Saturday, December 15, 2012

Let there be cookies!

The women in B's family do an annual cookie day. They split the cost of the basics and then everyone brings 2 recipes and any special ingredients for their recipes. They gather the night before and get things set up and make a few things, but then Saturday is the real deal.
This was my first year so I was mostly observing and taking it all in, b/c it was interesting to see how everyone has settled into roles and has their tasks before them. By noon almost all the baking was done and it was just a matter of waiting for their turn in the oven.
I have pictures of what we made and what I left with and every time I see them I am amazed. It's interesting too b/c none of it really fits our eating lifestyle. I love sweets but have been trying to do better, but B and E eat little to no treats (aside from the muffins at Produce Place). So it's funny to me to come home with a truckload of cookies, cookie bars, and all manner of chocolate dipped snacks. Nonetheless, they were all baked with love and the experience of the day was fantastic.
I managed to catch my oven mitt on fire when I pulled my cookies out of the oven - no idea how that happened. Smelled a weird smell and knew something was burning - checked the oven, no those are all fine. Didn't see anything unusual and just kept taking the cookies off the cookie sheet. I filled up 1 cooling rack and turned to do the other when the smell got a little stronger. I looked down and sure enough the mitt on my hand had a 3 inch flame on it! I am so proud of myself - I didn't drop or ruin a single cookie! I flopped them on the counter and fanned out the flame on the oven mitt. We then dipped it in cold water to further extinguish any remaining embers. It was sooo funny and I'm sure I was a sight flapping out the fire of the mitt on my hand. Someone yelled - "Take it off your hand.", but my fingers weren't in any danger and launching a flaming mitt across the kitchen seemed like a bad idea. It was all very comical and luckily nothing was harmed in the incident and no cookies were lost in the process.

On the cookie side, I was pretty bummed with what I made. I will try something different next year. I wanted a yummy pumpkin, pecan, chocolate chip cookie and they turned out okay but kinda watery or bland. It definitely needed more spice. The other recipe was an oatmeal raisin, half with pecan and half without. They turned out super thin and pitiful. They were definitely done, but they didn't rise or turn very golden on the top (They kinda looked like the oven wasn't at quite right temp. except that it was.) but they were super crumbly and wouldn't stay together. I ended up putting them in a gallon baggie and breaking them up into crumbles. They taste fantastic so for now it's my granola substitute. I can't wait to put some in ice cream!
I can't lie, I wanted to take a recipe and have everyone say, "ooh. I must get that recipe." or something along those lines. Well, trust me, no one is asking for either of my recipes. They both fell short of my expectations.

My favorite part of the day was hearing all the conversations and the fussing/loving among family. I wasn't quite prepared for the business of it - they came to make, bake, and conquer - and they did!

E was a great help by unwrapping lots of the candies that go on cookies and she essentially made our oatmeal cookies. I measured everything out but, other than a little stirring after the mixer, she did the rest. I was surprised how little she tried to eat. Granted, she didn't know what a lot of the things were so she didn't ask for them, but she still didn't try to finagle too many treats. I was pleased. The best of the day was helping her decorate sugar cookies. The sprinkles were coming out of the jar in clumps b/c the hole was small or something, so she started putting the sprinkles in the palm of her hand and then sprinkling them on the cookie that way. I have a lot of cute pictures of her determined face so focused on making the perfect cookie.

So, now we have a year's supply of treats in the house. No one here will starve and we are definitely not wasting away. I think I'm the only one eating them which is a concern at the rate some things are disappearing. I am excited to divide them up into little care packages for friends, coworkers, and neighbors. I am excited to give them out and let the joy of homemade treats spread.

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