Tuesday, December 22, 2009
My Kind of Competition
Hands off! These are for the contest!
Every year we have a cookie contest at our business. It's a holiday party and cookie exchange, but it's known among some of the more competitive types as the "cookie smackdown." You'd be amazed how our perfectly civilized team of employees can transform into ruthless competitors when there are sugary treats involved. The top three winners are chosen by secret ballot, so if you have a lot of kids or your relatives are in town for the holidays, you have an advantage. But the best way to win is to know your way around a really good cookie!
Technically, I'm not eligible to win the $50 prize, but I always enter something, just to see how my baking skills measure up. I make these ginger crinkles every year because the family loves them and they are so easy. They are straight out of my 1984 Edition Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, which was also my high school home ec textbook. Yes, that's right, I was, um, seven when I took home ec. I also made my favorite cookies, the melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies from my 75th Anniversary Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, published in 2004. (I love my BH&G books--I also have one published in 1970 that belonged to Dad's grandmother.)
Sometimes I roll these in red and green sugar, but I didn't have any and didn't feel like braving the snowstorm to get some.
We also made Hershey's Mint Kiss cookies, which are a good choice to make with children because the dough has no egg in it so kids (and Dads) can steal a bite or two with no worries. Plus it's fun to roll them in powdered sugar. Dad always makes peanut butter fudge, "because that's just what you do at Christmas," and we serve coffee and that wonderful pineapple juice and ginger ale punch that brings back my childhood memories of church parties and summer weddings.
In the past we have been really ambitious and made some fancy stuff. One year we made a very rich concoction of Kahlua and crushed chocolate wafers. Another year Dad spread Nutella on Ritz crackers and then covered them in white chocolate--very popular with the kids! The year we attempted peanut brittle was interesting--it had peanuts but it wasn't brittle! This year we're sticking to the old favorites and leaving the fancy stuff to others. You really can't beat a good ginger crinkle and a glass of milk.
That's what Santa gets every year, and he hasn't complained once!