Some things you never learn

What is it about making cookies that encourages overindulgence? The cookie batter and the countless “test cookies” inevitably lead to that queasy feeling when you ask yourself, yet again, “why did I do it?” Last night we began our holiday cookie baking—we usually make about 8-10 different kinds. These we assemble in tins for our wonderful mailman, friends and neighbors…and enjoy over the holiday meals. Still, plenty remain for a steady injection of butter and sugar over the course of a couple of weeks.

Yesterday we made Spritz cookies, using the cookie press, and ginger sugar cookies from Gourmet that never come out like the picture in the cookbook. These improve significantly as the days go by. We also made thumbprints, which might have turned out the best ever this year. Tonight we will tackle the more challenging, cookie-cutter cookies: gingerbread men (and dogs and cats) and sugar cookies. Then there are a couple of new ones we want to try.

I can remember making Christmas cookies with my sister, even when we were quite little. Despite wearing aprons, we always ended up with a good deal of flour covering us, and by the end were pooped and a bit sick from sampling our work. It is a happy ritual… the baking and the overeating.

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