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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Baking Christmas Cookies

This was going to be the year.

I could feel it in my bones.

Year after year, I have tried baking some type of Christmas cookie...and failing. I don't know why cookies are so intimidating for me! I can do a wide variety of delicious meals and mouth watering desserts. But cookies? Holy crap, man, they just kick my butt every damn time.

They overcook.
They undercook.
They burn on the bottom
or are simply inedible.

Each year, however,
come December,
I rise like a Phoenix from the ashes
determined to fly again.

This time, I had reason to be hopeful.
The Pioneer Woman had posted a
Christmas cookie recipe on her blog
and with her neat picture tutorials of her recipes,
I felt surely this would be my year.

I studied her pictorial,
gathered my one or two missing ingredients
and I was ready.

(Mistake one- don't decide to do this at five in the evening
when you are tired and have had a long day.)

I called Kate to be my trusty kitchen helper
and together we followed the recipe for making cookie dough.
It all came together beautifully.
I was feeling heady with success already.

(Mistake two-- pride cometh before a fall.)

We put the dough in to chill
and meanwhile I prepared the egg paint.
This is a really neat idea from the Pioneer Woman.
You make glazes of egg yolk and food coloring.
Then, after you cut out the shapes, the kids can paint
their cookies before they go in to bake.
When they come out, they are bright and colorful.

I rolled out the dough, semi successfully
(this part always gets me!)
and cut out some shapes.
The kids got to work on painting them
and they were having a really fun time.

Kate with some of the more successful cookies, which she painted.

(Mistake three-- Stop listening to the Alvin and the Chipmunks CD. It is making you cranky!)

After the cookies were well painted,
it was time for baking.
Overall this went very well.
I had a few too thin and they browned but overall,
it went well indeed.

As they cooled, I realized I had yet to feed my kids dinner
and it was after seven PM.
Did they really need to eat?
Ah, yeah, I guess I gotta feed them.
I whip up a quick dinner of French toast made with Challah bread
and some ham steaks.

Final step, icing the cookies.
The idea is to pipe white icing, made from
powdered sugar and milk,
onto the cookies as desired.

I whipped up the icing,
filled three bags with it for the kids to use to pipe
on to the cookies
and let them go to town.

I dunno, Chris. Mom said this would work but it kind of looks like crap.
Maybe with this freaky expression no one will notice my poor artistry
because my mom was too cheap to buy a real pastry bag!

This step is where it all fell apart.
The icing was pretty yucky. Way too sweet
and icky.
The icing covered up the cute colors they had painted on
the cookies.

Mom, this icing is nasty!!

But, overall, I feel a large measure of success.
For the first time, I successfully cut out cookie shapes.
The painting idea is a fabulous one.

Just let me feel successful. Please?

With some tweaking, next year may fully be a success!


Melissa said...

Leeann, I felt a huge wave of relief when I finally admitted to myself that I didn't like making Christmas cookies. I like to cook, but I don't like to bake. I think it's because with cooking I can fudge things around the way I like them and you can't do that so much with baking. Anywho...I have to have cookies for my son's class to decorate at the party, so I bought some frozen pre-cut cookies and pre-made frosting and we're good to go! BTW, I don't like crafts, either, so I am looking for something easy for the party if anyone has ideas! Hey, your kids look like they had fun, so that's all that matters!

Ginaagain said...

I think they look adorable and the kids look like they had a great time. And dinner sounds divine. Good job cookie mom! You just made a memory.

Anonymous said...

Good for you!! You made beautiful memories and practice makes perfect! That is ONE thing I loved to do, BAKE...Maybe because I always enjoyed the eating
It looks fine and I'm sure the grandchildren LOVED eating them...That is the most important thing after all!!
They all look SOOO cute!! Can't WAIT to see them!!
Love to all,

Tip Junkie said...

They still turne dout amazing!!