So, this past weekend I baked cookies.
This wouldn’t normally be that big of a deal, but my six-year-old son, Costello*, desperately wanted to make sugar cookies using our snowman and candy cane cookie cutters. Seeing as how I’d never made cookies using the cookie cutters (yeah, I know — Mother of the Year), this briefly threw me for a loop. But I figured, “Hey, how hard can it be?” I mean, it wasn’t like I was even making the cookies from scratch; I had pre-packaged, refrigerated sugar cookie dough, for crying out loud! All I had to do was roll it out and cut out the shapes.
It all started out well enough. We had a few incidents with the cookie dough sticking, but aside from one snowman who looked like he’d been dropped into a vat of toxic waste, the cookies were adorable. As I gazed lovingly at my baking sheet, the rows of snowmen and candy canes arranged with almost mathematical precision, I had visions of my little dough shapes becoming perfect cookies that I would then decorate and let my sons distribute to their teachers and friends while they beamed with pride at the creative genius of their mother. And so, grinning from ear-to-ear and feeling quite pleased with myself, I put the cookies in the oven.
And that’s when everything went to hell.
A few minutes into things, I happened to peek through the oven door and saw these puffy, mutant monsters where my adorable creations had been. As they continued to bake, I watched in dismay as they morphed into something completely unrecognizable. By the time I pulled them out of the oven, they looked more like amoebae than snowmen and candy canes.
The cookies looked so awful, in fact, that when I set them out to cool, my eleven-year-old son, Professor*, patted me on the shoulder with a sigh and said, “Maybe you should just give up, Mom.”
“No way!” I insisted. “I can salvage them. I can just shape them a little with the icing . . .”
Well, apparently, my decorating skills rival my baking skills. At one point Costello came over to the table while I was decorating and said, “Mom. . . why does your snowman have nipples?”
“What?!?” I cried, horrified. “What are you talking about? My snowman doesn’t have nipples!”
Laughing, he pointed to the cookie in question. “Yes, he does! Look — nipples!”
“Those are mittens!” I insisted.
He didn’t believe me. “Dad; Brother! Come here! Look — Mom’s snowman has nipples!”
“Oh, my gawd,” I groaned. “They’re mittens. Mit-tens!”
They all cracked up, of course, and teased me mercilessly. But, honestly, after they pointed it out, the mittens really did kinda look like nipples. And so instead of making gorgeous Christmas cookies my sons could brag about as I’d hoped, it seems I had effectively become a pioneer in amoeba cookie porn.
(Perhaps next time I should just stick with chocolate chip . . .)
*Not their real names. 😉