There was an interesting discussion with my husband, Earl, last week concerning my New Year Resolutions. No, he didn’t want to add things like wear high heels more often or give him massages every night. (He has been asking for those things for YEARS and they haven’t happened!)
It was the part about baking. He read that resolution about baking and immediately said “Hooray, I get cookies EVERY month!” I looked at him and said bluntly “Baking doesn’t mean cookies.”
This was the moment I realized I am married to the Cookie Monster. He just stood there and said “No Cookies.” The look of sadness on his face was devastating. I tried to explain to him that I want to try new baking techniques etcetera but he couldn’t stop saying “No Cookies.”
Earl was hanging his head and looked like he was about to cry. How could I break his heart like this? What kind of wife am I? He deserves so much more because he does so much for us.
So yesterday I decided to make him some old school sugar cookies for no other reason than I love that guy.
With every ingredient I added to the mixing bowl, I kept thinking about marriage. I thought about how like a sugar cookie, it takes some work to make it perfect. You get your hands dirty and you roll with situations as they come up.
Some moments are sweet like the cookie itself but there is the occasional bitter moment like when you burn a tray of cookies.
You try to cut each cookie flawlessly but every now and then there may be one that isn’t your best. Given the love you have for each other (or cookies) you still appreciate it because it is the effort and thought that counts.
As I iced each cookie, I tried to change up my decorations just to keep things interesting. (Do I need to spell out how this relates to marriage? Wink. Wink.)
I did take the time to place them on a nice platter and had them sitting on the table for when Earl got home. (Um, I don’t really have a good analogy for marriage on this so pretend this is a Madlib and insert your own.)
When Earl got home, I made him close his eyes and directed him toward the dining room. With Cookie Monster enthusiasm he exclaimed “COOKIES!” You made me cookies!
Hugs were given and smooches were received but the moment that will stick out most to me is when he said the thing all wives long to hear “I love you more than cookies.”
I learned a few things from this experience but not necessarily things about baking. The hours of rolling, cutting and icing the cookies were spent of thinking of only one thing…how much my husband means to me. I don’t only love him, I like him. He doesn’t ask for much and it was my honor to do something to make him smile.
The funny part of this story was that Earl did love the cookies BUT I made him the wrong kind of sugar cookie. I went for a crispier, thin cookie but he likes the softer one. He still enjoyed them because he LOVES cookies and he LOVES ME!!!!
Sugar Cookies (adapted from Martha Stewart)
2 cups flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar (I used about a tablespoon less than a full cup because I knew I was going to ice them and I didn’t want them too sweet.)
1 egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons Brandy
½ tsp vanilla extract.
Take your butter out so it softens so you can cream it. Given that it is so cold here right now, my butter decided to stay rock hard. So I placed it between to sheets of plastic wrap and pounded it. Ta dah, I learned something this month.
In a bowl, I mixed the flour, salt and baking powder and set it aside.
In my electric mixer, I added that softer butter and sugar and creamed it.
Slowly, I added the egg, brandy and vanilla. Make sure it is well mixed before you gradually add the flour mixture.
Split the dough in half, wrap it up in plastic and put in the fridge for at least an hour. (During this hour you can go do your hair and toss in a load of laundry.)
Preheat oven to 350 and put parchment on a couple of baking sheets.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut evenly. I was able to fit about a dozen per sheet (I made about 3.5 dozen).
Bake until golden for about 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
I frosted mine with an icing made from 1 cup powdered sugar, a couple tablespoons of milk and a dash of vanilla.
I’m glad I started the year with this as my baking project. I’m not sure what I’ll do in February but what ever it is I know that my husband will welcome the treat with open arms.