I just made a chocolate chip cookie recipe that was, in my mind, a resounding failure. I'd made the recipe successfully before once or twice back home, and didn't think I'd have any problems here.
There were some differences. For one thing, I used whole oats instead of quick oats, which may have affected the absorption of liquid. The baking soda may have been too old. The oven, I know, is not accurate. And the elevation may be different here than in Ottawa.
Nonetheless, I'm super annoyed. I rarely make anything at home that is this off the mark, and I feel like I've wasted some precious ingredients that were not purchased by me to begin with. There is no rum ball bin here to hide my shame or make something of them at later date to disguise my mistake. I will just have to live with this and do my best to learn from it. I know where the possible mistakes might have been, and so I must keep them in mind in the future. And that's pretty much all I can do.
But bear this in mind: no recipe is necessarily foolproof. Change one ingredient or make the recipe under completely different circumstances and you may find you get a completely different product in the end, as I have just done. But the important thing is to not panic and throw away the recipe. The important thing is to analyze and theorize, and keep experimenting. If you believe the recipe is worth it, you might be rewarded in the end.
And when in doubt, change the name. I will call these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, "oatmeal chocolate chip lace cookies." Chances are, no one is going to know the difference, and you can claim you invented the whole thing yourself, thus making yourself out to be brilliant.
It isn't necessarily failure, it's revisionism.