Friday, January 1, 2010
Christies Cookie Exchange
Happy Holidays everyone! Its peanut butter cookie time! Okay, I admit it, Im pretty excited about cookies recently. Christie had the brilliant idea to host a Cookie exchange just prior to xmas this holiday season, and it was alot of fun. The concept was simple, bake up five dozen cookies (which sounds like alot, but really, its only 2 batches or so of cookies) and exchange said cookies at a gathering over home brewed coffee, a warming bowl of homemade soup, and some great conversation. Its a really great time of year to have a cookie exchange, everyone is settling into holiday mode, and who doesnt need overflowing cookie tins?
It all sounds so simple, so cozy. That is until it dawned upon me that in attending, I needed to actually bake cookies(P.s Id never baked a cookie from scratch,ever). Uh oh. I could have ridden Christies coatails and said "Christie and Ians cookies" but as i wasnt helping her make hers, I decided to suck it up and learn how to make some cookies.
The only thing going in to this that I knew, was that I did not want to make chocolate chip cookies. Dont get me wrong, I love chocolate chip cookies, but I wanted to try something a little different, something that I could be proud of. I think a scenario played through my head while deciding this that kind of went something like this
-Ian enters room. Places cookie tin on table.
-Christie opens tin, looks inside, slowly takes out mystery cookie, turns it over in her hand, looks one over. Gives a quick smell, looks again, looks at me, bites cookie.
-Empty moment of impossible strain on Ians face, clock ticking in backround out of focus comes into focus. Ian sweats and fidgets.
-Christie chews, closes eyes, softly says,
"mmmm, this is a good cookie, congratulations on baking your first cookies honey!"
-VICTORY SCENE (required props list below)
dudes giving Ian high fives
Ian giving dudes high fives
cool google earth camera zoom in from space
squirels in partly hats
So....back to my cookie decision. The mystery cookie, I needed to figure it out, this was the key to my glorious victory scene. But where, who? I typed "cookie recipes" into google and got 15,700,000 results, I needed some narrowing down. Then Anna Olson saved the day. I went to the Canadian Food Network website (check it out on the link at the bottom of this post, it really is a neat and really well made site) where a picture of Anna Olson was displayed for an ad of some sort, and I remembered her show "Sugar", as well as practicaly drooling on Christies floor watching the cookies and deserts she was making. Using the fancy new website, I was able to sort through her recipes and find first timer cookie magic, the Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie (beams of light came down from parting clouds and cleared up all the bad things in the world for me at the very moment I found that recipe. Ok no, not that dramatic)
The recipe was really simple, straighforward, though time consuming for a first time cookie baker. I of course cut my cookie a little too thick for my first batch, so they all grew quite large and touched the edges of the sheet, though after that setback I figured out the right size and placement on the sheet to avoid that again. The step that was the most time consuming was spreading the filling, as I was worried about using too much at first, got 1/4 through my cookies, and realized I had barely used any spread, so I had to go back and put more in each. It didnt help that I was nervous at each step and took extra time to make sure each step was done properly.
On to the big unveiling. I had so many questions, were my cookies good enough? was anyone going to eat any? Or were they destined to sit on a plate, lonely and neglected like a gifted storebought holiday fruitcake? I had Christie try one right away, and she actually liked it! Hooray, (insert bad man dance victory dance). The rest of the cookie party was okay, but really, the highlight was my cookies, since all the other cookies ran away when they saw how awesome mine were. Okay, no they didnt.
The party was alot of fun, Christie made some fresh squash soup for everyone, and handed out cookie tins for everyones efforts. If you have a chance, and are looking to plan a little holiday something, think about a cookie exchange amongst friends, or at work even. If I can bake cookies, anyone can.
Anna Olsons Peanut Butter Sandwhich Cookies
Food Network Canada