I Do Not Christmas Well

cookiesYesterday, I made some sweet treats for the Christmas Eve get together that will happen later today at my mom’s. I normally do not contribute because between my mom and my nieces, plenty of sweet treats happen. But this year I told my mom that I’d made puppy chow for my sister and brother-in-law and she requested some.

And I also said that I’d make sugar cookies.

Here’s the deal.

At Thanksgiving, my great-aunt gave me two batches of sugar cookie dough that she’d made from my great-grandma’s recipe and colored red and green with food coloring. Now, I do not bake. I have no baking skill. I can fuck up cookies from a tube. But my great-aunt thinks that because I can cook, I can bake cookies from pre-made dough without incident. She also thinks that I will eat red and green cookies. I will not. My issues with that is worthy of another post.

However, red and green pre-made sugar cookie dough was right up my nieces’ alley. I was going to take the dough to my mom’s house for my middle niece’s birthday Sunday and let the girls bake them.

Then winter happened. Between the ice and cold, I wasn’t able to see my niece for her birthday (we have a plan B for after the new year; such is the life for us with winter birthdays).

When my mom requested the puppy chow, she also mentioned that my youngest niece wanted sugar cookies.

“Oh, I’ll bake the sugar cookies that auntie gave me and bring them up,” I said.

And so my fate was sealed.

In addition to my lack of baking skills, the stove in our house is questionable. My mom bought it for $100 at a yard sale in 1986. Really. It no longer heats quite evenly, you can’t tell when it’s pre-heated, can barely read the numbers on the knobs, and sometimes it will electrocute you. Really.

The potential for disaster was high. Just the kind of thrill seeking I like.

I baked the first batch of cookies, the red ones, which were more pink than red, and looked like I was trying to bake Laffy Taffy.


It was impossible to tell if they were done because red cookies don’t brown like plain sugar cookies. But the bottoms of them were browned to just before burnt, so they had to be done, even though the tops looked not done.

For the second batch, the green batch, which also looked like Laffy Taffy, I figured out that I had to put a second pan on the bottom rack to help diffuse the heat, rotate the pan of cookies half-way through baking, and pray constantly to a crotchety baking goddess.

The green cookies came out a little better, but any sort of browning on colored cookies just looks wrong.

I’m told from my taste tester that the cookies are fine. Which is good. I hope the nieces enjoy them.

But they look better in the container.

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