I thought it might be fun this year to have a cookie exchange at work. Several of the girls I work with bring Christmas goodies to share every year anyway, and I thought an official event might get the rest of us slackers in gear. Besides, several of us had been trying to get a bit more adventurous in the kitchen, so this would provide the perfect excuse for some sugar excess....
The first cookie exchange I ever took part in 16 years ago consisted of about 7 ladies. Now for any of you who aren't familiar with how a cookie exchange works, the idea is that you bring a dozen of one type of cookie for each participant, as well as a dozen to eat there. This meant I needed to bring 8 dozen cookies. Now, I used to love to bake sugar cookies, (please note the use of past tense.) I have an impressive collection of cookie cutters, and one of the best sugar cookie recipes around, plus 3 kids old enough to help decorate, but also a baby, which was a point in the "this is crazy" column.
Now I have always felt that part of the key to a yummy sugar cookie, is not rolling your dough too thin, therefore preventing that over-cooked, hard as a rock, this is only a vehicle for frosting, kind of sugar cookie. So I dutifully started making dough. Did I mention my cookie cutters are also those cute chubby, 3-4 inch variety? Can you see where this is leading? One batch of dough, rolled not-to-thick, and cut with those ever so cute chubby cookie cutters, wasn't even making a dozen cookies. Of course my happy little "helpers" promptly lost interest after the first batch of dough. Baby Bear was starting to get fussy, he has always loved his Mommy best and didn't want to play with the Big Kids. By the second batch of dough I am balancing this 35 lb 1 year old on one hip. Thus continued one of the longest cookie baking fiascoes ever. Finally the dozens of cookies were baked, finally the Baby Bear went to sleep, but then I was faced with the monumental task of decorating all those cookies. Eventually I did, I have to say, in the end, I didn't really feel like all that trouble was worth it.
Which brings us back to 16 years later and I am instigating a cookie exchange again. The first one I have participated in since the last all-nighter. This time I am older and wiser though. I am going to be smart enough not to pick such a labor intensive cookie...... Hmmmmm, let me just say that it is a good thing that we didn't have to work today due to icy roads, or I might be up all night again. Stay tuned, pictures and recipes of this years fiasco to follow. I'll give you a hint, the first part of the recipe has three ingredients and on the first batch I forgot one of three ingredients....... now where did I leave that Gingko Biloba?