Saturday, February 12, 2005

Sometimes things sound like such good ideas and then turn out to be Trouble. Note the capital T that rhymes with C that stands for Cookie. Last Fall our church had an auction. I didn't have any art to donate nor any money to give towards prizes or setup but I wanted to contribute. I decided to give a "Cookie of the Month" basket. The blurb promised 20 homemade from scratch cookies a month and the display was a basket containing the first installment of Snickerdoodles. I should have known how hard this would be when it took me 4 days and 6 batches of cookies to decide, at the last hour, on the snickerdoodles (which I'd never made or eaten before). There was a bit of a bidding war over the auction item (preen, preen). Halfway through the bidding I was approached by an auction leader who asked if I would be willing to do two items instead on one. I'm very happy I said NO. That was October. I can't remember what I sent in November. The December offering was a plate of holiday varieties which was way more than the 20 I had promised; I just couldn't decide. January I sent chocolate chunk cookies; they were so delicious I had to make three batches to satisfy my family so they would allow 20 cookies to leave the house. My parents and sisters rolled with laughter when they heard what I'd done. It's not that I'm not a good cook; I'm a great cook and my cookies are delicious. Then they each retold the story of the year I made coupon books for Christmas presents. Those coupons were a good idea, I still say that, but they looked so skimpy. I felt terrible giving little slips of paper even after I'd tarted them up to look fancy so I gave each person a book of coupons. (sigh) My family ended up forgiving a lot of the coupons when it became apparent that I couldn't fulfill them all.

Tomorrow is the date for the February delivery. I said they would be Valentine cookies. Tonight I used the last 3/4 lb of butter to make Linzer cookies. The recipe called for the cookies to bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. I set the timer for 17 minutes and opened the oven door to overly browned cookies. I put the second pan in and set the timer for 12 minutes - overly browned cookies again. Now I didn't have enough dough to make 20 Linzer cookies and I didn't have any butter to make another batch of cookies. It's 10pm and I wasn't going to be able to produce my 20 cookies.

Deep Breath

So I made two complete double layer Linzer cookies, 13 full size but single layer cookies, and a handfull of mini heart cookies. The Linzer base cookies are meant to be eaten with jam and powdered sugar on them so they are very plain. I didn't have any butter to make icing and open faced jam would be too messy. I finally melted some excellent bittersweet chocolate and spread it across the non-Linzered cookies. Tada! 15 large cookies and 10 small cookies. Surely that added up to 20 cookies worth of cookies.

Did I mention that I'm anxious every month that the winning bidders will not like the cookies or find fault with them? I'm nuts.

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