Ever have a recipe (or something) that you know should be the simplest thing in the world to do...and for some reason in becomes the bane to your existence??? I thought that THIS year....(okay last).....I had gotten away with it...the family curse of all recipes. I am pretty sure I got the hatred of this recipe from my mother (yup I am blaming you Ma...again) as every holiday season I would hear her cursing in the kitchen....loudly. No one was allowed to enter as you would get "the rath of Mommie" and it was scarey...let me tell you. Nightmares......for WEEKS!!!! So much so that I hid the recipe on her a few years in a row...it would be in her box lined up with all her holiday baking, and magically it would disappear. Well then she would rant and rave about it missing, but deep down I know she was happy to not have to do it. Right Ma :) and then after I would place it back in the box....you know to further her knowledge that she was "losing it" when she saw it was exactly where she thought it was.
Well this is the cookie....it's just a cookie....but not just any cookie. It is called the "Candy Cane Cookie". And because I am my mother's daughter (yes that means insane) I thought I would carry on the family tradition when the boys were younger and have a boat load of Christmas Cookies out and about for visitors, kids and well.....me :) Low and behold in my many cookie cookbooks I came across the recipe a few times. After year 3 I figured why not give it a try....it can not be that bad....LOL.....maybe Mom wasn't that great of a baker (which I knew was a lie but I had to tell myself something to psyche me up to bake this). The first few years I just cried....I mean cried and cried and cried when I made these things....but I did it. Not great mind you, but they came out looking relatively candy caneish looking. Then I thought to look for other recipes....maybe the one I had just basically...well.....sucked (couldn't be me right). So different variations compiled into different amounts of frustration till the day I nearly burnt the house down (yup...that did happen) and I SWORE ....lol...very loudly.....and MANY MANY MANY times....that I would never make these cookies again!!!!
That was until Gavyn brought home his latest cookbook from the school 2 weeks ago. The kid brings home a Kids Christmas Cookie Cookbook.....its the middle of January...grrrr. But he is excited because he likes to bake. Actually he likes to point out recipes that he wants and I bake them, and then he eats them. See how that works...ya exactly...I'ma sucker :) Low and behold, in this lovely book is the one recipe I can NOT stand. Of course the little lovely (booger) wants me to make this one...the MOST. I make every other cookie in this book that he wants, I mean for 2 weeks we were saturated with cookie dough, but everyday he asks me "when are you going to make the Candy Cane Cookies" sometimes multiple times a day. To the point where I finally turned around and asked,
"Do you want to see Mommie go insane??!!"
Of course the boy just *giggles* and thinks I am kidding.....no...no I am not....not at all...
I will tell you, that I had absolutely no intention what-so-ever in making those cookies. Did NOT want to, did not need to, did not want the extra pounds from them, and to be quite honest, they really are not that good. Nothing special about them at all except for the fact that they drive me (and my mother) even more crazy than we already are.
But whether or not I wanted a reason to go crazy the other night or I was pmsing or something (I personally would pick door #2 on this one), but I silently talked myself into starting to make those cookies. Maybe this recipe would be different? Maybe I just needed a couple of years off baking them, I have gotten better at the whole baking schtick, MAYBE if I make them Gavyn will stop asking me 50 TIMES A DAY....
Making the dough really is the simplest thing ever....takes me about 5 mins to get it all made up and separated into two different bowls red dyed into one, plain in the other...now all I gotta do is roll each into 2 little snakes and then twist them together...right...easy peasy......OMG....omg omg omg omg omg.......O...M....G!!!!
WHY can I not do this??? Kids are coming in to ask what I am doing (looks like I am making something good...need to investigate....often) and if they can help. What they really wanna do is know when I am done so they can lick the bowl...scavengers I tell ya. I have floured my hands about 20 times and it just sticks. The recipe tells me that it will be sticky but I do not remember this from previous recipes, and they are just falling apart.....completely....kinda like me. Kid #2 walks it...and I just lose it..."GET OUT!!!...get out, get out, get OUT!!!!!".....seeeeethe......Kid slowly backs out of the kitchen....very slowly. I start again....roll....roll.....stick....fall apart..ARGH!
I get about 2 done (in like 15 mins, way to long) and then hubby comes in from work. He does his normal walk in the door, the dogs greet him like he has been gone for years, and then comes into the kitchen to see what I doing, and pretty sure he is wondering why I have not said hello....and then....he see's why. I am not sure what he is thinking....but it must have been a sink or swim mentality at that point....lol...cause he asks (after he asks if I am okay, which I am not, and I tell him so, cause really...why lie, it is written all over my face that if you touch me....I may have to kill you...) "If I can help", now I first say NO, the real reason why I said no is because if he can make these without going as insane as I am, well...I might just have to break something :) and knowing him, it will be the easiest thing in the world and be done in 2 seconds...and I just might have to break something...like him.
But I figured that I at least have to get 6 of these done so the boys can have 2 each (the recipe calls for 2 dzn, ya not going to happen) and I was thinking 2 people doing these are better than one, and let's face it, I was not getting anywhere really. So he picks up a teaspoon of the dough and plops it down and I am telling him "flour, you REALLY need to flour you hands...like lots....no more...MORE". Which I am pretty sure he is thinking, "lady, get a grip I can only get so much flour on my hands before it just starts falling off". I of course can not watch him make his little dough snake...I am concentrating on my own mess. Which finally after my fourth one is starting to semi look right, but no where near looking like the picture in the book...lol...Finally I hear hubby say "these things are really sticky, and they fall apart like nothing".
Sorry, but....WOOOOOOT.....I am not insane, it is not just my family (blood related that is) that can not make these darn cookies. I know I should not be gloating in my hubbies failure, but I was so so relieved. I did not have to hurt something for my inadequacies as a bakes...phew. I know, I know.....but really...at the time. It was BIG!!!! I tell ya, pms can really do wonders with your brain.
After a few mins of him trying to twist them together. He just squishes it all together like play-doh, and contorts it into a candy cane....he does the one, that is it. But it was enough for me that he tried (and failed) that I was able to keep going and finish up the bowl and make about a dzn on them. I think they just may have been on the biggish side :) but that is okay. They are done. I did my Mommie duty of making these darn cookies
I stuck them in the oven, and I did not burn them, and I did not burn the house down...another bonus :) and when they came out....well they looked NOTHING like the picture, but they were candy cane shaped, they were red and white, and these ones actually tasted like something.
Though not good enough to try again....cause that would be NUTZ.....and I think I am going to have to hide this book in the library.....actually it is a really good thing that he is not going back to that school next year. But if he takes it out again in June I just may have to lock myself in a pink padded room...
he didn't even like them that much.......sigh......
So anyone know a decent recipe for these cookies.....cause ummmm......I know I am going to get asked again next year. I would like to be prepared.....lol.....and not go as insane, cause I am really not a fan of pink (you know, for the padded room)