Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baking Xmas Cookies - Ho, Ho, Holy #$%!

There are times when I forget that I cannot cook. Particularly challenging for me is the form of cookery known as "baking", which a pastry chef explained to me in rather pompous tones is completely different from mere "cooking". His airquotes, not mine.

Six weeks ago, the idea of doing a cookie exchange at work seemed like a fantastic idea. I mean, it's cookies, right? How fun is that, getting a bajillion different kinds of cookies to take home? Now, 48 hours before the exchange, I've had a change of heart. I FREAKING HATE BAKING COOKIES.

(The 2011 Fo'Sho' Goals, particularly #7, do not officially take effect until Jan. 1. I'm cleared for cursing as much as I want until then. Good thing, too, because last night I think I scorched the ozone layer in the atmosphere directly over my house with all the swearing I did.)

Yes, I know, it's very grinchy, not to mention downright un-American, to say you hate cookies. Who hates cookies? It's like saying you hate butterflies and sunshine and *$#&^@# unicorns.

And of course, I've been telling everyone for weeks that I'm going the Full Martha this year with my cookie recipe and baking Maple Pecan Shortbreads out of her new Cookies cookbook. I promised everyone in the office that there would be no cookies sliced from a pre-made roll or broken from a sheet of perforated squares, which is my usual M.O. Oh no! This year my cookies will be homemade with luuuurve. Accept no substitutes.

What Maple Pecan Shortbread cookies are supposed to look like.

Then last night, as I'm looking at the recipe I'm thinking "Holy *&%$! This is waaaay more involved than I thought it was. Sift the flour? Do I need a special piece of machinery for that? What the &*$* is Tubinado sugar? A cookie cutter. I need a cookie cutter for this? Can't I just roll them up in little balls and plop them on the sheet? Parchment paper. What the *&$$# is that? Can you buy that in the store, or do I have to find a really old book and start ripping pages out?"

It was also unfortunate that I didn't do the math on how many batches it was actually going to take to give everyone in our department at least four cookies. I didn't want to be chintzy and only give two or three. That's not in the spirit of Christmas.

I would need six dozen cookies. I had one cookie sheet big enough to hold a dozen cookies + time to bake + mixing up the batter + the time the dough needed to chill in the fridge... sweetbabyJebusinaninjasuit! I was going to be baking cookies until 3 AM!

But I couldn't go back on my promise of making, with my own two hands, Martha's Maple Pecan Shortbread. Not only would reneging at the last minute suck, but I would be the subject of office ridicule until next Christmas.

By the time I was finished, I was so sick of the smell of cookies the thought of eating one made me feel nauseous. I hope all the animosity I was feeling doesn't make that last 3AM batch taste bad. "I'd like a side of cookies, hold the luuuuurve."


  1. Hahaha. Aside from the stress, it sounds like you didn't do too bad. :-)

  2. HOLY CRAP!! I seriously almost fell out of my chair laughing at your post...not at you, I promise! I have TEARS in my eyes! Too freaking funny!

  3. You are so funny Holly! Last spring I made over like 500 little star sugar cookies for my friends bridal shower. It took forever!!!!!!!!!!! there was like 7 different failed attempts and hours spent trying to get them to maintain their star shape, it was horrible!
    They were a big hit and people keep requesting me to make more And I'm like HELL NO!!!

  4. I laughed so much when I read this post, it felt like you'd wrote about my year I took off from education.
    It also inspired me to bake Christmas tree cookies, I'm still working out the logistics of such a task (it takes several days planning before the actual event) but I have already resolved to write a blog about it.
    I challenge you to a bake off! (I had to say it, when I re-read my comment it how it seemed.) Love your blog.