Chocolate Dreams and Disasters

It’s around this time each year that I am reminded of just how catastrophically bad I can be in the kitchen. Yes, every day I mix, and roll, and painstakingly hand cut Beach Biscuit dog treats.  And yes, dogs love them.  And yes, many dogs will now eat no other treats but the ones I make.  All true.  BUT, just when I get a big head and think I can parlay that talent into other kitchen projects, reality smacks me right in the noggin.  And for some reason, I always seem to forget my inabilities when the holidays roll around.  I get ideas of grandeur while flipping through magazines and believe that I too can make glorious baked goods to share in this wonderful time of giving.  When in reality, attempts at such will likely result in broken kitchenware, bodily harm, and heavy drinking.

Last year I was inspired by a lovely photo of sugar cookies in beach shapes (yay, I have those!) which were decorated in pretty coastal colors with silver and pearlized sugared beads. I figured since this was somewhat in my wheelhouse, I could knock it out of the park.  My frosting was beautiful.  It turns out I am quite good at food coloring.  My aquas and sea foam greens were perfection.  My cookies, however, were a nightmare.  I have no idea how the magazine got their cookies to be so perfectly shaped AND edible.  Mine were an oozing, spreading blob of baked dough that turned palm trees into ugly pineapples and dolphins into sea cows.  What started as a fun Christmas project became an epic failure which ended with a disaster of a kitchen, some crying, lots of language not suited for a Christian holiday, and copious amounts of wine consumed after cleanup.

This year, still stinging from last year’s debacle, I found what looked like an easy project. Take store-bought cream-filled wafers, insert a popsicle or lollipop stick, dip in melted chocolate, and add some sprinkles for decoration.  Not exactly winning dessert awards, but it should do.

Already anticipating broken cookies from the stick, I made sure to get double stuffed. I want to make sure this process is seamless!  I prepared my workstation, setting out sheets of waxed paper and creating an assembly line.  I am so good at being organized!  I then began melting the chocolate morsels.  Can I just say there is something so satisfying about stirring warm chocolate!  This is fun!

I then started the cookie-on-a-stick process. Hmm, well this is harder than it looks.  It seems for every one cookie I get on a stick, two others break.  Oh well, no biggie.  I’ll just make a pile of broken cookies that we will eat!

Now for the chocolate coating.  First cookie does good, looks good, is moved to wax paper, has sprinkles added, and voila!  Done!  (*Note, this would be the last cookie to go this well)

Next cookie…. Crap the whole thing fell off the stick into the chocolate.  No biggie, I’ll just fish it out, clean it up and put the stick back in.  It looks a little messy, but add some sprinkles and done.

Next.  Ugh, the top of the cookie popped off and fell off into the chocolate.  Let me fish that out and try to press it back together.  ERGH, now the whole thing is breaking into pieces!  UGH, now those pieces are in the chocolate!   Let me try to get them out.  CRAP, this chocolate is HOT!   Throw this mess of a cookie into the broken cookie pile, and just start another.

Next.   WHY are all these freakin’ cookies falling apart?!?!!  UGH, I’ve got chocolate all over my hands, my shirt, the stove, the counter, the floor.  WHY is this so hard?!?!?

Cue the disaster of a kitchen, some crying, lots of language not suited for a Christian holiday, and copious amounts of wine consumed after cleanup.  In the end, after all the work and mess, I have eight completed chocolate dipped cookies with holiday sprinkles. If you are the recipient of one, please know it was harder than it looks.

Merry Christmas! I plan to stick to dog cookies for 2016 :-)