Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Adventures in cookie-making

As most people who know me can attest to, I'm not really what one would call a holiday person. I went through brief periods of loving the holidays -- when I was young and it was all about what Santa brought me ("TWIN CABBAGE PATCH DOLLS AND THE TWIN STROLLER??!?!! For me?!"), then again when my high school sweetheart made me a part of his family's many holiday traditions like the weird card game I can't remember the name of, and again when I first moved to New York and started to make my own (albeit rather short-lived) traditions of visiting Rockefeller Center, adding ornaments to my own tree and celebrating "Fibonacci Hanukkah" in addition to Christmas.

Anyway, not so much into the holiday spirit the last few years. I've come to see December, in general, as a monsterous drain on my financial and emotional resources. Can I spell G-R-I-N-C-H? Yes, yes, I can.

But for the last few days, as I've walked around the city and peeked in people's windows, I've actually regretted not getting a Christmas tree this year. I walked by one this evening that was so colorful and festive and I had to have it. I wanted to sing songs about Santa Claus around it with my non-existent children and drink HoCho by the fire. In the absence of these things, though, I bought some cookie mix and, at 11pm on a Wednesday night, am making Christmas cookies.

However, this Christmas cookie-making isn't going exactly as planned. Well, no, that's inaccurate... it wasn't planned. So then, I guess, technically, it's just not going well?

First of all, my cookie sheet is ever so slightly too large for my oven. (Why do I feel like this is an "only in New York" anecdote? Tiny apartments equal tiny ovens?) So the oven door is ajar during the baking process. Tip number one for unsuccessful cookie baking, let me tell you. Doesn't produce an evenly baked cookie. And, if you want anything in a cookie, you want it evenly baked.

Issue two is less of a logistical one: I live alone. I love cookies. Theoretically, I have all of the cookies to myself. Which, um, is pretty freaking awesome... I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this... Over the last several months I've lost about 15 pounds and I am now in significant danger of putting it back on in one evening by consuming my weight in both unbaked and fully baked cookies. So, a solution? I'm giving at least half to my Secret Santa (I think we're calling it Elfster or something, though?) tomorrow at our holiday party. I hope she likes oatmeal chocolate chip.

Forget what I said about the cookies not baking evenly and this not going well... batch numero dos just came out of the oven and they are bloody amazing! Someone should really just scoop me up right now to bear their child because I make a mean cookie. Kids will be coming from all over the neighborhood, I tell ya.

Observe how they are all perfectly circular and delicious-looking. They are, and I am responsible.

I think I had a third mildly amusing point about Christmas cookie-making when I started this post, but it doesn't matter now, as I am a success! Fa la la la la la la la laaaaaaa!

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