Christmas Eve Cookies

It has been months since I’ve baked anything. Mostly due to the fact that our ancient oven broke, and we did have the new one sitting in the car port, but they took forever sending a guy to come and install it. 

Also, I just started my new job. =-) You can read all about it, I’ll be posting more, on my main site/blog.

Anyway, it only makes sense that I’d be itching to bake something. Dying even. Yesterday, I finally got my chance.

My family always has people over Christmas Eve. And the desserts, starting from Thanksgiving, become more frequent and more varied all the way up to New Years, where we go heart-attack crazy with sweets.

This Christmas, everyone in the family participated, right down to my little brother who made strawberry danishes.

My mom baked raspberry muffins and her first cheesecake (which turned out perfect!). And my older brother, back from school, was put to work making my Abuelita’s recipe. . . which I just realized I can’t describe. It’s layered cookies between evaporated milk and lemon, and I’m sure other things, and once it’s set, the cookies are moist and you cut it like a cake and it’s creamy and lemony.

I didn’t plan my desserts at all. I jotted on an envelope some recipes that inspired me on Pinterest, but that was about it.

I somehow mentioned mint cookies though, because my mom was expecting me to make those. So I used a recipe for mint star cookies I’ve made on this blog before.

It uses butter, superfine sugar, flour, an egg yolk, peppermint of course, salt, and chocolate for the drizzle.
You begin by creaming the butter and sugar, so, I believe you should get into the habit of immediately pulling out your butter sticks, first. That way they can thaw to room temperature by the time you’ve found your cook book, tied your apron, fixed your hair, spanked a child — whatever it is you do.
Otherwise, you’ll have to pop them in the microwave.
I did mine about twenty seconds.

So cream the butter and sugar. The book says use a wooden spoon, but *hair flip* I’m too professional for that now.

Sift flour and salt before adding it to the mix.
Then shape into two balls and pray you find room in the fridge. There mine went, right by my older brother’s dessert with the cookies I was telling you about.
The dough didn’t take me long to make and it had to sit in the fridge for about an hour, so I thought, why not make something else?
My mom said we didn’t have anything chocolate. Bingo.
This, is where things get crazy.
Recipes in my cookie book all require 3/4th a cup of sugar, two sticks of butter, and 2 1/4th cup of flour, I believe.

Here’s what I could scrounge up; about a fourth of superfine sugar, one stick of butter (not even shown in the picture), and about 1 1/4th cup of flour.

I could do this!!

I cut the whole thing in half.

One stick of butter.

This is trippy. I thought, heck I’ll use regular sugar instead of superfine, who’s gonna see the difference? 
. . Everybody, my dense friend, everybody. . 
Turns out, there is a difference between superfine and regular sugar. Honestly. Who knew?
Cream what you’ve got.

Add vanilla. The recipe calls for two teaspoons, so I put two teaspoons. Then gasped, covered my mouth, and suddenly giggled, because I forgot I was doing everything in half.

Why is there vanilla in a chocolate cookie anyway? 
So, I figured the vanilla mistake would be my little secret.
Sift what you’ve got. Mine was about a cup.
For the coco powder, I learned the hard way why you use liquid measuring cups for measuring liquid and the other ones for measuring everything else. 

No way of leveling. .

You live an learn.

I mixed it all together then added mini chocolate chips. They’re so cute, they raised my voice a few octaves. If you’ve never seen a mini chocolate chip, drop everything and go buy a bag right now.  You haven’t lived. They’re sooo small! Like chocolate chip babies. Or if a chocolate chip pooped, a chocolate chip.

I used a mini ice cream scooper to form balls and squished them slighly.

The double chocolate chip cookies were a little more than one baking sheet’s worth, so I finished up on those and moved back to the mint stars.

For a surface, I stretched a piece of plastic cross a cutting board and tucked it into the other side, without cutting it from the box it rolled out of. I put the ball of dough on the plastic and used the plastic the dough was wrapped in for the top layer – so it’d be completely between two sheets of plastic – and rolled it out that way so it wouldn’t stick to the rolling pin. Then I cut stars.

For the very last star, I press the cookie cutter in the middle like usual, then peel off the sides and press it into the cookie cutter by hand.

You can do this with an empty star (without initially having dough cut into it), if you don’t mind your awkward cookie to be thin. In this case, my awkward cookie would be thick, if that makes sense.

To finish off these cookies, you add a chocolate drizzle and they look pretty.

Like this.

So I put my chocolate chips in my melting pot and waited. . I was waiting so long that my mom told me she could melt the chocolate chips on the stove in no time flat, which sounded nice, so she took over.

I saw her add a few spoonfuls of water, then she began mixing forever.

Long story short, we don’t know what happened. It was thick and ugly. I added oil, trying to smooth it out and the oil refused to incorporate. It got worse the more it cooled, so I quickly dumped it into a zip lock back and tried to pipe some form of drizzle on the cookies, and the bag busted, the chocolate was so thick.

This chocolate was alive. And angry. We wouldn’t have been surprised if it swallowed us alive. But after the bag busted open, I was done with it.

My mother, on the other hand, wasn’t. She went into her Super Mama Safe The Day, Fix The Unfixable! mood.

Her first idea; spreading.

Then the cookie broke in her hand.

Next idea: make. . . truffles?

She formed them into balls and stuck them in the fridge and was very proud at that. She even tasted and must’ve been pleased, because she served them at the party. I have yet to try them.

Unfortunately for the frosted cookie. .

Ultimate segregation.

My little brother asked what happened. I said, “this is what happens when a cookie’s bad.”

So in the end, we had double chocolate chip cookies that actually turned out! I was shocked.

And naked, no drizzle, mint star cookies.

They plated nicely, though, I think.

So all, around, good baking day! I was also inspired.

This is the book I got my recipes from, I’ve mentioned it before. The reason I got this book is because I thought, “all I need to do is get the hang of one recipe (or one dough) and I can make one hundred different cookies!”

For a baker like me, that idea sounds preetty darn good.

Well, as I was baking these cookies, I thought, why not go through the whole book, cookie by cookie, starting at One?

Kind of like in that movie Julie and Julia. So. What do you say? Good idea? Boring idea? Any comment?

I think it’s cool. It’s not a project for a culinary master, but for anyone. And for you guys at home, you can buy yourselves a copy of this book and bake along if you want. =-)

I’m selling myself on this idea.

So yeah. There’s that. X-) Right now, I really need to sleep. I have a cold, and work tomorrow. Oh the joys! 
Comment below if you can!

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