There are some who find Christmas baking a joyful and relaxing experience.
I am not one of them.
An invitation to a cookie-baking party – The Girlfriend and her two lovely grown offspring, The Theatrical One and The Boat Guy – had me researching shortbread recipes in advance. I raised the question on Facebook. I asked my friends and co-workers. At parties, I demanded recipes of intoxicated hostesses.
Almost everyone I talked to suggested the recipe on the side of the Canada Cornstarch box.
I cannot put cornstarch in shortbread. I will not.
Instead, I turned to the blogosphere. Found a recipe from a pastry chef I trust. Brought it to the baking party.
These folks – The Girlfriend & Co. – are pros. They’ve been making Christmas cookies as a family since before the turn of the century. Hundreds of bright, shiny, sweet, crunchy, addictive items of Christmas crack were effortlessly produced that night. Hoping to impress, I assembled my ingredients and even brought a box of Jewish cookie cutters to appease The Girlfriend’s spiritual needs.
Reader, I was the weakest link in the chain.
The recipe, I think, was in weight, not volume. (Sometimes the Pastry Chef’s recipes are more for her fellow-professionals than for the common baking joe like me). Notice the over-abundance of butter…
There are no images of the results. I was too devastated. Ashamed, really.
The Girlfriend, The Theatrical One and The Boat Guy were very kind. We’ve. Made. Every. Mistake. In. The Book,said The Boat Guy, in his charminly agreeable way. It. Just. Takes. Practice.
Perhaps it was a metaphor. A learning experience. A revelation. Maybe I was trying to hard to fit in, with the fancy-schmancy recipe and the politically correct cookie cutters.
So, there’s no recipe at the end of this post. I await suggestions. Comforting words. And a foolproof shortbread recipe so that I may redeem myself sometime before the year is out.