Start Time: 11:30 am

Stop Time: 1:20 am

Goal: 21 types of cookies, packaged, wrapped & ready to deliver on Tuesday 12/17. And one Godzilla themed, gluten-free (among other things) birthday cake to deliver on 12/14.

Completed:   Pecan Sandies (4x), Coffee Sugar (4x), Snickerdoodles (5x), Vanilla Sugar (6x), Coconut cutouts (4x), Mint Chip (4x)

Flooded:  Brown Sugar Spice (3x), Mint Chip (4x), Vanilla Sugar (6x), Coconut cutouts (4x)

Day 3, in the bag. The usual complaints apply– tired, achy– but also the usual pleasures apply like satisfaction, contentment, happiness. MOTU is with me today and tomorrow to help and we did huge damage to the refrigerated dough. All the shortbread is done, packaged and looking really nice. They are so round this year that it makes the OCD hamster in my head really happy.

Today was really nice. It was just MOTU and me all day, working together. We got to have some quiet, working time, just the two of us and it was like old times. For me, it reminded me of the early days of our friendship where we worked in the same office. The two of us could share space and just work. No obligatory chatter if it wasn’t needed or welcome, deep conversation when there was time, and just comfortable silence in between.

It’s one of the things I love about her the most. We can just BE together and not have to think too hard about it. These days, it’s less about work than it is catching up on some of the stuff we don’t get to share since we don’t see each other as often. Today was a really peaceful quality time kind of day. Usually there’s so many of us in the house when she comes to visit that moments like this are rare. This was wonderful to have in the middle of cookie madness.

I also finished the Godzilla cake today. I feeeeeeeelllll like he deserves his own gallery at least, maybe a separate post as to the back story (ie, why does my grown-ass friend want a Godzilla cake for her birthday and why is it so “everything- free”) but I feel the need to include it here because it’s part of cookie time this year.

After the baking was done and the flooding was done, I took another break from cookies to shed my gluten-nut-ginger filled apron and sweatshirt to triple-clean my kitchen, myself and tools. After the bleeding on my raw skin stopped because of all the scrubbing (#JokingNotJoking) I mixed up the buttercream. Usually my decorator butter cream is half butter, half shortening in order to make it a consistent texture and spreading consistency. But because of the nut allergy part, it was 100% butter.

What I know about butter after all these years, beside the fact that it’s tasty:
  • It gets hard when it gets cold
  • It gets soft when it gets warm

I’ve torn up slices of bread by trying to spread cold butter on them many times in my life (mmmm, cinnamon toast…) and so I knew what I was up against doing an all-butter buttercream. It’s a bit harder to frost a cake and spreading consistency is kind of out the window. Especially because my house is unusually cold this year. Thankfully, the cake was supposed to look like a natural island/volcano so the rough look to the icing is ok. It just meant detail work was difficult and icing in corners isn’t a crisp or clean.

There is also the allergy factor. Most fondant, gum paste, edible glitters, fancy food coloring and pre-made decorations have a long list of ingredients, some of which I have no idea if mt friend is going to have an allergic reaction to. That meant a lot of my tactics for a fancy, “all edible” cake went out the window. So yeah, I bought some plastic trees. And I googled ALL the ingredients before incorporating even color into the cake.

What I found is that McKormick food coloring is pretty basic and they have lots of allergy information on their site. So does Chefmaster. Thankfully, I will never be a full-on snob about baking supplies (yeah, I have a ton of fancy professional food color, luster dust and glitter) but I still have the basics. I also stuck to the same chocolate I used in the cake (some brands add coconut oil to their chocolate) for the chocolate icing.

The end result is this rustic island which turned into a 3D diorama for Godzilla and Gidora to stage their final battle. Yeah…you KNOW we had some fun with a photo shoot… This is what McIrish does for a living, and Trash Panda is also really creative in that twisted way and is good at art direction. MOTU took the photos because she is kind of a pro and we staged a super silly photoshoot.

I’ll do a separate gallery so you can see the silliness in all it’s glory. Because, to quote Potise, we are RIDICULOUS people.

Anyway, silliness aside, I’m excited to see my friend’s reaction tomorrow. I think she’s going to love this. It’s completely silly and so perfect. Even though cookies took a back seat today, I feel accomplished and good about what I’ve done so far. I’m even proud of myself– I’ve eliminated 3 cookies from the list due to time constraints. And I don’t feel bad or sad about that.

I just want to go to bed. LOL. So that’s what I’m going to do. Godzilla gets delivered tomorrow, and I’ll be at a birthday party for a few hours so The Husband and MOTU are covering my shift. Again, I am so grateful for my family. Production doesn’t have to stop tomorrow because I’m not here. To me, this is what the holidays is about. There is no one I would ever count on more and they do it for me without hesitation. I am such a lucky lady.

More tomorrow. Gotta get some rest. Maybe run to target for some sparkler candles to make those volcanoes light up…