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2006-12-18

In which I take this holiday spirit thing a bit too far...

I made Christmas cookies this weekend. I thought it would be a good idea. But again I was confronted with the obvious truth that I am so not Betty Crocker.

First I made spritz cookies, which were my mother-in-law’s thing. Although I ended up with a bunch of little green Christmas trees, as per the plan, I also ended up wiping up green from my kitchen for two days. That wasn’t fun.

Then I made giant ginger cookies. The directions warn you not to overbake them by removing them from the oven when the bottoms are “lightly” brown. Here’s the thing: the dough itself is brown. How the hell do you tell if dough that is already brown has “browned?” The recipe doesn’t answer that question. So I think maybe I overbaked them, despite the warning. They aren’t bad, they just aren’t as soft as one might expect.

Finally, I made sugar cookie cutouts.* Both rolling the dough to a uniform 1/8” thickness and getting the cutouts to maintain their shape during the transfer to the cookie sheet take some kind of talent, which I do not possess. So I finally just gave up and started cutting the dough into abstract shapes with a spatula. This was way easier. Then I had the following exchange with my husband, who was sitting across the room and not participating (unless you call "mocking" participating, and I don’t):

Him: What are you doing with the spatula?

Me: I’m cutting out abstract cookie shapes.

Him: You can’t do that. You have to use the cookie cutters.

Me: No, I don’t, hence the term “abstract.” Think outside the box, dear.

Him (exasperated): You can’t make Christmas cutouts by thinking outside the box. Cutouts require that you stay in the box – BY DEFINITION!

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have expected that kind of rigid thinking from someone in marketing. I’m just saying.

*I’m using “made” in the loosest sense of the word. Perhaps “attempted to make” would have been a better choice of words.