Thursday, December 20, 2007

'Tis the Season

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, there are some things about this season that are irresistible. For me it's O Holy Night, the piney scent of the fir trees for sale on Montague Street, and Christmas cookies.

For weeks I've been planning to make Christmas cookies to give as little gifts to some neighbors in my building that I have become friendly with this year. The other night I finally had a few spare hours to devote to it. I doubled my gingerbread recipe and planned to make loads of little men, charmingly decorated with buttons and holiday smiles. I didn't recall that the recipe made quite so many cookies. Four hours later I had about 150 gingerbread men. Some went immediately to the test subjects bowling on the Nintendo Wii in the living room. The rest were put aside for decorating. I also made shortbread maple leaves and sprinkled them with red sugar--a Canadian-themed Christmas cookie in honor of my Canuck husband.

My decorating plans for the gingerbread men didn't go quite as I'd hoped. I confess I was not using the proper equipment (pastry bag, tips, etc.). I figured it was my first time decorating anything and I could just do it on the cheap, using a plastic bag filled with frosting. After all, I wasn't making sugar art, right? Just a few smiley faces. I should have followed the advice of Bittersweet. On about the fourth cookie I had a frosting explosion. Seriously. Ziploc bag seams are not as sturdy as one might imagine. As a result, the decorating was put aside. The little fellow above did not even get the smile I intended for him! Oh well, gingerbread men mean "peace on earth and goodwill towards men" even if they are not frosted, right? Especially if they come in little bags tied with red ribbon?