I admit it. Until today, I was a cookie swap virgin. Every year, the email is sent out asking who wants to participate in the firm cookie swap and I always think to myself that it would be fun to spend an evening baking cookies, listening to Christmas music and enjoying a glass of wine (or 2). Then, I realize that I am somewhat challenged in the baking department and I don’t have extra time and I ultimately decide to opt out.
This year, however, I realized that I will probably never feel like I have extra time and I am not going to get better at baking if I don’t practice and so I decided to give it a try. I was excited for my new adventure in baking. I decided to make oatmeal and M & M cookies and I used google to find a recipe.
The first red flag was that my work computer was attacked during my recipe search and infected with a virus. I ignored the warning and did not withdraw from the cookie swap even though at least one other person did. I made a trial batch, which turned out ok according to my husband and my dad. I decided that I would tweak the recipe to make the cookies a little sweeter and I would also make some chocolate covered pretzels so that if the cookies came out awful, at least the pretzels would be yummy.
On the eve of the cookie swap, I had finally finished my Christmas shopping but still had a dining room crowded with unwrapped presents and I was not feeling well so pretty much the last thing that I wanted to do was bake 66 cookies. I was tired and regretting my decision to participate. I was miserable. Then, around 8:30 p.m. after the girls were tucked in bed, I realized as I began to gather the ingredients together and get started that we did not have enough eggs or butter to make 66 cookies. Yikes! Luckily, my husband made a quick trip to the store and I was back in business.
By 11:00 p.m., I was finished but the cookies were not quite what I had pictured. For some reason, I can’t bring myself to take cookies out of the oven until they are overdone. The recipe said to bake the cookies for 7 minutes or until the bottom was light brown but 7 minutes never seems like enough and many of the cookies came out a bit on the crunchy side. I tried to do some quality control and keep the crunchy cookies for my family but as it got later, my standards sank and I’m afraid that some of the less than perfect cookies were passed on to my co-workers. This was not exactly the fun evening that I had envisioned but I was finished and it felt good! I packaged the goodies in some cute christmas boxes and packed them up to bring into work.
In a taste test taken by my daughter the next morning, I was assured that the cookies were good but since she normally is not allowed to eat anything with M & Ms in it for breakfast, she may not be the best judge.
During the cookie swap, I gave a verbal disclaimer not to be fooled by the pretty packaging (must be the lawyer in me!) I was happy to learn that all levels of baking were welcomed in the cookie swap and some of the cookies actually did not look as good as mine!
In the end, I am happy to have had the experience but still baffled at why I just can’t figure out cookies. I guess that I will have to keep practicing and give it another shot next year (maybe).
Morals of the story:
- You’ll never feel like you have time but there is always time; and
- Even if things don’t turn out exactly as planned, at least you’ll have the experience.
Merry Christmas everyone!