Sunday, December 9, 2007

cookie baking machine

I was "forced" to take a day off work due to too much e-time. I took Saturday so I could go to my friend Jenny's Christmas cookie baking party. Jenny lives an hour and a half away (near Springfield) and though we talk on the phone and email regularly, we have different work schedules and rarely get together. I wasn't overly excited about spending my day baking cookies- I don't think I've EVER made cookies from scratch, or if I did I helped Grandma 30 years ago. I WAS excited about having a day with a bunch of women and no children. It turned out to be a strange but fun experience.

Jenny was already making dough when I arrived at 10am. I jumped right in and started measuring flour and sugar. Three of her friends showed up between noon and one and I don't think the two big MixMasters (or whatever those gigantic mixers are called) were ever idle between that time and the time I left! I left the dough mixing to the experts and did easier jobs that didn't involve mixers and ovens. My two successes were peanut butter buckeyes and almond bark pretzels. I know this isn't that impressive, but I made both of those totally on my own :) My giant failure (and the joke of the day) was my fudge. Jenny mixed the original ingredients and then put me in charge. I put in a candy thermometer, put it on the stove, and followed the directions EXACTLY. I have absolutely NO IDEA where I went wrong, but my final product resembled caramelized dog poop. It took about five minutes for me to chip the "fudge" out of the pan. At that point it was more like a partially melted Tootsie Roll. I joked that we should try pulling it like taffy. I then tried to fix it with the mixer and the end product resembled brown concrete. I think it took ten minutes to coax it out of the mixing bowl at which point it lay in a disgusting pile on a plate for the rest of the day, perfectly placed for everyone to laugh at. One girl even took a picture with her phone and sent it to her husband to show him what he had to look forward to. The fudge was hard and dry rather than smooth and creamy, but still tasted good in its own special way :)

An ice storm forced me to leave earlier than I would have liked (6:30pm), but I got home early enough for the kids to enjoy some cookies before bed. As mentioned before, I don't EVER bake so their eyes about popped out of their heads when they saw me carry in three heaping plates of cookies. I was very happy that Logan's favorites were almond bark pretzels and buckeyes :) Kaylin had a bit better taste!

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