The Cookie Exchange - a social gathering of friends that makes light of your work load at this busy time of year. Each friend makes one kind of cookie, and everyone trades. This year I decided that I would host one. It would be fun.
It is at this point in the story that I should share the fact that I suffer from delusions of grandeur, or rather delusions of Martha Stewart. I combed Pinterest looking for beautiful cookies. I would impress all of my friends with my wicked culinary skills - first mistake. I decided I would create candy encrusted spirals. Oh in my head they were stunning! I would mix together green and red shortbread and roll them in crushed candy. Oh they would ohh and they would aww, and everyone would leave speaking in hushed tones about how amazing I was ... silly big headed fool that I was.
The night before our exchange I only had to make 12 dozen cookies.. no biggy. How long could it take? Oh and I had to clean my pig pen of a house. Not only do I suffer from delusions of grandeur, but I also am a horrific procrastinator. So that night I began to mix a double batch of chocolate vanilla shortbread pinwheels (yes I adjusted my plan. I thought back to how when I have used colouring gel to colour my cakes, it doesn't maintain it's colour. Instead it looks like a sickly version. I could take no chances, I had not left myself enough time. I had to impress everyone). I mixed one batch of vanilla shortbread and one batch of chocolate. I congratulated myself on being so clever. This would totally cut down my work time... genius! I began by rolling out my vanilla dough, then my chocolate. Oh it already looked so pretty. I then began to roll... and that is where it all began to unravel. My pinwheel began to more resemble a yule log, a real yule log, not those adorable version you buy in the store. It was monstrous. Oh this would not do, I said in a panic stricken voice. These cookies would be the size of dinner plates. In a dirty panic I began to squash the dough down. It did not roll out, instead it looked more like a two by four. It was then that I read the last directions on the recipe, at 9:00 p.m. Let stand in the refrigerator over night... crap.
The next morning I got up and sliced the roll. I ended up with 2 dozen.. that's it. Not only did it only give me two dozen, they more closely resembled biscotti. I guess that what they say about pride coming before the fall is spot on. Frantically I began to mix up double batch of brownie cookies. I had purchased bars of melting chocolate, and decided it might be nice to cut them into chunks and mix them in with the chocolate chips. Oh my friends will be happy. I finished the cookies off by sprinkling crushed candy cane over the top. When they had cooked they looked like bear poops. I had no time, and had to make do. Onward, the show must go on. I made 10 dozen brownie cookies. They did not look as pretty as they did in my head, but that was becoming a theme of my cookie exchange. I happened to put my finger into the melted chocolate that was left on the cookie tray after I had scooped off my last cookie. I was looking forward to that warm chocolatey goodness. I devilishly touched my finger to my tongue, expecting that tasty, sweet goodness. My face began to contort in horror, there was nothing sweet about it. Feverishly I grabbed for the chocolate wrapper "unsweetened chocolate". Well my friends were in for a bitter surprise.
It turns out I am no Martha Stewart even if I do have delusions of grandeur. I do however have an amazing group of friends. We laughed, and all enjoyed warm apple cider. It was a really nice evening. I need to do this more often. So my cookies were a real let down, but my friends weren't. So maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas is a little bit more... (although my friends cookie experience may have been tastier had I gotten them from the store). It wouldn't have mattered if I'd made dog food cookies, my friends would still have been amazing, although they totally would have called me on it, and that's what I love about them.