Monday, December 20, 2010

Sugar Wonderland

Yesterday marked the completion of my last Christmas to-do item. The presents have been bought, wrapped, and mailed, the Christmas cards have been sent, the house and tree have been decorated, the daycare teachers and work assistants have been gifted, and now, NOW the cookies have been decorated.

I made the dough on Saturday night and it was nice having that part done ahead of time. When I got it back out of the fridge on Sunday afternoon I discovered that my little "tastes" had made a noticeable dent in the batter. Oops, they all seemed so tiny on their own. So because I didn't want to eat another 10 cookies worth of dough (it is so, so good), I put out other snacking options. Also, my mom, sister, and grandparents were all coming over and I wanted to make sure they had other things to eat besides my cookies. I'm normally a generous person, but those cookies are too delicious to share too many of them.

Landon helped with the rolling and cutting. Unfortunately, he always jumped in to "help" when my back was turned to get a finished tray of cookies out from the oven, so he always put his shape right in the middle of the dough. This less than ideal use of cookie dough space resulted in me rolling out WAY too many sections of dough to use everything up.

But he had fun, and with Christmas music playing and family sitting around the table, I didn't even mind that my own child approached a task in a less than efficient manner. He also kept sneaking "tastes" of dough, so I was reassured that he got a few of my genes (even if those are the genes that will lead him to contracting salmonella).

After I baked too many trays of cookies, we kicked off the decorating. I made the frosting (powdered sugar with vanilla and enough milk to make it the right consistency- I like it to run when you hold up a spoon, but stay thick enough so you can draw patterns that will hold their shape) and poured it in cups with food coloring. We also had lots of spinkles and LOTS of red hots. They're my favorite.

Landon took his decorating very seriously.

After four cookies he declared himself "all done." He ate the head off a reindeer and then asked to save the rest of the cookie to bring to daycare today. When I tried to include the cookie in his lunch this morning, he asked if he could keep it out to show his teachers and friends at daycare. I said sure, and he carried it so carefully in its little plastic bag before bursting through his classroom door with, "Do you see my cookie?! I decorated it!!" He's so proud. I wonder if he'll even eat it or just want to keep showing it to people.

My mom was sick, so she only decorated the two cookies she was going to eat. My sister did about 10. JP did 4 and they took FOREVER. I threatened him with cookie decorating banishment. Landon did 4. This meant that I decorated way too many. They started out artsy and ended up with lots of multi-colored stripes. But even in a rush and after I was completely sick of frosting, I couldn't help putting red hots at appropriate places for each pattern and making sure my color choices made sense. It doesn't seem to be something I can help.

By the end of the day I was tired of looking at cookies, so my dessert consisted of curling up on the couch with a glass of red wine and reading a Nora Roberts book a friend lent me. I read until midnight and am completely disgusted with myself today, but it was so good. As I told JP when I finally crawled in bed, a good book just makes me giddy.

But tonight I'm looking forward to eating one (or three) of my beautiful cookies and going to bed early. Christmas is five days away and we're ready!


  1. Your day sounds pretty good. My family aren't very specialised when it comes to Christmas, since my dad's Asian i.e. Muslim upbringing = no Christmas. And since my mum has no particular traditions, we just loll around until Christmas Eve, when we go out for tea. I am now jealous.

    And I might just steal one (or three) of your cookies *grins evilly*

    Merry Christmas,


  2. Wow. Those are the best-looking homemade Christmas cookies I have ever seen. We are way into cut-out cookies decorated with icing and sprinkles, but I have never even considered decorating them so beautifully. I am inspired!