Christmas Cookies – Day 2

Start Time: 11:15 am

Stop Time: 4:38 am

Goal: 22 types of cookies, packaged, wrapped & read to deliver on Tuesday 12/18

Baked:  Mint Chip (4x), Cinnamon Imperial Cutouts (4x), Coffee Sugar (4x), Brown Sugar Spice (3)

Mixed: Paris Breakfast Shortbread(4x), Cranberry Shortbread (4x), Vanilla Bean Shortbread (4x), Lemon Sugar Rounds (6x), Pecan Sandies (4x)

Day 2 was a BEAST.  Thankfully, so am I.

Little bit of a happy accident right out the gate.  This year, I’m trying a new coffee sugar cookie recipe.  I’ve been searching for a coffee cookie that will be a good sugar cookie but also a sturdy base for food art. This cookie is not it.  However, this cookie is AWESOME.  When it started baking, I was like WOW, that is a good coffee smell.  It was like, butter and coffee had a baby in my oven.  Wow, that’s gross. What do you expect.  It’s nearly 5 am.

But, problem: despite chilling the dough overnight, freezing it, and chilling it between bakes, it won’t hold it’s shape.  The candy cane cookies are like this, but these were worse.  I got 4 trays baked (yay, 2 ovens!) before I realized this (boo, I mean YAY! 2 ovens!) and the the cookies were blobs.  Oh, and I also had rolled, cut and stashed all the cut outs in the freezer, so like, 2 hours I’m never getting back.

BUT, the happy accident… one of the trays over baked, and was slightly burnt, but DAMN if that wasn’t the best, crispiest coffee cookie I’d ever had.  These are the few “ruined” cookies I’m keeping. Yes, they were that good.  And if you’re lucky, I’ll bring you one to taste the mistake.   I used the good stuff too.  Fresh ground Blue Horse, 100% Kona coffee. drool2018-12-13 13.30.03

So I had to re-work 118 cut outs into formed rounds.  Sprinkled coffee grounds on them to pretty them up.  I pressed them thin to get that crisp effect and increased the bake time so they were on the verge of too dark.  Man that’s a good cookie.  Just not a cut out.  And it certainly shouldn’t have icing on it.  Maybe chocolate drizzles (not prepared this year for that) but it would be an insult to cover this one in sugar.

After that, I shaped, chilled rolled, cut and froze my way through all the dough in my fridge, a whopping 500+ cut outs.  Oh the speed of two ovens.  It would have taken me two days to get all that done in Pacifica, and this is day freaking 2.  I did forget to eat lunch, so I wound up shoving cold pizza into my mouth between batches at 3pm, but I got ‘er done.

Not only did I bake all that, I also mixed all the shortbread and refrigerator cookies except for the extreme brownie by 9:30 pm.  Which meant I started flooding cookies by 10:30 pm.  Pretty much on schedule with that insane deadline I gave myself which was admittedly aggressive.

Oh, and The Husband.  The most amazing Husband ever to walk the planet.  He shows up with dinner, despite me missing his text asking if I was hungry, and plops a bacon cheeseburger from Wayback down.  Not kidding, I nearly cried.  Halfway through the meal, I might have whimpered “thanks” and “I love you” but I’m not sure.  My brain wasn’t really functioning due to the heavenly meat and cheese in my mouth.

McIrish grabbed the basket of finished cookies and fired up the sealer, so while I took a break to eat, the production line never stopped.  The last of the 50 pound bag of flour is now in my bin, so it looks like another trip to the restaurant supply store is going to happen this weekend.  Not worried about it today, as it’s a no-mix day tomorrow and The Husband can go Saturday while I continue the madness at home.

2018-12-13 22.14.02I got the hexagons and the quatrefoils flooded in hopes that when MOTU comes over tomorrow, they are ready for the details and the airbrush.  But, get this. I ran out of counter and table space.  We even had a portable table set up and ALL those surfaces are covered in cookies.  So, I’m not done flooding, but that is OK.

Made a total of 9 batches of royal icing tonight, but I’ve gone and used it all up.  I’m already running a load of laundry (poor McIrish, his room is above the laundry room) so I didn’t’ feel like making MORE noise at 4 in the morning to make another batch of icing.  I tole myself that when the icing runs out, so do I.  I’m beat.  Successful but super heavy day.

Moosie fell asleep on the couch for most of the day, waking up to clean up fallen wads of dough and dropped pizza crust while I worked.  I forgot Miji was with me until she came over at 4 in the morning to yell at me to go to bed.  Seriously, she nudged my leg repeatedly, made some noise then huffed and lay down at my feet.  She’s still there now, all pissy because she wants to go to bed.  Believe me sister, I’m so with you.  Just let me finish this post.

The marble technique I saw online (thanks for the beautiful inspiration @sugarbase_) was awesome, really easy and quick to do, and I’m purposefully not posting a pic because I want people to be surprised.  But here’s the technique:

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A post shared by Sana Sodawala (@sugarbase_)

I can’t wait to finish those in the morning.  It’s looking like it does in my head, if that makes sense.  I love it when you imagine something and when you go to do it, it’s what you envisioned.  So rarely does that happen for me.  It’s more like a “cakewreck” when I do it.  Speaking of, I looked back on the 2016 boxes and was not impressed.  Man, that was a shitty year for cookies.  Things did not turn out as nice as I’d hoped last time.  When I read about all the disasters last year, I’m again, thankful that this year seems to be going smoothly.  All disasters should turn into a warm coffee and butter baby.

Note for next year.  I’m not doing the candy cane cookies.  They are too fussy and they don’t hold their shape well.  And they aren’t “wow” in flavor.  I need another decorator cookie.  But the coffee sugar is going to make it back on the list.  Anyway, my counters are covered with cookies drying, and tomorrow will be a “sit on my ass and decorate” kind of day.  I cant’ believe this is day two.  Really pleased with the progress being made.

Tomorrow, MOTU will be here, the boys are home and Potsie will be here to help too at some point this weekend.  This is what cookie time means to me.  Family.  Strange, how what began as a solo project back in college (’cause I was broke & needed to make gifts) has become an annual event and my crazy wonderful family is part of it.  I only wish that one day, I can do cookie time with Mom.  She would probably just go to bed and laugh at me for being insane.  “You’re crazy, Bear. I’m going to bed. It’s too late.” LOL.  I can hear it now.

Good day, over all.  That shower is going to feel divine here in a second.  Miji is looking at me like, “You said ‘in a minute’ a half hour ago,” so I think that’s my cue.




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