Perhaps the answer is a very bad recipe for cookie dough. Perhaps when our cookies go sour or bitter, we step outside ourselves and seek forms of comfort that take greater effort and yield deeper rewards. Perhaps every moment of stagnation comes when the things we seek for pleasure provide a tiny amount but not enough to drive us to do better.
Let me go check to see if that's true.
UPDATE: Nope, not true. It's just that dreams are a very bad source for recipe suggestions.
POSTSCRIPT: I think the cupcake recipes or the secrets of the universe came from the robots I keep at my bedside.