Christmas cookies

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.

These smell so good but they never taste as good as I think they should.

These smell so good but they never taste as good as I think they should.

Then I made the cut-out cookies.

This part is like math in that you have to try to cram as many cookie cutters onto the dough as humanly possible. I used to be pretty good at this. So why wasn't I better at math?

This part is like math in that you have to try to cram as many cookie cutters onto the dough as humanly possible. I used to be pretty good at this. So why wasn’t I better at math?

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.

White, red, green, and gross brown

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.

Mother of invention, and all.

Mother of invention, and all.

Then I spent the next three hours frosting 3 dozen cookies. Seriously. Who takes an hour to frost 12 cookies? I do, apparently.

These ones aren't so bad. Santa may be a bit elaborate, but not overly so.

These ones aren’t so bad. Santa may be a bit elaborate, but not overly so.

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?

Ok, now we're getting ridiculous. Holly on the hat? Really? No one is going to see these before Gabe and I eat them (well except you since I just posted a picture here). Yeah. I should probably feel concerned.

Ok, now we’re getting ridiculous. Holly on the hat? Really? No one is going to see these before Gabe and I eat them (well except you since I just posted a picture here). Yeah. I should probably feel concerned.

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!

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21 Comments

Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, My Dearly Beloveds, White trash childhood

21 responses to “Christmas cookies

  1. abrielolive

    As I came in the house I was witness to what could only be seen as Edward Scissorhands and how he looked trimming away at blocks of ice except it was frosting and my wife had become Erica Butterknifehands.

  2. Hey, has santa got a huge penis? Oh no…wait…I think it’s a candle…

  3. Sooze

    Cute…love it…and I don’t think we can decorate cookies together ever. You would be disturbed by my efficiency, speed and overall unimpressiveness of my decorating skills 🙂

    • OMG! Sooze! You’re HERE! *sniff* I’m so happy!
      No, see, that’s the thing, though – you’re supposed to be able to whip out a bunch of cookies in less than, say, three hours. You’re supposed to be fast and efficient so that people can get to the eating of the cookie. You’re NOT supposed to be insane like I am.
      We should totally frost cookies together someday – and that is not a euphemism for anything – because at least some would get frosted in a timely fashion and you’d have such fun mocking me and my disorder! Let’s do it for Valentine’s Day. I can make black frosting.

  4. Karen

    I just decorate mine with colored sugar…not frosting…it goes much faster that way…

  5. Bing

    When I was a kid, we’d paint them with an egg-yolk sort of mixture. The recipe was from this totally awesome cookbook for kids (now that I think of it, I need to find that book pronto). It’s not the tastiest of decorations, but the cookies turn out very pretty, even for those of us who have zero artistic ability. In my head, that’s how holiday sugar cookies taste. I may have just found an activity for my weekend. Thanks, ekgo!

    • Yay! Thank you for being here, Bing-a-ling (I just made that up on the go because…well, that’s how I roll)
      Oh my gosh, I remember the egg glazing! It makes breads shiny, too! And pasta…you can put it on pasta for something, though I don’t remember what.
      Find that recipe book and post that recipe!

      • Bing

        I’ve been called Bing-a-ling before, to be sure. 😉

        I found the pages on Amazon’s look-inside feature, and, strangely, the cookies aren’t holiday-specific, which is SO not what my memory remembers. And the cookies aren’t sugar cookies. I throw my hands up in dismay! Mon dieu!

  6. Bing

    its* goddammit.

  7. First of all, yes. In order to let kids loudly eat/decorate cookies at the table for hours, you have to be drinking. There is no other way.

    I freaking love your cookies! They’re so adorkable! The hooly on the hat is way beyond where I would have gone. You have got some freaking amazing cookie OCD.

    • I should send you some of them next year. Then you can enjoy the smell of them, too. Because, really, I have to do something with this insanity I own.
      Thank you for clearing up my mom’s binge drinking for me; I’d always wondered but…it feels good to know for sure. The poor woman. She really should have used that aspirin-between-the-knees trick.

      • It’s really hard to keep an aspirin between your knees when you’re drunk. At least for me…
        And yes, you SHOULD send me some cookies next year! I thoroughly enjoy playing with them and biting their heads off. Especially when they’re cute. And knowing that they were made with such love and devotion would make them that much more delicious.

        • If I remember this conversation in 12 months, you are SO getting a box of cookies. I am not even kidding. So pray that the memory doesn’t totally fail in that time.

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