found one that sounds both affordable and in a perfect location for me. This is either too good to be true, or fate is telling me to go for it.

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