Essays

Cookies

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Cookies, cookies everywhere–but so far not a single batch has turned out right. What’s going on?

Seems the short one, feeling in a holiday mood, volunteered for a cookie exchange. The directions were bake three and a half dozen cookies, all of one kind.

Simple, she thought, like any good novice. Read a cookbook. Start baking.

Lessons learned immediately. Soft dough makes chewy cookies. Stiff dough makes crunchy cookies. Red and green colored sugar adds a Christmassy touch.

The first try, Pretzel Fingers, stuck to the counter when rolled pencil thin. Chilling the dough resulted in brittle pencils that broke in the middle. And we won’t discuss tying the pencils into pretzel knots. The result–a delicious cookie that barely looked fit to leave the house.

On to the next recipe, Lemon Tea Drops. Easier to make, though an error in calculating portion size produced only thirty six pieces from a recipe that promised forty eight. Of those, twenty four fused to the pan.

When the taster wandered by and sampled a mangled confection, his opinion was, “Maybe you should try chocolate next time.”

More cookbook reading produced several other batches, each with problems. Time was marching on. In desperation, the short one contemplated buying store-bought slice-and-bake.

That’s when Carpenter Country’s editor arrived bearing a recipe, ingredients, as well as an extra baking sheet–and saved the day.

It appears that eventually minor crises resolve themselves into something better…in this case…a perfect batch of Jam Shortbread cookies.

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