I made "Christmas" cookies this morning, the only thing Christmas-y about them being it's a week before Christmas. And when I say "made" I presume it goes without saying that means I broke up the little squares of refrigerated dough I mandated my husband buy at the store, heated up the oven and threw them in. As I broke up the little squares I marveled at modern conveniences and wondered aloud who in their right mind makes cookies from scratch anymore.
Fifteen minutes later I was less sure. The edges of the sugar cookies were getting "lightly browned" like the directions said, but there was still a bothersome square at the top of the cookie. While I appreciate the squareness in the dough form, shouldn't the end cookie product be round? You don't have to be Julia Child to know a cookie looks funny.
So do I let them burn slightly, hoping the square hump dissipates or do I take them out -- as the directions dictate -- when the edges are slightly brown? It would be helpful if Nestle put a little note in parentheses saying: "Don't let the big square bumps deter you! That's normal!" I opted to let them brown a few more minutes as I watched intently through the oven door. The edges kept getting browner but the square did nothing. Now I'm getting pissed. Because I'm thinking I: a) can't pass these off as homemade and b) may have to run out to the store to purchase canned icing to hide the square top.
I opted to c) do neither and still tell people I made them, silently daring them to challenge me.
Besides, I really only made them so the girls can leave some for Santa. I think leaving Santa store-bought cookies might send a conflicting message about Santa's importance. If I'm going to threaten them all year with being good, the person who is capable of squashing their dreams deserves a homemade treat when he comes through on his end of the bargain I would imagine.
See, these are the little nuances nobody tells you about motherhood. Making decisions like whether it's okay to serve fat-free fig newtons to an imaginary fat guy or whether you should pull out all the stops and throw some deformed cookie dough in the oven. In the end, I would guess Santa would rather some figure-trimming yet still delicious fig newtons over slightly burnt and oddly shaped sugar cookies. Maybe we'll leave both and see what Santa chooses.