Based on brisk sales at work, it appears we need a little Christmas cookie, right this very minute. Sugar cookies are in the forefront being aggressively chased by gingerbread. It is a race we never can win.
I was always more of a rugelach girl, more comfortable with a cookie slightly akin to pie. Rugelach dough is tender, a cream cheese circle happy to embrace cinnamon sugar, plump raisins, and walnuts. Although fiddly to prepare, at Hanukkah, rugelach was the cookie yin to Barton’s chocolate gelt yang. Save for Spritz cookies, Christmas cookies were foreign territory. Jessie’s black-handled Mirro Aluminum Cookie Press with 12 interchangeable discs lived in the depths of one of the knotty-pine kitchen cabinets. In December, Jessie unearthed the gadgetry, inviting me to participate. It was never my forte; I didn’t have the right touch. Spritz-cookie-ing required squeezing just enough dough onto the cookie sheet but not too much. Jessie’s cookies were distinctive, easily recognizable. Dogs looked like dogs down to their tails, snowflakes and trees were unmistakable, boasting clean edges. Mine all looked pretty much the same. I was better suited to cut-out cookies, but Jessie had little time or inclination to be (direct quote) “fussin’ with all that icin’ nonsense.” Perhaps she was trying to save me from my future cookie self.
My current self must admit that decorating Christmas cookies is something I actually look forward to. Unlike pie, weighty with fruit, screaming hot around the edges, cookies are somewhat manageable. The quantity is totally unmanageable; the retail public actually clamors for thousands of cookies. The bakery will pump out exactly that; thousands. In my early days at the bakery, I was hired to decorate cookies for the Christmas season. Nine years later, I’ve racked up plenty of miles on the carpal-tunnel-odometer. Every time the piping bag misbehaves, or the Ameri-gel Christmas Red leaves its indelible mark on my fingers, I can’t help but think of Jessie and that black–handled Mirro Aluminum Cookie Press.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm