In a longing to meet different kinds of people beyond the tech-savvy crowd I surrounded myself with too much, I decided that I wanted to atted the holiday cookie exchange. For whatever reason, I was not invited to a single personal holiday party at all this year (despite more than 5 I was invited to last year). And I needed to make most of it.
First, the idea came in this form. What cookie do I enjoy eating? What cookie does Chris like the most? And the idea came after 10 minutes of brainstorming. Cookies ‘n cream. Specifically the kind of from Anthony’s Cookies down on Valencia. But wait…there are no recipes for such a cookie. How about homemade oreo cookies?
Then over the course of a week, I bought the ingredients. I directed Chris to buy bulk granulated sugar, bulk unsalted butter and bulk confectioner’s sugar from Costco and Walmart, respectively. Then I headed to Safeway…then Whole Foods to finally find the expensive dutch-proccessed unsweeted cocoa powder essential for the cookie. Then later in the week in a sudden inspiration of getting ambition, I walked all the way to Foods Co to buy Crisco in sticks.
On Saturday, I made a test batch. On Sunday, suddenly stricken with a horrible cold, I busied my hands with making everything else. And not because of my cold, but just…because of me I accidentally left the plastic bag of powdered sugar resting on the stove. Normally this would be fine, but the oven/stove combo…the stove was cranked to 450° and we were already making the batches. And I left the bag near a vent for the oven. Now let’s stop here and ask why there is a vent for the oven into the kitchen and not directly to the outside? I don’t know the answer. I think my landlord is cheap.
So as a result of a misjudgement, the bag melted spilling powdered sugar all over the oven surface and into the vent. I didn’t notice it until I smelled something odd. And I looked to grab more powdered sugar. *cough* lack of counter space *cough* And it was everywhere. Less than 90 minutes before the cookie exchange was supposed to start!
I was stone-cold anxious. Chris thankfully swooped in heroically cooled down the stove and vacuumed reachable powdered sugar. When cooled, he lifted the stove top to peer at the spillage. Is that cotton candy? he mused pointed at white threads near the vent. Since cotton candy is made from powdered sugar. I grabbed a small piece and tasted it. Nothing. It didn’t even taste sweet. He vacuumed as much as he could. I was somewhat frantic now…did this mean that I ruined the stove? Maybe I’ll just move out and say nothing as thoughts ran through my head.
Then Chris said the “cotton candy” was insulation for the oven.
We wiped down the burnt confectioner’s sugar in the oven. And after a long 30 minute delay, we continued and ran as quickly as possible to Bliss Bar.
I was embarrassed that I hadn’t come up with fancy xmas packages for the cookies. As we each stood up to show our cookies (we were to make a few each for over 30+ attendees), I said my name, the name of the cookie, and my dramatic story. I hate speaking publicly, but apparently Chris wildly flailed his arms behind me, demonstrated the great kitchen disaster.
“And there was powdered sugar everywhere!” he was exclaiming as my public speaking nervousness clouded the chances of me hearing a single world. “The house was almost burnt down!”
I left about an hour later with lessons on how to use a pressure cooker to make beef brisket and over 40 kinds of cookies that we slowly carried in a Yelp bag down 24th street in the dark night.