Very Merry Cookies

Dear cookie chops,
     Come back to me! I’ve been out of practice, and it showed in my annual Christmas cookie production. I usually do chocolate chip cookies and always gingerbread cookies. Of the four cookie recipes I executed this week, only one turned out to my satisfaction. First, there were these petits fours from my huge cookie bible; I really should be more skeptical of the thing; it gave me a recipe for sugar cookies without sugar. These petits fours had no flour, though the photo looked suspiciously like coconut macaroons. Needless to say, I did not get very far. Poor powdered sugar…
     Next came the chocolate hazelnut oatmeal cookies. Sounds like a mouthful, feels like a mouthful. Seeing as the only ingredients were butter, oatmeal, hazelnuts and nutella, the ratios are very important. Less than a cup of nutella, hazelnuts and butter each, with two whole cups of oatmeal? The texture didn’t particularly tickle my fancy, but the nutella melted with the butter made for a nice, dare I say, umami factor. Will definitely be reproduced at some point, with varying proportions.
     Then came the snickerdoodles. I’ve definitely made snickerdoodles before, so I’m trying to figure out just what choice it was that made the cookies sad and flat. It may have been the substitution of two egg yolks for a second egg, or the brief hour in the fridge, but these snickerdoodles weren’t quite ready for the oven. I put them in the first time, and after five or so minutes, the dough started melting off the cookie sheet and onto the bottom of the oven. No one was concerned, until five more minutes when the smell of smoke started to fill the living room. The cookie side effects included a new smoky flavor that was…not completely unwelcome, though probably dispensable.
     It’s a good thing for tradition, because I don’t think I could possibly mess up the gingerbread things. Every year I make gingerbread cookies with my cello, camel, palm tree and moon cutters. And every year I make icing with whatever additions I feel like at the time – orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla. Fills your mouth with all the spices!
     Next year I’ll go back to the cookie press and the chocolate chips. And by next year, I mean next week. Hoping your new year is full of good times and better food!

Step 2: Combine
Step 1: Melt
Step 3: Roll

After smoking
Before smoking
Taking over the kitchen
What pretty colors
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