I baked sugar cookies this past weekend, which was a feat because I haven’t made cookies in years. However, I was feeling festive and Christmas cookies have always been my favorite…probably because it’s usually cold out and I’m doing everything I can to put on fat layers in order to stay warm and survive the winter. I drink a lot of egg nog for the same reason.
Back in the day, my mom was kind of brilliant. She’d whip up a batch of cookie dough, roll it out, then hand us the cookie cutters. Then she’d bake them (the cookies, not the cutters). She’d make some frosting and divvied it all into a couple of bowls and added food coloring. Then, she would sit us all down at the paper-covered table and we’d commence decorating. This was a good afternoon activity because it kept us busy but bad because of the sugar buzz we’d be on for hours afterward. I can only assume she was drinking heavily while we were loudly frosting in the kitchen and her memory was always erased after this event, thus the repetition of said event on a regular basis.
Here’s how it broke down: Chris, Noelle, and Bedot would slap one color on a cookie. Then they’d lick the frosting off the butter knife (we used common cutlery as our frosting spreaders) and add another color on top of the first. Soon, their cookies had about 7 inches of colorful crap smeared messily on top and bottom. They’d pop these confections into their mouths and start on another. This continued for about five cookies and then they’d get bored/sick and wander away. I’d be left with stacks of empty cookies, a destroyed table, frosting everywhere, and a bunch of spitty knives.
In the time it took them to slather sugar all over their cookies, I had maybe finished one because here’s what’s wrong with me : I have a rare condition that makes me go all OCD when I’m frosting sugar cookies. I would painstakingly paint scenes on each cookie, garnishing the right parts with the right sprinkles. If I didn’t have a certain color of frosting, I’d mix the frostings until I had the color I needed. It took me HOURS to decorate my cookies and it was ridiculous. I also had to keep the frosting from getting too thick because MY cookies were for grown–ups, not sugar-hungry children, so there was an extra layer of difficulty in my endeavor to create these artistic pieces. Also, butter knives are not exactly precision instruments. Unless you’re spreading butter. Then they’re fine.
The point I’m trying to make is that there’s a reason it took me so long to paint each damn cookie, ok? In fact, there were many days in which I had to pack up the frosting, put my naked cookies aside, and work on them again after school for the next few days. I’m not sure how we managed to eat during that time since all the knives were always dirty.
Now, back to the present. I made cookies this past weekend. I did the molasses ginger cookies first because they’re just roll-into-balls/dip-in-sugar dealies which makes them quick and easy.
Then I made the cut-out cookies.
They cooled and I then I got to frost them. I only had red and green food coloring so was able to have four colors total: red, green, white, and brown. I really missed blue and yellow, but I made do.
Oddly, the kitchen table is no longer the ideal place to frost cookies, so I made myself a frosting station, complete with somewhere to stick my knees.
Then I spent the next three hours frosting 3 dozen cookies. Seriously. Who takes an hour to frost 12 cookies? I do, apparently.
Please note – these are all frosted with common knives and garnished with those little, tiny sprinkles. This would be a lot easier if I had bags of frosting with decorating tips. But I don’t. And, really, where’s the challenge in that? Or the insanity?
When I was finished, I felt both ridiculous and accomplished, but I am definitely ready for Christmastime. I hope you are, too. Unless you don’t celebrate Christmas, in which case, I hope you’re ready to do something else not related to Christmas in any way.
And to those of you who thought this was Part 2 of my torrid Christmas affair – nope! That’s tomorrow. This is just me bragging about my madness. Ha ha ha! Whoops, I mean, Ho ho ho!