For some reason, I haven’t actively participated in a holiday cookie marathon since I’ve been old enough to drink. Those of you who know me know that’s been … well, let’s be gentle and just say “a while.”
That said, I was delighted to finally be able to take up an invitation by friend and colleague Brenda Hock to be one of her annual cookie decorating elves. Brenda is a baker extraordinaire, but she does not so much enjoy the decorating process – a perfect match for someone such as myself who would be daunted at making dozens and dozens and dozens of cookies.
Four of us met at “Cookie Central” a week ago, rarin’ to go, and armed with widely varied skill sets. Mine was evidently being able to place little items like sprinkles and balls in a decorative manner (see below for my wee elvish efforts), but I also felt like a fairly brave little shiksa for tackling the decoration of a menorah and two dreidels.
Later that day … a glimpse of all the cookies dutifully and delightfully decorated by Brenda’s Elves!
One of the elves was a baker for a string of several local coffeeshops, who gave us some gentle schooling in such techniques as “flooding” – piping an outline of the frosting around the edge and literally flooding the interior with the frosting. It not only ensures even coverage, but also sets a perfect edge if you want to then introduce an adjacent color, as he’s done here. (Apologies for the blurry photo! I think I was experiencing sugar jitters by then.)
The cookie experience also gave me a chance to dig out and show off some of the vintage tin cookie cutters (there’s a photo of some of them at the top of this post) that my mom and I used when I was a kid. I believe most of them came from my maternal grandmother’s family, which might explain why there are so many farm animals. Nothing says “Christmas” like cookies shaped like cows, horses, chickens, and even bears, right? Of course, there are also the requisite reindeer, gingerbread people, and stars, but mainly just a lot of fun holiday memories!
Enjoy the season, everyone, and strive to bring a little peace into your lives and others.
Here are some fun links to cookie cutter info …
and … turns out there’s even a cookie cutter convention for collectors!