I learned from my Mom.
It’s true. Even before I began taking Home Ec. in grade 7, my Mom had taught me how to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Sure, I didn’t do absolutely everything by the textbook, but the cookies turned out delicious. I even ate cookie dough and never got sick from it. But don’t tell my kids!
I remember when I started helping my Mom with the Christmas baking. This was after my formal baking education in school. And yet, that education didn’t help much.
Have you ever made sugar cookies? You know the kind where you roll out the dough to exactly one-eighth of an inch before cutting them up with cookie cutters? My mom told me it was best to cut the cookies as close together as possible so I wouldn’t have to roll the dough out as often.
Initially, I didn’t care. This was going to be fun! But I quickly learned that rolling out dough was a lot harder than it looked!
I struggled through the first few years of baking sugar cookies, but I liked them so much, I wouldn’t give up. The dough stuck to the counter. It stuck to the rolling pin. Then I’d add too much flour and the dough wouldn’t stick to anything including itself! I’d be pushing it together, trying to get a cookie shape out of it but it would still come out of the oven in two pieces.
Eventually, over the last twenty-some-odd years, I’ve perfected the craft of making sugar cookies. I can roll out a double batch of dough and bake eight dozen cookies in about an hour.
You’d think the hard part was over, but no.
Next comes the icing.
Getting the icing to the right consistency for spreading – not too thin, not too thick – and don’t take your time or else it will harden up on you before you’re done!
And if you are very brave, you’ll allow your child/children to decorate the cookies with the sprinkles.
One year, one of my kids dumped an entire container of sprinkles all over the floor. The sprinkles went everywhere. Everywhere. Even under the baseboard. One day when someone decides to renovate and pull up the kitchen floor, they’ll find Christmas coloured sprinkles underneath it. It could be worse, but it will be interesting.
This Christmas season, I just finished baking my second double batch of sugar cookies. The kids love them and so do I, despite all the work involved. They’re such a simple cookie when you look at it, but man, they require a lot of patience!
And the worst part is, my kids’ll eat them all up within two or three days. I suppose I should feel honoured that they love my baking so much, but honestly, I’d love it if they could ration the cookies. You know, two or three cookies – not handfuls – at a time.
But I’ll keep making them. I have a binder of Christmas recipes that I got from my Mom. We have a few favourites from her recipes that I bake every single year.
Cherry Chocolate chip cookies, Banana Gumdrop loaf, Peanut Butter Kisses, and Christmas fruitcake.
I’ve added on to my family’s list of favourites but I’ll never feel like I’ve done my Christmas baking unless I’ve baking sugar cookies.