With the cookie baking.
I just got home from running a couple of errands, and I’d left cookies cooling on the racks in the dining room.
There was one that had broken while I was rolling it in confectioners’ sugar, so I figured I should sample it, you know, to make sure it was okay.
And so I did.
And it’s a really, really good thing, too, because it was the most awful bite of a cookie I’ve ever had.
I’d made a batch of Mexican Wedding cookies – they’re called other things, too; “butterballs” comes to mind. Anyway, they look like little snowballs and are buttery and nutty and sweet and practically melt in your mouth once you finish choking on the powdery sugar. Good stuff.
I used a recipe I thought I’d used last year – it’s got my calculations for increasing the ingredients – and I put the dough in the fridge yesterday and baked half of the balls today. The only change I made was that I used almonds and walnuts instead of pecans. Because that’s what I had.
Well, I don’t think I left out the sugar, but that’s kind of how it tasted – totally NOT sweet. So NOT sweet that even the bath in confectioners’ sugar didn’t help.
I tossed them in the trash. I might fish them back out and give them to the squirrels – they don’t care about sweet or not sweet, and someone may as well eat them.
Anyway, I decided that this was a sign from the baking gods that I needed to stop.
I haven’t been into it this year. I’ve tried. I’ve felt stirrings of cookie joy bubble up, but mostly, unfortunately, it’s felt like work. And I hate feeling like that about this wonderful tradition I’ve been keeping.
Maybe it’s just a whole bunch of other things on my mind. Worries and anxieties and fears and really low, dark blue moods lately. I fight it and do my best to keep it from affecting the rest of the household, though occasionally I lose my temper when I don’t really need to…or I cry. Mostly I have this feeling like there’s a lumpy rock in my chest. A little bit of heartburn, a little bit of melancholy, a little bit of lots of things. It comes and goes, and I’m better when I’m not alone. But there it is.
So later I will dump out the rest of the NOT sweet cookie dough, and I will pack away the baking supplies that have crowded the countertops for the last few weeks. And that will be that. I will pack up all the cookies for shipping tonight, and if I really and truly need more for local family and friends, I’ll address that early next week.
But for now?
The cookie cutters have left the kitchen.