Bested by a fucking cookie press

Before Christmas, I was seduced by  displays at a home outfitting store. I had visions of myself setting a golden brown turkey down in front of an adoring family on a beautifully decorated table. I came across a cookie press that makes cookies in all kinds of fancy Christmassy patterns and I suddenly saw the key to my domestic prowess. I was going to press out a gazillion motherfucking cookies and give them to the whole neighborhood. Probably sing carols and tote around a thermos of hot chocolate too.

That isn’t how things worked out.

In retrospect, there was a lot of things working against me.

1) I am a terrible baker. There is not a single instance  where I have successfully made anything that didn’t come out of a box.  I believe it has something to do with my inability to follow instructions, but I also think that there’s a deeper baking magic at work that I just don’t have.

2) I got into an argument while buying the press. So by the time I got it home it was already tainted with misery. My new credit card has a chip with no PIN, which is apparently my bank’s method of driving me crazy. When I tried to explain this to the clerk she lectured me about getting in touch with my bank and I blew my top.

3) The instructions for the press show all the different patterns of cookie you can make and one of them is clearly a camel cookie. Yet it is labelled “Dinosaur”. This should have been a strong clue that the instructions might leave something to be desired.

4) My kids and husband were sick and I was operating off of weeks of sleep deprivation.

But my optimism prevailed. I was going to conquer Christmas. Here’s how it went down.

A full week before my cookie exchange I went drinking with my friends as usual on a Friday night. It had been ages since I went out. I got carried away and maybe wasn’t feeling so shit hot on Saturday morning. Husband was still sick on Saturday morning and just failed to get up with the kids so I was up bright and early. While they were playing before their morning nap I thought to myself, hell, this is a PERFECT time to make cookies. I swear I read every instruction carefully and followed it exactly. I wasn’t going to fuck it up with my pretend genius this time, I was going to follow INSTRUCTIONS.

First thing that went wrong was that I had recently reorganized my spice rack and hadn’t gotten around to labeling things yet. I rummaged through and found the pumpkin spice. Goddammit, that was coriander.  Scrape away excess coriander, liberally sprinkle more pumpkin spice in. This is going wrong. I forged ahead, the dough was like glue. This didn’t seem right. I fiddle around with dough until it seems more like cookie dough and put in fridge for chilling. Lay head down on the counter while kids scream their heads off. Nap time for all.

While kids are napping I attempt Press 1. This is not working. Dough is not sticky enough. Pan is not sticky enough. I am out of parchment paper. Tamper with dough for a while. Kids wake up and I retrieve them. Carry on trying to tamper with dough which is now resembling a giant wad of bubble gum. Son is standing in middle of the living room with his diaper half off. Abort! Abort! Hurdle baby gate to secure diaper.

It’s not even pretending to stick

Throw mess in fridge, feed kids lunch and everyone has to go lay down.

Part 2, several hours later. Dough is now a giant sticky wad of bubble gum. I know I have to thin it down so I start adding water. Soon enough I have a slurry of dough. Put dough in cookie press and the lid pops off. Try a different shape… lid pops off. Dough is expanding at an exponential rate inside of cookie press. It is a supernova that explodes through all efforts to contain it. Take break, e-mail back and forth with friend on vacation in Germany. Husband, “why are you making cookies if you’re so tired.” Cue meltdown. Yell out sentiments of “YOU DON’T APPRECIATE ME… I  AM UP TRYING TO TAKE CARE OF OUR CHILDREN AND JUST TRYING TO MAKE CHRISTMAS HAPPEN.” I beat my breast a little and flailed about until I finally put wads of dough on a cookie sheet and let them bake so I didn’t waste 3 lbs of butter (in retrospect, I should have maybe made 1/2 a batch first instead of 3 batches). 

Tasteless wads of dough

The cookie press sat in the sink rusting for 3 days until my husband rinsed it off and two weeks later I shoved it back in the box and returned it with half the pieces missing. I’d like to think that it was my sheer ferocity that forced the clerk to return it, but I think he was just a completely apathetic seasonal worker.

From there I went on to make gingerbread men, which was another disaster due to my inability to remember to double EVERY ingredient when doubling a recipe. Then I ran out of molasses and bought a lighter molasses the second time around. The two batches of dough wouldn’t mix properly and it wasn’t pliable enough to peel off the counter after cutting them so there were a lot of missing limbs. Result: crispy calico gingerbread men that looked like they survived Chernobyl.  Also, I got the flu and didn’t have time to decorate them. No one would eat them. Dammit.

5 comments

  1. okay, maybe not the nicest thing a friend could do, but i laughed at the visual of you beating your breast & flailing about a bit. ;)

    also, my girls loved the gingerbread men – they threw one of those epic twin tantrums when i told them there were none left. i should have called & ordered more, eh?

    as for Christmas, just remember, there’s always next year! :P

  2. I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading extremely slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the
    problem still exists.

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s