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The Colors of Christmas

December 10, 2009

Last weekend, I joined my friend for a Christmas Cookie baking extravaganza. The invitation list included several friends of my friend and their children.  In the end, the attendees were myself (the single, childless friend) the host (my friend Alicia) and one of her friends. Both ladies have 3 year old sons who are in the same class at school.  It seemed like it would be a pretty calm day.

We started our baking with a batch of Reese’s cup cookies.  Aside from being a bit messy, the first batch went smoothly, and the boys were playing together nicely. We decided that we should take on the sugar cookies.  I had NO idea what I was in for.  The mixing part was the easy, and then…..we got to the rolling and cookie cutting.  The dough stuck to our hands, the rolling pin, the wax paper, the cookie cutters, the spatula, etc.  Once I finally got the dough rolled out and the cookies cut, I broke them trying to get them from the paper to the pan!  After about 20 minutes, I had a full cookie sheet….8 whole cookies!! We baked them, and they got HUGE! I had to readjust my process for rolling, making them flatter, and I finally got into a rhythm.  By the time I had made 3 more trays of cookies, my huge ones had deflated to an acceptable size. Uh oh! I guess that means my readjusted flatter ones might be too thin.  After that I FINALLY gave up. Alicia’s friend was the master cookie cutter, so I just let her do her thing.

Once the dozens of sugar cookies were done baking, we had to frost them. The boys were all about trying the cookies and getting to frost them. So, we mixed up separate bowls of red, green and brown frosting, all made with the little bottles of artificial food coloring. The boys each iced about 2 cookies, and they had had enough. The girls got to work, and frosted every one of those stupid cookies. At that point, I was all cookied out, but we still had 3 kinds of cookies to make.

After working so hard on the sugar cookies, we decided to take it easy and make some wreath cookies. It was a simple task of melting some butter and marshmallows, adding an entire teaspoon of green food coloring, mixing in some corn flakes, and shaping some wreaths. They turned out nicely, and I was beginning to lose my bad attitude toward cookies.

We finished the day with a batch of chocolate chip cookies minus the chocolate chips and a batch of regular chocolate chip cookies. The best part of the day was learning Alicia’s special recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies ever! I tasted every type of cookie in each state: dough, freshly baked, and frosted. I went home that evening with close to 6 dozen cookies, an overly filled tummy, and an admiration for two wonderful mommies who managed to raise little boys that could play together for 6 hours without causing any problems.

Then, I read the new blog I subscribed to called “Euphoria for Green Mamas.”  How fitting that the topic was artificial food coloring and the effects of the chemicals in them on children. LOVELY! I had just gotten done dumping it by the teaspoonful into the cookies we made, and I found out that it causes hyperactivity and allergic reaction in children.  I never really stopped to think that a dye would be made with chemicals.  In fact, I never thought of what it would be made with period.  To find out more about the topic and where you can get natural food coloring, read the blog. Hopefully, you won’t make the same mistake that I did when making your cookies this Christmas!

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