Just baking WAS the contest for a cookie contest
I decided to enter my first ever cookie contest and I have been a crazy person on a mission this past week. I donned my Halloween apron, ’cause it is only October, and set out to make winter holiday cookies.
It did not start well.
In the first place, I really have no business entering any contests right now that call for me to create something. Even if I possessed “Serious Baker” status, I lack one of the most critical criteria for creating perfection: being left alone to concentrate. I have three young kids around and one of them is home full-time, so working on a task from start to finish is enough of a contest.
But something made me do it.
It took me all week to make 3 dozen cookies.
But they had to be a perfect 3 dozen cookies.
This is one of those moments when “just like perfect” will not do. I may be quite content with a “just like perfect life” but not everyone subscribes to my easy street philosophy on life and I am competing with their cookies. I am more of a “rustic” decorator most days because I do not have the patience nor the skill for intricate detail, especially when I know that I will be devouring my creation in a “3, 2, 1” countdown.
Decorating 15 cookies took me half a day.
I entered one of my favorite holiday cookie recipes and normally when I make it, I use whatever butter I have on hand. But I got to wonderin’ if there would be a significant difference if I used salted butter versus unsalted butter versus a half and half combo of butter. So, I made 3 batches and did a test cookie run for a taste test.
When I went to put the baking sheet into the oven, somehow it did not stay on the oven rack and it fell, plopping my cookie dough into the crack of the oven door.
Trying to get buttery cookie dough out of a crack in a hot oven door is not an easy feat.
It was at night, because I had to wait for some alone time when my muffins went to bed, I was tired and I had just cleaned up and put everything away. (I like to clean and put things away as I go.) That did not work for me this time. Laziness would have paid off.
My usual self that is all “rainbows and sunshine ” was quite foul and full of swear words, but I held those in at least. I grumbled and stomped around a bit then got myself together. As much as I wanted to forget the whole dang cookie contest thingy because I was already exhausted from the work that I had put into just “getting ready” to make cookies, and I had not even begun to make the cookies that would be entered into the contest, I was not gonna quit this one. I got back on the saddle and did it all again. I got out all of my baking gear and rolled out more cookies.
Fricka fracka fricka…
The difference in taste between the baked cookies with various butters was minimal but my husband’s comment got me. He felt that they were all “flat” but he liked the 1st one best. Flat meaning bland. I asked him to clarify. Granted they are a sugar cookie so they are not supposed to be full of flavor, and they need to be paired with frosting. But still, this is a competition. “Just like perfect” will not do here. It has to be perfect, or at least “perfectly just like perfect”.
I decided to enter one more cookie into the contest, one full of spice and flavor. I also decided to up the taste a bit in my cookie dough for the flat tasting cookies, which meant making another batch of dough. (In the end, they were all fabulously delicious with the frosting…just as they always are, and you could not discern between who had what butter. In case you were wondering.)
Earlier in the evening, I had run out before bedtime to grab some supplies and found two decorative boxes to put my cookies in when I delivered them. Since I decided to enter in one other cookie, I now had to go back out and buy one more decorative box to deliver this addition in. The next day, my toddler and I went shopping. We also decided to run a bunch of errands since we were out and they needed to be done this week too.
Back at home, with all of my supplies, I needed to get to some serious baking but we were so very very tired. I can do that to people when I get an idea stuck in my brain.
Why do I do these things? Pure crazy is what I am.
But…I managed to put together my “Tower of Treats” to deliver to the cookie contest in time. I am not sure if contest rules prohibit me from sharing pics of my finished product, so I will hold onto them and share them after the contest has gone “public” in the beginning of December. They turned out well enough but I had better not quit my day job.
The good news is that if I can get a bit more energy to shape, roll and cut more cookie dough next week (four and a half batches to be exact) then I can put them in my freezer and pull them out to bake in a jiffy come holiday time.
The bad news is that my freezer is teeny tiny and already stuffed to the gills.
Looks like in addition to being busy baking next week, we will be busy eating ice cream, frozen bread cubes, and 28 packages of frozen corn that we saved from our farm stand this summer to keep the taste of summer alive all through winter…and our Thanksgiving turkey will have to be a last-minute purchase.
Then the good news again will be that in another month, we will have 2,567 holiday cookies to eat.