Baldwinsville: A Christmas cookie conundrum

Every year for as long as I can remember, my grandmother and aunts on my father's side have exchanged cookies for Christmas. Although I am always a recipient of the delicious morsels, this year I thought I would participate in the exchange. The only problem is I find baking to be time consuming, tedious and unforgiving.

I have successfully made cookies in the past, but the idea of surrendering my kitchen to disaster for a couple of days doesn't quite appeal to me. Refrigerating cookie dough, leaving cookies out to cool, frosting them, then leaving them to dry, cleaning cookie cutters, measuring cups, bowls and pans -- it is never a simple task.

Unlike the art of cooking, which I feel I excel at and enjoy thoroughly, baking is also a game of trial and error, something I don't quite have the patience for. It isn't the preparing that I find challenging, it's the actual cooking in the oven process. Why is it that if a recipe says to bake for 8 to 10 minutes, the cookies are actually ready in 4 minutes and you end up burning a couple batches before perfecting the time? And why are the cookies along the edge cooked to a crisp while the cookies in the center are raw?

Luckily, I found a solution to my dilemma. A couple of week's ago, I attended the Cookie Walk at Grace Episcopal Church with the intention of purchasing the cookies I would exchange. A great idea had Brian, Cassie and I resisted the temptation to eat a good portion of the cookies. And when my brother Andy visited our home, the cookies lost all chance of survival. I should have left the cookie exchange and headed straight to my grandmother and aunt's homes to deliver the cookies. Back to the drawing board.

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