Brought to you by Sarah Ballance, Survivor of Good Deeds and Cookie Walks
Cell phone photo of Sarah's cookies
Last week someone from church called asking me to make cookies for the cookie walk. (A cookie walk, for those of you unfamiliar, is a type of bake sale.) I said sure, no problem. (Famous last words.) Then I found out I needed to make ten dozen. Now, I'm all for charity, but do you have any idea how hard it is to accomplish 120 cookies in my house? I have a husband and six children. Even when my husband is at work, I've got at least five sets of hands reaching for anything fresh from the oven, and—lucky me—my kids are generous enough to grab double for the baby.
One hundred and twenty cookies. GAH!
But the news wasn't all bad. There happened to be a recipe in my inbox that was unbelievably simple and inexpensive. I read the whole recipe just like I learned to do in elementary school (remember those worksheets with directions to read the whole thing before you begin, and at the bottom of the page is the directive not to answer any of the questions?) and, convinced, declared it "the one." Preheated the oven, made a big batch, lined them on cookie sheets.
Then read the baking time. TWO HOURS! For one batch! I realize this may come as a surprise to you considering the size of my brood, but I do not have a commercial kitchen; my oven has its limitations. I lost track of how many batches I made, but I spent ELEVEN HOURS baking cookies, y'all. (This includes the batch I forgot to put peppermint extract in, rendering them useless.) But it doesn't end there! After losing a day of my life to these cookies, I wasn't even finished. They needed to be garnished with a ganache, and by 9:00pm I wasn't in a ganaching mood. I decided it could wait until morning.
Did I learn a lesson with my eleven hour cookie debacle? No, I did not. The next morning, I noticed the ganache required two hours of pampering before it was ready. I believe this was the (second) point at which I started firing off some unprintable e-mails to a couple of friends who were kind enough to share my outrage. (Or so they typed. In reality, they were probably peeing on themselves from laughter, and if that's the case I say they richly deserve their soaking. Hmph!)
Oh, but it gets better. Two hours later, my ganache wasn't setting. If ever a batch of Christmas cookies has been cussed, ladies and gentlemen, this was it. I finally gave up and just started dipping my little peppermints in chocolate and sticking them together, and for the most part they stayed. A few slid to one side or the other, but I corrected them as I went and, last I saw them on their tray, all was well. One hundred and twenty peppermint twisty cookies with a chocolate ganache, all Christmassy and DONE.
The cookies were such a hit, I now need to try them in orange. And maybe raspberry. And they didn't really look like cookies, but no matter. When it came to the bake sale, there wasn't a crumb left.
Cookies or not, they totally walked.
If you enjoyed Sarah's latest release, FAMILIAR LIGHT, you might be happy to know the sequel, TIDE OF LIES, is coming soon from Noble Romance. And if you like money, you'll definitely be glad to learn you can have a chance to win it every week. How? Simply subscribe to Sarah's blog **by email** and you're automatically eligible as long as you remain a subscriber. For full details, click here.