Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Cookies

I'm no baker extraordinaire, but I can bake.  I've had some stumbling blocks: I'm terrible at pie crust, I've never perfected pizza crust, but I think that's because my oven doesn't go up to 4 million degrees like a restaurant's and I'm pretty impatient when it comes to bread unless it involves the bread machine.  But, when the feeling strikes me, I can bake.

A few years ago, okay more than a few, my friend Eugenie said, "hey, let's make Christmas cookies together and we can give them as gifts."  We were both single and non-moms at the time you see.  So, I said enthusiastically, "Yes, let's do it!"  

What a disaster.

To this day, I can't put my finger on what went wrong.  Maybe we made a crummy cookie dough, maybe it was our rolling technique, maybe it was our apparent lack of talent when it comes to decorating cookies.  Perhaps it was all that wrapped up together.  All I remember is they were a pain in the ass to make, at least half of them broke, decorating was a joke and I came away from the experience saying "Yeah, not doing that again."

Well, now I'm a mama.  And this year, the Vivster is really getting the whole Christmas thing and she's diggin' it.  So, I faced the music and realized come hell or high water, I was going to have to tackle the old rolled out "decorated" Christmas cookies for Santa.  I've been so excited about it that the only preparation I've actually made so far is to buy food coloring and sprinkles.  Then, this morning came a revelation!

I had bent down to give Vivi a big squeezy hug and as I stood up, I glanced over at the closet door that has a Pillsbury calendar hanging on it.  Since I am an electronic kinda girl, I never look at this calendar; it's for Neil...he's semi-electronic, semi-paper.  Anyway, he had flipped it over to December and lo and behold, there's this big, beautiful photo of peppermint candy crunch cookies.  "Hello?"  Vivian loves peppermint.  I mean, really loves it.  So much that after Christmas, I have to hit all the sales to stock up on candy canes so we have a stash for the rest of the year.  And here, right on the closet door all this time was the answer to all my cookie-making prayers.

It calls for Pillsbury sugar cookie dough from the fridge case.  Yes!  Can I hear a Hallelujah?  It calls for crushed up candy canes...I've got those, in abundance!  It calls for one other thing; I can't remember.  Maybe powdered sugar to make a glaze.  Who cares? It's only one more ingredient.  No food coloring needed!  No sprinkles needed, unless we just want to use them (with reckless abandon of course) and I don't have to make dough.  I just roll it out!  

I'd say this is nothing short of a true Christmas miracle.

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