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The Den Mother’s Cookie Factory

Monday, December 14, 2009, 04:40 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

It was a cold and rainy mid-December evening, and all the ingredients were present. The task fell to me to bring them together. It was a daunting task, but it had to be done. I have to ship packages of cookies tomorrow to Afghanistan, Iraq, and an aircraft carrier somewhere in the Pacific, then I have to bring two dozen into work on Tuesday for a Christmas cookie swap. Let the baking begin!

As the truism states, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. Or Italian cookies, it turns out. In this case, the eggs joined flour, sugar, and baking powder…

…and were followed by vegetable oil and a generous amount of anise extract. That’s when it got interesting. A big wooden spoon is helpful in starting to mix the ingredients, but ultimately, nothing works better than two hands. So I dug in. After about ten minutes of mixing and kneading, I had a nice batch of dough that tasted a lot better than that crap they mix into ice cream. I only wish I could have gotten a shot of myself up to my wrists in cookie dough, but alas I didn’t have a third hand to snap the picture. Here’s how it ended up:

After a break to clean up, I dipped my freshly washed hands into some more flour and started rolling the dough into little balls.

When the sheet was full, it went into the oven, and while that batch was baking I rolled some more balls of dough. 14 3/4 dozen of them, to be exact. For the mathematically challenged, that’s 177, which is known in baking parlance as a mofo HUGE load of cookies. Each batch came out of the oven looking more or less like this:

It was after taking that picture that I realized the assorted ingredients had become caked onto different areas of my BlackBerry, including the camera lens. Actually, I think other stuff was on the camera lens too, because my phone pics have sucked lately. So it was off to find some rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. Then I turned my attention back to the cookies, which had to be frosted, sprinkled, and photographed. Much better picture after cleaning flour off the lens, isn’t it?

The spirit of full disclosure compels me to confess that I am now down to 14 1/2 dozen cookies, having sampled a few just to make sure they were fit for human consumption. I am happy to report they were delicious.

It is now almost midnight, and I have eight dozen more cookies to frost. Thank goodness I have tomorrow morning off and don’t have to be at work until 1:00.

(P.S. to LOML: If you can figure out a way to do it inconspicuously, I can have a dozen or so of these puppies in the mail to you on Tuesday…)

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