Makin’ Cookies

"Gingerbread Christmas Tree" by nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Gingerbread Christmas Tree” by nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I haven’t baked in quite a while.  And I am certainly no expert.   But if anything, I am more suited to baking than Brian.  He is the cook.  I am the baker.  I insist on following the quantities, ingredients, and directions exactly.  Brian likes to experiment.

Last night we made 7 dozen cookies for Brian’s cookie exchange at work.  “Are you crazy?” I asked him. And:  “What do I get out of this?”  “Cookies!” he exclaimed. “Many different types!”  “And this is a good thing?” I asked him, arching my eyebrow (or if I could actually arch one eyebrow, because that would be so awesome).  “You KNOW I will eat them all in a day or two!” I cried.  “All my work for nothing!”

But he had agreed to make the cookies, and he wanted to make a good impression in his new job.  And I, not having baked in a while and having a bit of an itch to do so, and also knowing that this was one area where I had more expertise than Brian in the kitchen and could show off a bit, AND also having absolutely no desire to start grading and planning for the week at that moment — which perhaps was the most important incentive of all — thus eagerly dug into the task.

First we had to figure out what in the heck we were doing.  I spent minutes upon minutes slowly pouring the dry sugar cookie mix into the egg and butter combo: pour, mix, pour, mix, pour, mix . . .  Then I took the ball and set it on the cutting board.  (A little pat here, a little pat there.)  Then it was time to roll the dough with a rolling pin.  Except . . . we have no rolling pin.  We considered the possibilities.  A beer bottle?  An unopened deodorant?  We settled on a nearly empty spray can of whipped cream, but the dough was fairly unwieldy.  Plus we realized we didn’t feel like cookie-cuttering 84 cookie shapes, no matter what kind of dough we were dealing with.  So we started with cookie balls.  Then we started to flatten them a bit.   And we turned on the oven to 25 degrees below suggested (since my oven has burnt many a chocolate chip cookie in the past).

Then we became a machine.  One of us melting the butter and mixing it with the egg, while the other began to mix the previous batch.  Later, breaking the dough into balls and getting them on the parchment-papered-pan and popping them in the oven, just after removing the previous cookies from their pans.   I remember having starting in horror as Brian tossed cookies upon cookies on top of each other in a greater and greater pile.

Last, but not least, we had to ice and sugar-sprinkle the cookies.  Thanks to Trader Joe’s, we had everything we needed in the one box (outside of the egg and butter): mix, frosting, and variously colored sprinkles.   I carefully partitioned the frosting across the cookies, and it seemed there was barely enough.  So, I assumed the sugar sprinkles would be just as exact.  I’m still not sure what the sprinkle plan was supposed to be.  I thought I was dealing with just red and green, but then I started opening new colors: blue and pink. Did each mix box include 4 different-colored sugar sprinkles?  I quite equally, exactly portioned out the sprinkles onto each cookie of the set of a dozen – until there unfortunately were more sprinkles than cookie. . . .  I hope nobody chokes on all that sugar!

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I’m still waiting to find out the result of the cookie swap.  As soon as Brian came home, I pumped him for information; it turns out that some of his co-workers FORGOT about the whole thing, so they are postponing the swap until tomorrow.  I guess I’ll have to wait to find out if our cookies were any good (we didn’t have any spares to taste!), and I’m interested to find out what crazy cookie concoctions his coworkers created!

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