Late last week, I decided to bake some holiday cookies from a kit I bought a few months ago — an Ugly Sweater Cookie Kit. It was just too cute to pass up.
The kit had nearly everything I needed: dry ingredients for the cookie dough, a sweater cookie cutter, food coloring for red and green icing, piping bags, and various bags of festive sprinkles. All I had to add were the eggs, butter, milk, and powdered sugar.
If you’re one of my long-time readers, you’ll know that I always try to cut calories when I can, even when it comes to Christmas cookies. So, when I stopped at my local market that morning, I quickly snatched up sticks of coconut oil.
It said on the package that it could be subbed for butter, one-for-one. Sweet! But once I got home and started mixing all of my ingredients, I don’t think the coconut oil was my brightest idea.
It made the dough very sticky, so I kept having to add flour to it in order for it to even roll onto my counter. It took me nearly an hour to cut a mere seven sweater cookies and get them onto a baking sheet. Once they got into the oven I started mixing my icing — coconut oil, milk, food coloring, and powdered sugar.
Please note that I didn’t even have butter in my fridge or else I wouldn’t have continued using the coconut oil. Naturally, the coconut oil made the icing a tad runny, and when I put it into the piping bags, it was separating under the warmth of my hands. Drats!
Runny icing resulted in sweater cookies: the Dexter edition, because it looked like they were smeared with blood. By the time I got icing on all of the cookies, I barely felt like messing with the sprinkles, and basically tossed random candies on all of the cookies.
Well, they ARE supposed to be ugly/tacky sweaters, I thought, and it felt justified for a few minutes. The ones on the box looked way cuter.
I’ve mentioned before that baking cookies with my dad is one of my fondest childhood memories when it comes to Christmas. But of course, he made the dough, and all I did was add icing and red hots. And I’m sure it was about the company we had, not about the activity.
Each year, I try to recreate those memories by vowing to bake dozens and dozens of cookies that I ice and decorate. And every year, I get really excited as I unpack all of my ingredients from the store… but I quickly get frustrated once the dough isn’t right or the cookie cutter sucks.
Then I wonder, WHY did I decide to do this, again?
But nevertheless, it felt really nice to be doing something festive — I’ve been so busy with work and job hunting that it’s been difficult getting into the Christmas season.
Later that night, I took my festive little sweater cookies over to a friend’s house. Like true friends, they were excited, saying how intricate and cute my hideous creations were. After we feasted on fried turkey (okay, so I’m not always tight on calories), we all sampled the cookies, and to my absolute delight, they were some of the best sugar cookies I’ve had.
They tasted like my childhood Christmas cookies — and I’ll never forget it.