We started by taking all of the possible ingredients out of the cabinets, fridge, and pantry. I did this mostly because I knew Steve wasn't aware of all of the baking materials we had.
It made me realize that this date would be a good idea to do periodically in order to clean out our pantry.
I put on my apron and told Steve he had to choose one to wear also. He did, although a little grudgingly.
And then we took a picture to document the night. Please ignore my multiple chins.
The actual process was highly entertaining, included a little bit of smack talk, and some flirting, and took a lot longer than I thought.
I had this brilliant idea for my Chocolate Caramel Cinnamon Cookies which didn't work quite as well as I wanted it to. I actually did some research ahead of time (Steve did not) and decided to make a butter and cream cheese based cookie thinking it would be fluffier. It was not. I layered mine with chocolate ganache, then a layer of cookie, then a layer of caramel (made by heating up sweetened condensed milk) topped by the last cookie. I also put a little bit of cinnamon sugar butter in with the caramel. I then pinched all of the layers together and sprinkled some cinnamon and brown sugar and salt on top. They tasted really good, but they weren't quite what I wanted them to be.
First we had Steve's sister Lauren judge them based on taste, texture, appearance, and creativity. We tied with Steve losing a point for texture (she thought the sugar didn't blend well enough) and me losing a point for flavor (she didn't like the salt on top).
Then our friend Dan came over, and he judged them using the same criteria. At first, we tied also, but then I restated the name of Steve's cookies (Dan didn't realize that "jelly" was also in the title), so Dan tasted Steve's cookie again and gave him an extra point for creativity, making Steve the winner!
I think it was definitely a successful date night. It was just the right balance between competitive and fun, allowed us to be creative side by side, didn't cost anything, and helped us use up some extra ingredients lying around the house. It also appealed to Steve's desire to stay at home on his day off. I definitely want to do something like this again.
Next it's Steve's turn to plan a date closer to the end of this month. I have no idea what his plans are, but I'm really hoping he gets creative too!