Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas cookies... part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of what I have otherwise come to characterize as the 5 hour cookie making extravaganza.
In the event that you had something to do yesterday (being that it was a holiday and all or something) and missed out on Part 1 you can find it here.

So, I suppose I should have posed this in the form of a question — as no one guessed how many cookies the sour cream cookie recipe yielded this year (except for my Mother when I asked her on the phone, she was off by 3) — but the recipe suggests that it makes about 10 dozen cookies. That's a lot of cookies. Generally, every year I count the cookies based on groupings of frosting color, and then add up those totals. Yes, Virginia, there is a Christmas cookie inventory.

This year (although my graphic only shows 12) I used 16 different colors of frosting. And the grand total was 135 cookies. Yes, one hundred and thirty-five cookies. In the approximate 2 hours it took me to listen to Van Halen's 5150 (three times) while cutting and baking them, I figured that maybe I'd make about 90 cookies... yeah, 135. It was a slight under-estimate on my part. You know, I was only off by a third... ; )

Every year I buy a sizable quantity of "nonpareil sprinkles." And every year I wonder why they're called "nonpareil" sprinkles... and usually don't bother to google it. Apparently, they're peerless — Ha! Yes, I know, one of the definitions is actually that nonpareil means sprinkles... Anyway, each of the 135 cookies is decorated with these little multicolor sugar balls.

So, when I was a kid, my mother used to make the frosting. And just like when my mother made the dough — she acted like this was the most difficult thing on earth. If only she had possessed a microwave and a pastry creamer — making these cookies would have taken much less effort... of course, she was still weirdly anal about making the dough thin, like as if she had amnesia about rolling out the previous year's cookie dough or something... let's just say, with Mom, all of these steps seemed to take an unnecessary amount of time. I suppose we're lucky she didn't get out a ruler and attempt to measure whether or not the dough had been rolled out to 1/8 inch thickness...

I bought vanilla frosting in a plastic jar and added powdered sugar and milk to it. It was much less difficult than adding milk to an entire bag of powdered sugar... and no one who ate my cookies complained about the frosting. Oh, modern convenience.

So, armed with 2 multi-packs of food coloring (one regular, one neon), my giant bowl of frosting, a soup bowl, the "happy-go-lucky" knife (it's a butter knife), my container of sprinkles, and an old foil pie pan (to catch the excess sprinkles), I began the 2 hour long cookie decorating ritual.

Each cookie would be frosted and sprinkled. I suppose, if I hadn't kept pausing to document the process with photos, this might have gone quicker...

Anyway, I caught up on the season 3 2-part finale of "Leverage" while I was performing the 2 hour long cookie decorating ritual. Apparently, I almost missed the last 4 episodes of season 3 of Leverage due to the fact that I was watching Dexter on Sunday nights and totally forgot when the season would start back up when it went on hiatus in September or August... I really wish they wouldn't do that with shows — because I totally forget when they're going to start back up... but it did prevent me from listening to "5150" for a fourth and fifth time... Otherwise, every time I ate a cookie I may have had to have broken into a rendition of "Summer Nights." :D

Anyway, Damien Moreau was foiled, and I frosted 135 cookies in 16 different colors (there are 2 shades of blue & 2 shades of purple missing from that image) and then photographed them from all manner of angles, and then left them out for the requisite 1-2 hours on the kitchen table so that the frosting would dry. It's very important for the frosting to dry. Otherwise, when the cookies are stacked in the container — they will form one giant messy inseparable cookie clump, and the 5 hours it took to make them from start to finish will seem like kind of a waste...

The next installment will actually contain photos of the 135 frosted & decorated cookies : )


Out on the prairie said...

It made me think of all the tiny decorations my mom had stuck away she would get out.Ther was a silver ball that had been in there too long or just was close to nonedible.This was the fun part if we could resist licking and eating.

KaHolly said...

Sarah, whatever did you do with so many cookies?? I attempted to make cookies to decorate this year. They weren't particularly attractive. I don't think I rolled the dough thin enough and had very fat gingerbreadmen! Enjoyed a 'scroll' through your archived posts. Thanks for stopping by for a visit and for the nice comment. Happy New Year!~karen


Folhetim Cultural said...

Olá feliz 2011! Parabéns pelo vosso blog!
Quero hoje que você possa conhecer o trabalho feito no Folhetim Cultural que é o blog pelo qual sou responsável este abaixo é o endereço:
ontem sábado 1º dia do ano, voltamos com as publicações.
Ás 9 horas da manhã minha coluna poética
Às 13 horas O Poeta entrevista quadro de entrevista
e ás 17 horas Chá das 5 onde um poeta colaborador escreve uma coluna poética. Ao longo da semana atualizações são feitas com noticiário cultural, espero que possa contar com seu apoio nessa empreitada e que possa opinar sobre o nosso trabalho agradeço a atenção lhe desejo um ano super!

Magno Oliveira
Folhetim Cultural

Candace Trew Camling said...

oh my goodness! The colors all together are so pleasing to my eyes! Pretty pretty!

Tammie said...

that is a lot of cookies!! I can only bow to you. I also sense that your friends and family will be thrilled with you.

Wishing you a wonderful 2011!

Becca said...

Wow! You've been busy! Those cookies look yummy, and the food dye in those little containers remind me of the ones I still have in an old box from years ago. (I use new stuff when I bake) What fun memories you have brought back.

Catherine said...

Oh my goodness you went to a lot of work for those cookies. Extra yummy indeed!
xo Catherine

Frannie said...

Wonderful post. I just love the frosting palette.
My mom would bake dozens of these cut out cookies and freeze them in Nov....then we would decorate them for the holiday.

Happy New Year.

My Mane in the Wind said...

Oh my God how wonderful! I am totally going to attempt this next year. (Well, maybe not 135 of them -- but then again, I go to enough parties that I could spread them around the county). I love the palette of colors that spontaneously arose from those tiny bottles and I can't wait to see the photos of your bounty. Now, do they taste good???

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