I’ve been on a sugar high since last Sunday afternoon, thanks to my new favorite holiday tradition, the cookie party. While having to cook an entire meal every night sometimes (okay, frequently) pisses me off, I love to bake. Because I have a serious sweet tooth, I’ve gradually stopped buying cookies and other desserts at the store because it’s too easy to eat a lot of them when they’re sitting on the shelf looking at me. When I actually have to make the sweets I’m going to eat, it’s both more rewarding and more difficult, making it less likely that I’ll eat a sleeve of Thin Mints in one sitting (just for example, ahem).
For the last three Christmases, however, this plan has fallen apart because my cousin-in-law and her sister have started hosting cookie parties, wherein everyone attending bakes a dozen cookies to share at the party and a dozen for each participant to take home. Last year, we only had to make four dozen cookies, but this year, it was eleven. So while it snowed last Saturday, I did my baking, and then I came home Sunday evening with 132 cookies in nicely wrapped packages stacked in a box. Also, I had about four dozen at home, left over from the batches I’d made to give away.
The problem here is that all of these cookies are absolutely delicious. Why oh why didn’t someone bake shittier cookies? Instead they are all different and wonderful. They are chocolatey and nutty and spicy and buttery (but not all at the same time), and formed into enticing sizes and shapes. One of them has cardamom, and one is even vegan without tasting like styrofoam. It is a perfect storm of sugar begging you to eat it all immediately. And therein lies my problem. Usually I can stop eating whatever it is I’m eating after a reasonable amount of it has been consumed. Not so with homemade cookies, I’ve discovered. I am someone who usually has a piece of chocolate or a small bowl of ice cream as dessert at the end of the day, but this week, I’ve averaged five cookies a day. They’re just sitting there! What else can I do?
Yes, I know, I can give them away. And I’ve already given away about 40. But the other 140 or so are still in there. My husband is helping, but frankly, he eats slower than I do when it comes to dessert. And if my son eats more than two cookies a day, he turns into an overstimulated mess who misbehaves and then points out that our Elf on the Shelf is facing the wrong way to be able to see and report his transgressions to Santa. So what I’m saying is, he’s no help (and also, apparently, neither is that Elf).
If it’s true that sugar is the devil, I may have taken a few months off my life in the span of half a week. But I’m okay with that. And I’m happy to place the cookie party at the top of my list of favorite holiday activities, along with arguing about how to decorate the house, watching Elf, attending awkward work parties to take advantage of free drinks, finishing my shopping on the 24th, and watching my son fall into the Christmas tree and/or break at least one ornament. Welcome to the holiday season, everyone!
And also, if you live in the area and know me, feel free to stop by. Bring some milk.