The late, Great Cookie Swap
I recently found myself craving cookies. I’m in the middle of a contest at my gym, so I can’t have cookies or anything that makes me happy. I even told Tony that I wanted to bake some cookies and bring them to the office so that I could at least see others enjoy my cookies. Today, my Facebook memories popped up with a post from 2016. It was as if the good Lord was reminding me of my limitations when it comes to cookies. I’ll share that with you now ...
Friends, I’ve learned something about myself today. I LOATHE baking cookies. Baking from scratch, anyway. Now don’t get me wrong. I can bake cakes and brownies and cupcakes with no problems, but making cookies from scratch is for the birds! I hadn’t made cookies from scratch since I was a kid in Girl Scouts (or was it 4-H?).
My niece’s mother so kindly invited me to a cookie swap at her house. I was so excited for it that I requested off of work long in advance.
A little time goes by. The holidays and work had kept me quite busy, and like some people around the holidays, I was feeling a little scatter brained. I had intended on making the cookies, or at least making the dough in advance on Friday. I was supposed to be off of work Friday, but I was asked to take someone’s place. After work, my mother decides she wants to go out of town, just the two of us, to do a little shopping and go to a restaurant for dinner. Well, we wound up not getting home until around 12:30 a.m.. I thought, “Eh, I’ll just make the cookies tomorrow night.”
I got maybe three-and-a-half hours of sleep before I had to wake up to go work the election yesterday (I’m an election commissioner). I worked from 6:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. To say I was exhausted was an understatement. After the election, I realized I had to go to the store, because I didn’t have any unsalted butter for the recipe.
Once I was home, I was far too tired to make cookies. I just thought, “Eh, I’ll wake up early and make them.” The cookie swap wasn’t until 2:00 p.m., anyway.
I woke up this morning and was all set to make cookies. Then I realized I hadn’t checked the event notifications in a while. I get on Facebook and read the posts for the event. It was then I realized that I completely forgot that I had to bake 60 cookies. Not only that, but the recipe says I have to chill the dough for at least 2 hours. AND as I was taking the sticks of butter out (they needed to be room temperature), I realized that I had bought SALTED butter by mistake.
Deep breath: “Okay. I can do this,” I said to myself. “I’ll just go to the store and get what I need to make 5-6 batches of the cookies.”
When I came home from the store, I looked at the time and thought there’s no way I’m going to be able to wait for this butter to get to room temperature and then, after mixing the dough, refrigerate it for 2 hours. “Okay,” I told myself, “I’ll just stick the dough in the freezer for a little while. That’ll save time.” However, I still had to make the butter room temperature.
I go in the bathroom with all the sticks of butter, close the door, and turn on the mini heater on the counter. That helped, but not enough. I placed the sticks of butter on the stove top and turned on the oven. That did the trick!
Okay, so now I see that the recipe says I need to use the paddle attachment with my mixer. I don’t have a paddle attachment. Okay, I figured I’ll just do it by hand, since I often mix cake and brownie batters by hand. Yeah, not fun. My hand was cramping. It was hard work. And it took so long to make one batch of batter! Looking at the time, I realize I would not be able to make all the other batches by hand.
I decided to use my mixer with the regular beaters. DO NOT DO THIS. But if you do, don’t ever let your spoon slip while you do it. Side note: I need a new spoon.
So, with a bent beater and a cramped hand and time running out, and realizing I didn’t have enough vanilla for four more batches, I finally threw in the towel. I called my niece’s mom to tell her that I sadly won’t be making it to the cookie swap. I told her why, and after she laughed, she graciously said that was okay, and next time she has a cookie swap, I should just buy some already made and just tell everyone I made them.
Why didn’t I think of that?
Now, as I sit writing this for the newspaper, exactly three years later, I am reminded that I should leave the cookie-baking for the pros, or at least the ones who have the correct attachments for their mixers.