Confession: I’m not a great baker. The occasional batch of muffins is fine, a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, birthday cakes…but when it comes to high-volume cookie making, I lose interest after the first dozen. Christmas is the only time I even try to crank out more than 12 or so cookies at a time.
No surprise then that I’m not one of those moms who sends cookies off to every coach, teacher, and music instructor. (Yay, gift cards!) But I’ll bake for my family and for my book club’s annual cookie exchange. I love the exchange for the holiday cheer, but it does require me to bake no less than 42 cookies. At once. (I hear you laughing, you Food Network types.) And for some reason—brain atrophy from reduced exposure to sunlight, I think—I always choose a recipe I’ve never made before instead of going with something tried and true.
This year, I saw a recipe for Butter Almond Thins in Good Housekeeping magazine. It looked easy—basic ingredients, no endless rolling and cutting. I gave it my best (I didn’t have cardamom—really, who has that?—so I used ginger instead) and the cookies looked pretty much like the picture…until I tried to remove them from the pan and they turned to dust quicker than Dracula at daybreak. Yes, instead of choosing a nice chewy oatmeal cookie that can hold its own during international travel—let alone a trip across town—I made a wafer-thin shortbread that disintegrates when touched, breathed upon, or frowned at.
But all’s well that ends well. After a little chillin’ time in the fridge, the cookies made it to book club without major incident. It’s anyone’s guess, however, if they survived their subsequent travels. The best part is that thanks to my book club, I now have a variety of delicious, non-disintegrating cookies (that I didn't have to bake!) to serve this holiday season.