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So, the other day I posted this:
which the astute among you might recognise as an old Tupperware box full of cookies shaped like pine trees. They are, in fact, a modified version of Neva’s Sugar Cookies, flavored with peppermint essence and run through the Mirro Cookie Press.

Before I continue, I’d like to provide y’all with what I consider an heirloom recipe. When my mom and her brother were little kids, their neighbor down the road used to bake these cookies. Mom remembered these cookies fondly, and as an adult, asked her old neighbor if she could have the recipe for them. It is as follows:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

2 C. Brown Sugar
1 C. Shortening (I use butter)
3 Eggs
1/2 C. Milk
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
5 C. Flour

Cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add milk and mix. Add soda & baking powder. Mix. Add vanilla. Add flour one cup at a time. Shape into 1″ balls and flatten with a glass dipped in white sugar. Bake 8-10 minutes.

It works best if you have a vase with a fancy cut-glass bottom to impress a fancy design in the dough.

If you add another 1/2 cup of flour, it makes the perfect consistency to go through the cookie press. If you add an extra cup of flour, instead, it makes great dough for cookie-cutter cookies. If you pursue this method, prepare to make a crap-ton of cut-out cookies. Six cups of flour is no fucking joke is what I’m saying.

Anyway, I made the little pine trees, and lo, they were pretty cute.

Then I took it upon myself to decorate them.

Decorating with icing is not my strong suit.
About a quarter of them look like this. Shitty. This is why I never do iced-and-decorated cookies. Because I am completely incompetent.

Luckily, I started getting my groove after a pan of completely messy and awful trees, and about 75% of my output ended up looking like this:
Decorating with icing is not my strong suit.
Not beautiful, but at least passable. The first batch look like I iced them with my feet.

Decorating with icing is not my strong suit.
My snowflakes, however, are inexcusable.

I had this idea that I’d be all clever and make these chocolate-orange flavored roll-out cookies, cut them into snowflake shapes, then frost them white and sprinkle sugar on it to look like ice crystals. My recipe for the Royal Icing worked perfectly for the green stuff, but for some reason the white stayed really runny. Also, the website I used for reference suggested that a very small amount of blue food color should be added to the plain white icing to make the sugar sprinkles stand out better. I obviously got too much food coloring in it, because these darn snowflakes look more like novelty bathroom tiles.

I considered calling these my “special snowflakes,” not because they included any illicit secret ingredients to make the season more merry, but special in the ‘Oh, don’t mind Cousin JoDean; she’s just a little bit special, bless her heart’ meaning of “special.”

I got a hot idea to try to make snowflake sugar cookies a few years ago, with almost equally rotten results. That time, my icing turned out lumpy, plus the sprinkles that were supposed to go on the icing wouldn’t stick. I had some super-cute sprinkles then: some extra-shiny sugar crystals and some little nonpareil things in the shape of snowflakes. My idea was a beautiful, frosty, glittery, delicate confection of loveliness, but the result was…well short of my hopes and expectations.

As you can see, they were not delicate and frosty. They were kind of lumpy and nondescript. And I should have colored the icing green for the Christmas trees. Like I did this year.

Anyway, I hope that someday I will learn my lesson and stop trying to make pretty holiday treats. Royal Icing is best left to people significantly less ham-fisted than me!

4 Responses to “WARNING! Actual Holiday-Themed-Content Ahead!”

  1. JohnSherck says:

    Well, at least your post gave me something to laugh about.

    Maybe it has to do with being a guy, but I don’t really give a crap how a cookie (or other food item) looks, as long as it tastes great. In fact, looking crappy is almost a positive in my book, because it means other people will foolishly avoid them, leaving more for me.

  2. Meetzorp says:

    Among the many reasons I’m not a food, crafts, or lifestyle blogger would include my legendary ham-fistedness. I am the opposite of dextrous (or patient) and so projects which require finesse tend to go awry quickly.

    That and the cussing. I find that most craft bloggers keep it a lot more G-rated.

    Oh yeah, and the fact that my house is continually under very messy construction, so that knocks me squarely out of the Apartment Therapy crowd. Maybe sometime I’ll do an A. T. parody blog showing my inglorious rathole of a house as though it were all “carefully curated” and shit.

  3. Julie says:

    I think they look wonderful and endearingly imperfect.

  4. Nimble says:

    It’s all about the smell and taste. Perfect fondant tastes pretty blecky after all.

    I like to curse and knit. I don’t think it would be possible for me to complete a knitting project without the f word.

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