The Twelfth Cookie of Christmas

I’m sorry to say that the cookies I’m sharing with you (metaphorically, at any rate) today are not my finest work.
There’s nothing wrong with the recipe, I assure you. But some cookie batches—and days—don’t turn out QUITE the way we hope they will.
Yesterday was my birthday. We weren’t planning a family celebration until tonight due to the Washington Capitals’ nefarious habit of scheduling hockey games on my birthday every year. 
My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew love me, but they are die-hard Caps fans, and I don’t want to ask them to choose between hockey and me. I don’t think I’d be happy with their choice.
I had only two simple goals for the day. I wanted to buy some peppermint-stick ice cream, my annual birthday treat. And I wanted to post my last cookie recipe for this year.
The day started out nicely with phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages wishing me a happy birthday. At about 10:30 in the morning it went downhill.
It wasn’t an awful day by any means.
I wasn’t hit by a truck.
I didn’t start a fire in the new apartment–unless you count the little melt down on one of the stove burners. (I really HATE electric stoves.)
My near and dear remained reasonably hale and hearty.
I did spend an awful lot of the day cleaning up after a slightly sick mother, however. I won’t go into details, but the clean up involved back-to-back laundry that lasted well into the night and a lot of on-my-knees scrubbing.
When she wasn’t being sick, the mother was longing to go for long walks in the open air—until she actually felt the wind blowing on her face.
I popped her into the car to search for the ice cream. She enjoyed the ride, but the frozen treat didn’t materialize. We found egg-nog ice cream and gingerbread ice cream. For some reason, peppermint stick was impossible to come by.
Luckily, my brother showed up in the middle of the afternoon to visit with the mother so I could work on the cookies.
Nevertheless, the baking process got a bit muddled. First I put too much milk in the dough (the recipe below gives the correct, not the Tinky, amount of milk).
Then I sprinkled sugar everywhere and spilled dough on the kitchen floor.
I couldn’t find my cutting board so I tried rolling the cookies out on a plate. They were a bit misshapen.
Finally, I tried to answer the phone while measuring vanilla and ended up with very pungent icing.
After all this I just plain didn’t have the energy to color and pipe the icing. I simply slathered icing onto the cookies, took advantage of the wonderful holiday sprinkles Wilton recently sent to me (really, I think sprinkles could save the world), and threw the things onto a plate.
As you can see from the photo above, I let the setting sun do its thing and dapple the cookies; I figured the light was nature’s decoration. And who am I to mess with nature?
Luckily, the cookies still tasted amazingly good—and brightened the day considerably. My mother also brightened up after a dose of sugar and sprinkles. She tried to feed one to the dog, but I explained that Truffle wouldn’t be able to fit into her Santa suit if she ate cookies.
My birthday wasn’t a perfect day, but it ended with laughter and good flavors. And I consoled myself with the thought that I will get a redo next year when I turn 39 yet again.
Merry Christmas to all. And remember, a loving family, sprinkles, and a cute dog can get you through just about any minor disaster.
Marge’s Star Sugar Cookies
This cookie recipe was given to me years ago by my friend and fellow thespian Marge Matthews. It’s simple and tasty. What more does one need in a Christmas cookie?
3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
4 teaspoons milk
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the egg and milk, and beat until light and fluffy. Blend the dry ingredients and stir them into the creamed mixture.

Divide the dough into manageable pieces (2 or 3; it depends on how comfortable you are rolling out dough). Cover the dough, and chill it for at least one hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut into shapes and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes (if you roll them out clumsily you may have to wait 10 minutes), or until the cookies begin to turn golden around the edges. 

Decorate with icing and/or sprinkles. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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9 Responses to “The Twelfth Cookie of Christmas”

  1. Sheila says:

    Happy belated. I hear ya on the electric stove. I’m using one in my new apartment too. A tip for those of us with limited counter space. I am using the counter between the sink and stove for my baking prep and put a piece of wide white duct tape over the small space between the counter and the stove. Keeps the flour on the counter instead of falling into that no man’s land.

    Am making a puff pastry cookie today (made the dough up earlier), and if it comes out as remembered, will send you the recipe. It was given to me fifty years ago when I was a young law secretary by an older gal in the office, a fab baker of Hungarian background.

    Pudding Hollow is calm and peaceful, no snow yet. Happy holidays to you, Jan, Michael, and the rest of the family.

  2. Ramona says:

    Belated birthday wishes and a Merry Christmas.

  3. Adelaide says:

    Happy Birthday and a Merry Christmas.

    I can relate to your disaster day. Have had a few of those myself.

    Hope your Mom is better.


  4. Carol Cooke says:

    The cookies look good to me! Happy belated birthday and remind me to tell you sometime about my gingerbread house disaster. I still may have pictures of the crash! Merry Christmas and I hope your mom is feeling better.

  5. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to you, Tinky! Hope your mom is better now.

  6. BumbleVee says:

    Hey Tinky… Happy Birthday…and not to worry… they look pretty good…and I bet they are yummy!..

    I was having several days of little mishaps with my baking last week too… and somebody said it was the fault of a retrograde Mercury…so… blame that guy. and..apparently it’s even worse when we are Capricorns…

    I’m off to check out the other cookies… I’ve been lost without some of my blogs that I lost when transferring over to the MerchantCircle…I screwed up and lost most of them. thanks for stopping by my blog …now I can add you again…

  7. Jean says:

    Merry Christmas Tinky – I hope you and Jan have had good nights since she was ill. Happy belated birthday. I love the snowflakes on this page, makes this dry desert valley more bearable.

    I think your cookies look fine, and even if you don’t like the way they turned out, you do have a marvelous way of writing about the adventure. Thanks, I do so enjoy your blog!

  8. Happy belated birthday! I can relate to your cookie problems – my baking is like that most of the time!! Hope your Mum is keeping better. And lastly, Truffle looks gorgeous!! Love Anne

  9. Happy birthday! I’m sorry it was less than perfect, but glad you didn’t get hit by a truck! Your cookies are still beautiful and sound delicious. And I am a big fan of peppermint ice-cream too…it’s my absolute favorite! May you have a wonderful and happy new year!