Friday, December 26, 2008

The Cookie Exchange

Look at all these lovely cookies. Too bad I didn't bake any of them. I baked spritz cookies this year for the first time in my life. We've been together for almost 11 years and Ron has mentioned on more than one occasion that he really likes spritz cookies, among other buttery and crisp cookies. Butter cookies and shortbread-types are my least favorite of holiday cookies and don't appeal to me, so I've never baked them. This year I decided to give it a go for the 10th year celebration of my G-2 Cookie Exchange.
G-2 stands for second generation. My mom and next door neighbor Susan created a cookie exchange with the neighborhood gals over 30 years ago. Ten years ago, many of us living back in Minneapolis again, the daughters and daughters-in-law of the original crew, decided to join in the tradition of a cookie exchange. We run ours a bit differently than they do, deciding that it feels a little more democratic to bring our mandatory 4-6 dozen (depending on the year) and split them up equally amongst the attendees. That way, everyone gets to try everyone else's cookies and no one is accidentally stuck with 4 dozen of their own cookies to take home because well, maybe the frosting job didn't look so hot that year or maybe someone else made Martha Stewart-worthy cookies and well, you get the point. A cookie plate with seven or eight different varieties at home is much more impressive than four. The other thing we do differently is that we keep a log of who brings what cookies, who hosts, what was served, brief updates of everyone's lives and notable news from the past year. It has been such a highlight of our gatherings that one member has even started a list inside her kitchen cupboard door and jots down notable things when they happen throughout the year, newsworthy and not. (For example, Obama's victory and also the latest Brittney scandal.) Such fun!
I stayed up late baking the spritz cookies, wrestling with my spritz maker that was a bit tired from being used for many years as a churros maker in my Spanish classroom. It was a bit cranky. So was I after using it. Nevertheless, I made all white ones with red sprinkles until 1:30 a.m. and then cranked up the oven again the following morning before Carl left for school to let the boys help me make green ones. They were pretty cute, not perfect, but cute enough and tasty. We had eight dozen cookies, enough for the cookie party, cookie plates for the neighbors and a few left over. Perfect.
That afternoon I returned from a play date with all three kids, feeling exhausted after a certain unnamed second child had a sleep-deprivation induced meltdown necessitating a quick escape, arms flailing wildly. (Not mine, dear readers, HIS!) Upon entering the kitchen at home I noticed a certain tupperware container on the floor, open, and empty. Hmmm. That's not where I had left it, I was quite sure. Hmmmm again. And where was the dog? No where to be found, but licking her chops, I'm sure.
My reaction? Nothing. Nothing at all. It was one hour before I had to leave. There was NO WAY possible, short of rolling out some Pillsbury dough from a tube, that I was going to be able to bring cookies to the party. Oh well. After my child-extraction anger, nothing could faze me. I knew that the gals wouldn't mind, or at least hoped not. I figured it would be worth a good laugh and some sympathy cookies. I was right. They laughed and shared generously. Thank you ladies!


noradawn said...

Did Molly at least tell Ron how good they were? We brought home some spritz cookies from our cookie exchange!

ps I think your cookie exchange procedure sounds a little more socialistic than democratic, no?

Anonymous said...

You don't like spritz!?! I never knew this about you. We had them every year. Granted I like any chocolate cookies better, but spritz are MINNESOTAN! We didn't make any this year. :( I guess being out of MN is getting to me. I can relate to the meltdown story. Miss you! Julie

Stephanie said...

I hope Molly knows how lucky she is that you guys love her so much.

I only made coconut chocolate bars and gingersnaps this year. I burned 2 batches of the gingersnaps though--they were very very thin ones and I am still trying to figure out my thermometer-less oven. (Let's buy me one when I am home this summer). But I was drunk when I made the dough and so I decided NOT to half the recipe as I had planned to do, so I had many many cookies I could have donated to your cause....