I never said I was Martha Stewart. And these cookies prove that I never need to say it — actions speak louder than words. During the holidays, you will find people driving who shouldn’t be, traveling to their annual holiday destination and events. No need to fear me behind the wheel this time of year. But, you should be very afraid when I make my seasonal excursion into the kitchen for holiday baking.
Let me start by showing you what the goal was, Bakergirls’ Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies:
Pressed for time, I was lulled into a false sense of security with Bakergirl’s description of the perfect cookie: “if you need something fun, fast, and easy to make.” Yes! This was going to be a piece of cake for our evening baking session. But, since time was extremely tight three days before Christmas, I confess: I cut corners further by purchasing refrigerated cookie dough, pre-scored and ready to place on baking sheets. Seriously, I thought that I had removed all possibility for error by simplifying a simple recipe even further. I figured that those little reindeer cookies would be so cute, no one would notice the lack of a made-from-scratch base! I had visions of a new blog post concerning the perfect cookie when in a holiday time bind. Little did I know what my camera would capture instead.
My 15-year-old son was my partner-in-crime for what turned out to be “Operation Christmas Cookie Fail.” We had our assembly line of chocolate-covered mini-pretzels (and, if you must know, no, I did not make those from scratch, either) and M&M’s ready to go. Ding! The oven timer went off, and we paid heed to Bakergirl’s words of instruction regarding decorating the cookies as they emerged from the hot oven:
Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer’s antlers. Press two mini brown M&Ms in for the eyes and one red M&M for the nose (or any other color… some of mine ended up with green noses. They might be South Pole reindeer.).
Let me tell you, that some ended up with different color noses was the least of our worries as we proceeded. We learned that we should have made larger cookies with more square footage to accommodate the full face and antlers. We also learned that cookies cool very, very quickly.
Let’s face it — we learned that we botched this cookie project.
I almost had tears streaming down my face, I was laughing so hard as my son said with a straight face, “Mom, we shouldn’t have tried something so complicated.” All we had to do was stick candy on cookies which we hadn’t even made from scratch, for heaven’s sake! And, as antlers kept falling off the quickly cooling cookies, he said, “We can just tell people they are all antlerless reindeer. We made does.”
OK, so they’re sort of creepy, zombie-eyed does, but it works.
If you have the right perspective, you can observe the ingenuity that went into the reindeer cookie design:
As we surveyed the damage, the next trays came out of the oven, and I dug out some sugar cookie shaker decor which we unceremoniously shook and scattered.
Then, we took it up a notch and I found some glitter gels in the cupboard (I do hope they have long shelf life!), and we informally competed for the most artistic peanut butter cookie design.
It prompted another round of laughter. Neither of us won awards in the creative cookie design department.
I transferred the still warm cookies to the cooling racks, so we could put the next batch in the oven. Not only were antlers shed, but unfortunately, eyes and noses fell off too. One reindeer couldn’t take the shame of it all, and leapt off the rack to a premature demise.
As I boxed the cookies the next morning, for later delivery to neighbors, the little cookie misfit peering out reminded me of the humane society commercials which tug at your heartstrings as a homeless dog or cat looks sadly out from behind a wire cage — take me home, love me! Seriously, how can you resist this single antler reindeer pleading to be part of your Christmas cookie platter?!
Boxes packed for delivery, our neighbors will know that we thought of them at Christmastime — and that is all that matters.
CIao! ~ Kat