Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cookie Mounds

Baking cookies is my greatest passion and this is the time of year when I can unleash my urges and set myself free. I can bake without guilt and in the spirit of holiday sharing, can give dozens away to appreciative souls. The process begins by perusing dozens of cookie magazines and my big binder of recipes accumulated over 30 years from friends, parties, newspapers etc. The pictures are beautiful and mouth watering. I select many old favorites-the pinwheels, crescents, date balls, and pick new additions to try. Armed with my shopping list, I stock up on flour, sugar, dates, decorative sprinkles etc. My exitement builds as I find mixing bowls, cookie cutters and the cookie press. The mixer and food processor will get a workout this week. Like an addict, night after night, I mix and grind and turn out batches of sugary creations. Some are sliced, some dropped and some molded. Most difficult are the pinwheels which have to be carefully cut and folded over. Soon the kitchen ressembles a cookie factory with sheets of warm, soft, and aromatic cookies. Piles of cooled cookies stand on screens, and the counter is full with plastic tubs of finished cookies. At the end of this madness, I have baked 3-4 dozens each of 8-10 varieties. Arranged in paper cupcake holders in a cookie tin or Christmas plate, they spread holiday cheer. Joy is seeing others bite into and enjoying my cookie creations. Until next year... Meanwhile I dream of a time when cookies will be my career.

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