And cookie season is over! Phew!
I made six different types of cookies this year. The first kind was 10 dozen candy cane kiss cookies (detailed here). Six dozen of those went to a cookie swap, and the remaining 4 dozen were brought to workplaces and devoured at home long before Santa began to pack his sleigh.
This is the tray I brought to Christmas dinner. Clockwise from top: Brown Sugar Cookies, Glazed Lemon Cookies, Sugar Cookie Cutouts (I used a franken-recipe this year), Snickerdoodles and Spritz cookies in the center.
Some 2012 cookie season observations:
Limiting myself: I used to go CRAZY with cookies. But this year I realized that our holidays are getting smaller. Grown kids alternate holidays with different families, some choose to bail altogether, and older people aren’t eating as many sweets. The six batches above were enough for the Christmas Day tray, two boxes of cookies mailed out, a tray to bring into TNP tomorrow, plus cookies for my own snacking pleasure through the end of the year. Next year I might only make three batches.
Freezing: On December first, I made the dough for the lemon cookies, sugar cookies and brown sugar cookies and froze them all. I rolled the lemon cookie dough into a log before wrapping it in foil-backed parchment paper. The sugar cookie dough was frozen in two discs. The brown sugar cookie dough was placed into a lock-and-lock container. I’m shocked at how efficient this was: it was no trouble at all to mix the doughs one right after another, and it was doubly-nice to be able to have cookies immediately baking while I made the last two types.
Decorating: This year I tried to pipe royal frosting onto the sugar cookies. I’m not into decorating cookies, so I didn’t know that there are two consistencies of frosting — a stiffer type to pipe along the borders and a runnier type to fill in. The frosting I made was too pooly for the edges. Instead I used a knife to spread the frosting on. The edges aren’t crisp, but whatever. I was going to do white, red, and green frosting but I wasn’t feeling it after the green batch. There’s a container of sad, unfrosted candy cane shaped cookies that never made a tray. Eh. This year I also had the epiphany of mixing red and green sugars in with the cinnamon/sugar mixture I roll the snickerdoodles in before I bake them. Much more festive this way. I can’t believe I never thought of it before.
Gel Food Coloring: I grew up using liquid food coloring, which screws with the consistency of your dough and provides only a tepid color unless you used the entire bottle. This year I tried gel coloring, which gives your cookies amazing play-doh quality color! I don’t even want to know what that crap is made of. Seriously, don’t tell me.
Cookie Presses: I’ve had metal presses and mechanical presses through the years and they all disappointed me. My favorite workhorse is the Wilton Comfort Grip Cookie Press. It’s a very sturdy plastic and does the job. It’s crazy-easy to clean, especially for the lazy. Like me.
CookieCam: Didn’t happen because of the strange setup of this kitchen. It’s shallow and wouldn’t fit my laptop. I played with the idea of streaming from the iPad, but the only place I could comfortably place it without fear of it falling provided a lovely boob-only point of view. And the market’s saturated with those types of cams. Maybe next year I’ll look into a wireless webcam.
Bye, kitchen! See you next December!