I’ve Never Met a Cookie I Couldn’t Ruin

Mom, these cookies are all smooshy and stuff. Um, that’s because I just took them out of the oven. What do you mean, oven? I baked them. *YOU* baked them?

Everyone is able to do one thing in life very, very horribly, and for me, that is baking cookies.

My mother couldn’t make anything that came out of a box. She could make the most complex, delicate fruit desserts but ask her to make you some Kraft dinner and you might as well invite all your friends over to check out the hot firefighters who are going to have to come extinguish your kitchen.

This seems to be something of a family curse, because as far as I’ve heard it told, cookies are way up at the top of the list of Things People Can Do In Their Sleep.  I couldn’t bake you a cookie if my life depended on it. I can’t make them from scratch, I can’t make them off a recipe, and I even managed to melt one of those tubes of cookie dough you buy in the refrigerated aisle of the store.

Santa even asked me to stop making cookies for him, and I am currently engaged in a sexual relationship with him. I think this means it’s time I seek help.

*Disclaimer: This is not a stack of cookies I baked myself; it is a stock photo I purchased. If it were cookies I’d baked, they would look burnt. Or dead.

I’m just not sure that I am allowed to keep my mom card if I can’t bake my kids a sheet of decent cookies every now & again. It feels criminal, or at least highly suspect. The problem is, I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong, aside from failing to sacrificing some innocent creature of earth in order to break this evil spell someone cast on me before I was old enough to know the different between table and baking sugars.

I’ve been told that my cookies are horrible because I learned how to bake at altitude, and I am not compensating back for oxygenated baking. I’ve heard that it’s because I don’t use enough butter, or that I use too much, or that it isn’t cold enough or it isn’t melted enough or that I should just be using Crisco. I’ve been cautioned not to mix the batter too much, and to keep it really cold, and to use the right sized eggs and the not too old baking powder and and I really just think that I am cursed.

I can bake *anything* else. You know those Christmas cakes that look like a fallen log in the woods at winter and taste like God Himself? I MAKE THOSE, down to the homemade caramels and buttercreams, multiple. Cakes, pies, breads, you name it. I should be able to bake the most basic kid treat.

One year, I was asked to to bring ice cream sandwiches to a family birthday.  I decided that this has gone on long enough, I was going to make those cookies for the sandwich, dammit. I make the ice cream cookie sandwiches and also ended up making our dentist relative a very happy man indeed when we all needed our front teeth repaired after dessert. I wish I was kidding.

So you can imagine my kids’ shock when I pulled a pan of (pre-made, pre-portioned, didn’t have to be handled at all my my hands) cookies out of the stove tonight, and no one had to die.  Hell, you can imagine MINE. I’d like this to happen again, maybe without so many preservatives next time (though, really, totally worth it for the smiles on their faces) so, help me, people.

Tell me what I’m doing wrong. How do you make *@&#%ing cookies?

Or, even better, tell me what ridiculously simple thing you can’t do, so we can all feel inadequate together, in public.


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