Hey, Batter, Batter!
Turns out my fondness for "planting" cookies with all sorts of stuff will compel me to batter up for others! That is, I didn't get to make the cookie pizza and the cookie angels and trees for my home, nor was I able to bake a Christmas cake for our noche buena. I baked and baked and baked, but not for me.
I did it for my friends! They needed give aways for Christmas and opted for cookie gifts! Cookie gifting was likely based on the tradition of leaving out cookies for Santa to enjoy when he comes bearing gifts. It was a bribe for Santa, so kids can be placed on his "nice" list. Hmmm, bribing is naughty, isn't it?
Interesting enough, Santa may have been the modern, benevolent, un-military version of the Norse God Odin, who hunts with Sleipnir the eight legged horse (morphed into a herd of reindeer for Santa). Nordic children started the practice of leaving hay for Sleipnir so that Odin would favor them with gifts. Odin was the "All-Father" and Santa was "Father Christmas". See, our ancestors weren't alone in morphing beliefs and making up rites out of handed down stories. Today Odin is a side story to his son Thor's, which us modern day folks know about, thanks to Marvel. Sleipnir has morphed into a Final Fantasy beast. Such is the wonder of modern minds.
My own set of friends missed out on cake gifts from me this Christmas and had to make do with cookie gifts as well.
Surfeit? Overruns? Not quite, just the extras from the batches! That way, they get a sample of each kind! I made 'em up with a bow and their own names in gold wire so now a friend is asking me to do it for wedding favors! Cute, right?
The pizza cookie I made as a gift to the cookie monsters Gabe and Mig, my twin nephews. I piled on nuts, chocolates, and melty marshmallows on my, ehem, signature cookie dough. They said it was great fun to eat a cookie that's bigger than their face (10 inches - the cookie. I'd worry if it was otherwise hahaha) and awesome yummy.
Even then, that cookie didn't see nightfall! Best review I get is when people say nothing I make will last so long. Thank you guys!
My friend Millie didn't get a cookie gift because they ordered for their friends. I'd rather wait to give them cake! Millie is my bestest "benefactor" and fan! So when she needed a white Christmas themed cookie gift for their family party, I made sure to give her all new kinds of white chocolate, marshmallow, cinnamon and almond iced cookies! I usually make cookies by hand vis a vis shaping 'em, and I have a wee oven so it's a lot of work to make so many boxful. It was kooky business hehehe. To make matters trickier - oh, yeah, I like making myself "work" - I had to use the ancient cookie press. Except the aluminum cookie press is dented and there's a thingamajig missing. Or maybe it was missing the real cookie press tube.
Truly a relic! A friend of my mom gave it to me. I love the detail imprint though, so I made do. I had to cut and press manually, pressing the plates on the rolled dough and gingerly (surgically?) pulling it off the plate. It was rewarding to get a text message saying she was speechless at the effort, even when she'll only get to read about it here hahaha. I'm a sucker for compliments!
P.s. I made other stuff, like these earthquake brownies. Exhausting work! Then again, happiness is impractical. I read that somewhere but I'm interpreting the quote positively!
Impractical and tiring it may be, but happiness is a just reward to those who strive to get and give it away.
P.s. 2: Our noche buena feast is hotdogs and smoked ham and Coke. Christmas lunch and dinner was grilled liempo (pork belly) and kare-kare (peanut paste based tripe and pork meat with veggies, eaten with bagoong, salty shrimp paste).
One friend said they made arroz caldo and tokwa't baboy, in sympathy with those who lost a lot - family, homes, and spirit when typhoon Sendong ravaged Cagayan de Oro. I lost money the day Sendong raged.. I misplaced the cookie money paid me because I was too tired and distracted by the news. I cried over it and then thought others have lost what they'd be hard put to recover. My own clean up is a way easier lot than theirs.