Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's cookin', good lookin'?

A few years ago, I was invited to a cookie exchange. All the other attendees were Wives With KitchenAids (so, cookie ganstas) and at the time, I was an apartment-dwelling non-cook, non-domestically inclined, non-Wife who mistakenly thought my cookie quality wouldn't matter and we'd all just have some wine.

I showed up with flat, pathetically gray and mealy raspberry cookies and only my sparkling social awkwardness to protect me.

I was not invited to another cookie exchange.

I vowed to someday make cookies that did not incite coos of, "Oh, they're finnnnnne. You triiiiiiied. Must have been a bad recipeeeeeee."

And so:

Sunday was all about baking for Hubs and I. We locked the cats in the bathroom (because "cat-hair" isn't really a cookie flavor I've come to love just yet), cracked open some Honker's Ale and went to town on some Christmas cookies.

Our plan was simple: recreate two family favorites and try one new thing.

The family favorite I bring to our new little familia is iced sugar cookies. They sound so simple - just get some slice-and-bakes (because from scratch was found to be an utter disaster in the Great Cookie Mess of '96) and whip up some powered sugar frosting and voila! Christmas is here for certain.

Not. So.

Of course, using cookie cutters waaaay more fun than slicing and baking. And no, one roll is not enough. And no, I'm not going to just slap some white icing on here and call it a day, where is your Christmas spirit?! These cookies should be lovingly slaved over for hours - your eyes should be numb from the intricate designs. And really, it doesn't matter because by the time the icing sets, the design will be all runny and your sweet "Hubs and Alexson 4-eva" cookie will start to look like a rather unsavory cartoon of some moose.
That's totally part of the tradition, though. I'm nothing without these little buggers at Christmas.
Hubs' family cookies are a little less dramatic, but no less tasty. For him, we made apricot and pecan kolaches. Last year, we bought the wrong brand of apricot filling and it almost ruined Christmas. Luckily, we found a can of the good stuff that looked like it might have been pulled from a Cold War-era bomb shelter and all is right with our little cookie universe.
And finally, we decided to make gingerbread men (only one lady among them and she isn't exactly dressed ladylike. See photo below). These we did from scratch with some good, spicy ginger from Penzey's. They turned out excellent and we dipped half in melted chocolate and the other half got the cream cheese frosting treatment.
When the day was done, we had been baking for nine hours and had about seven dozen cookies. Seven dozen cookies to be proud of. Seven dozen cookies we can bring to work and give to neighbors without shame. I'm the Eliza Doolittle of baking.

Move your bloomin' ass, indeed, 'Enry 'Iggins. I've come a long way!


  1. I'd like the receipe for the molassas cookies.

  2. LOL! Loved the beginning to the post.

  3. @Anon: We pulled out the trusty Better Homes and Gardens plaid monster for this one! The recipe can be found here:

  4. You made me laugh so hard. "Must have been a bad recipeeeeeeeeee" ahahaha.

    I want to make racy gingerbread cookies too!


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