The accepted definition of insanity is something like, the act of doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results, right? Ok, then by those standards, I must be certifiable because I KEEP MAKING CHRISTMAS COOKIES. Every. Damn. Year.
Who invented Christmas cookies? And why do I never see men making them? (Hmmm…I may be on to something) For what ever reason, though, I seem to have it drilled into my skull, maybe as far back as infancy, that we MUST MAKE CHRISTMAS COOKIES. If we don’t make cookies, Christmas will not happen. It’s as essential as gifts and a trees and baby Jesus. So every year, I make the damn cookies. And every year, I swear I am NEVER MAKING THEM AGAIN.
Maybe once upon a time I had one or two batches come out nicely. By nicely I mean they looked appealing and were tasty. Every other batch has been miserable in some other form or other. Some are burnt, some are mushy in the middle, some could double as spare tires. Yet every year I feel compelled to drag out the mixing bowls and beaters and make friggin Christmas cookies.
I guess it’s because I keep seeing everyone else’s fantastic cookies plastered all over Facebook. Tell the truth people…you pick them up at a bakery and spread them on your holiday plates and say, look what I made! You must, because there’s no way you make cookies that perfect. Hell, I can’t even get my cookies to rise half the time…and yes, I follow the recipe. I’m actually meticulous about following the recipes. The only explanation I can come up with is that other people lie about their cookies. Either that or the cookie gods absolutely hate me.
So this year I once again decided to embark in the hellish nightmare that is cookie making and as usual, I dragged my daughter down with me. Actually, she was the one who pushed for it this year. Not that she necessarily enjoys baking…she’s a real big fan of eating cookies. So she annoyed me and tormented me until I decided I was going to suck it up and bake the damn cookies.
I donned my apron that I break out once a year, cranked the Christmas music and set to work. I preempted the disaster (I thought) by declaring we were only going to bake four kinds this year unlike the usual six or seven I torture myself with. In fact, I was going to practically cheat and use of those bags of sugar cookies that you only have to add water and an egg to. Seriously, it’s so simple it’s fool proof.
Apparently I am a bigger fool than I though. The oh so simple sugar cookies stuck so badly to the parchment paper and our fingers when we tried to cut out the cute little Christmas tree shapes, that we had to roll them into balls and squash them down with our fists. This is the result:
Yeah, not so fabulous. I got eight cookies out a batch that was supposed to yield 36.
We moved on to the reindeer cookies…a cute little project I saw on Pinterest (damn you Pinterest for deluding me into thinking I could make cute reindeer cookies with phrases like EASY and FUN!). Here’s what they were supposed to look like.
I should have just written EPIC FAIL next to ours. I didn’t realize that it would be better…no scratch that, ESSENTIAL, to take the cookies off the cookie sheet before applying the oh so melty chocolate candy. This is what happens, by the way:
But never fear, the next cookie was chocolate chip. I’ve been making the Nestle toll house cookie for years, the recipe right off the bag. I carefully measure all the ingredients out and even chill the dough over night. I don’t know if the oven is defective or maybe our baking soda is bad because this is what happened:
The bottom dropped out…heck, there was no bottom, and the cookie shriveled up into a mushy mess when I tried to take it off the sheet. It didn’t even taste good. Maybe I need one of those new fangled mixer things. Yeah, that’s it. If I had one of those, I’d make perfect cookies.
We didn’t even get to make the peppermint Oreo cookies because at this point, it was after 9:00. I was cranky and fed up. My daughter wanted to decorate the sugar cookies with different colored icing and designs and crap like that. I told her we are NOT dying the icing at 9:00 at night for six frickin cookies (we lost two in the sheet to cooling rack transfer) and she proceeded to throw the box of food coloring and stomp out of the room telling me how I ruined Christmas.
I sighed as I scraped the one batch of chocolate chip nightmare into the garbage, turned off the cheery Christmas music and turned out the light. I’ll deal with the mess in the morning. And next year I swear…I’m buying the cookies from a bakery.