Yesterday my Kindergarten girls had a “Tourist” day where they learned about other countries. My wife volunteered to bake five dozen butter cookies, a delicacy Switzerland was supposedly known for. Sure. Whatever. I suppose you aren’t going to convince 5 and 6 year olds to chow down on swiss cheese.
The teacher gave her a recipe a week ahead and Sunday afternoon Chris gave me the corresponding grocery list. After I did the dinner dishes, she started baking. It was an unusual recipe because the sugar and flour were measured in pounds instead of cups. She didn’t have parchment paper, but she was going to forego that. One thing she did forget to put on the list was corn starch. While I would have preferred to just drive back to the grocery store, Chris instructed me to beg one of my accomodating the neighbors for some.
There is a rule of thumb that says house repairs invariably require three trips to the hardware store. Men just accept this. Chris was apparently trying to avoid a return grocery trip for these cookies.
When mixing the cookie ingredients (including the corn starch), it became a gloppy mess instead of a doughy mixture. Way too greasy. Chris had used whole wheat flour, but she and I didn’t think that should matter. The recipe called for tons of butter and very little flour and it showed in the mixture. It didn’t look promising but Chris put the dough on the sheet anyway and hoped for a miracle to occur in the oven.
One did not. The mixture just became pools of brown butter after they were warmed up. Not a surprise, really. Chris then hit the Internet for other butter cookie recipes. Every other one she found had a larger ratio of flour to butter.
I was off to the grocery store for non-wheat flour. Didn’t want to want to take chances with substitute ingredients. While I was there I got parchment paper and corn starch too even though the new recipe didn’t call for either.
The second batch looked more solid. Perhaps too much so. Several of Chris’s disposable decorating bags burst when she squeezed on them to get the cookie dough in little “S” shapes on the sheet. Chris was not having fun.
The second recipe did turn out just fine. Chris put the cookies in a disposable container and sent them off with Katie in the morning.
When the teacher (who had apparently forgotten which parent she doled the task out to) asked who had brought the cookies, Katie didn’t speak up. She was too busy chatting with her best friend. But another boy took credit and so she thanked his mom in front of the class.
Heck, if I had known that some other kid would have claimed responsibility for the cookies I would have suggested to Chris that she just box up the original blobs of grease for Katie to take to school.