Thursday, December 18, 2008
Years ago I found myself unemployed before Christmas and had a lot of time and not so much $$$, so I decided to bake a whole bunch of cookies to give to family and friends as gifts. They were pretty popular, so I kept it up for many years, even after I was back to working full time.
I used to make about a dozen different kinds, tie them in little saran wrap packages with color-coded yarns, package them up in decorative tins, wrap the tins and then box them up and mail most of them across the country. It got so that people would start calling the beginning of December asking, "When are you making the cookies?"
It got a little out of hand when I found myself getting so stressed out about how I was going to get them all done that I was getting sick, so I reluctantly decided to end the tradition.
I guess I got bitten by the Christmas baking bug again this week. Steve's been crying because Mother's Cookies company went out of business and he can't get his favorite seasonal gingerbread men anymore.
So I pulled the box of cookie cutters off the top shelf and dusted them off. I used to really have the methodology down, so I could crank them out quickly. I'm a little rusty. I can't believe I used to mix them by hand for years before Steve got me my Kitchen Aid heavy duty mixer.
There's never enough counter space in my 1960s designed kitchen, so the kitchen table gets covered with cooling racks.
The icing is the messiest part, but sort of the most fun part too. Now the trick is to store them somewhere the ants (and Steve) can't get at them all before Christmas. I'll never forget the one morning the day after Christmas when I was sitting at the table having my coffee before going to work and noticed a line of ants snaking from the windowsill across 3 walls and directly into my tin of Christmas cookies that I had been saving for us until Christmas. Tears were shed.