His mom sent me the recipe for the cookies several years ago, and I knew that this was a surprise I could pull off. In preparation, Monday I searched through my cookbook to find the recipe. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it. Apparently it was someplace "safe." I began to dig through my combination Tupperware/ cookbook cabinet determined to locate the missing card. Nearly two hours later the cabinet was clean and organized, I had two bulging trash bags of plastic containers and lids without mates and the recipe in hand. I felt a surge of adrenaline having completed a looming task (cleaning out the disorganized cabinet) while locating the coveted cookie recipe.
Knowing that Scott would be delighted, I envisioned his reaction as I carefully measured and mixed the dough. I ended up phoning his mom for technical advice, wanting to make sure that I didn't deviate from her recipe. The dough preparation was the easy part; the work of the candy cane cookie lies with the rolling and shaping. After the first dozen were formed, I was both bored and frustrated. Between the sticky dough and the fragile shapes, the surprise was quickly becoming a chore!
After nearly 90 minutes, all four dozen cookies were rolled and formed onto the cookie sheets. After they were baked, I waited exactly 60 seconds before removing the delicate cookies and gently coating them in powdered sugar. Needless to say, this step is easier said than done. The cookies were still hot and extremely fragile. I broke more than I care to admit, but thankfully the evidence was quickly disposed of (courtesy of Robby and his friend Rowan.)
Finally, the laborious cookie enterprise was complete. I was excited to surprise Scott with his favorite nostalgic treat. I arranged several cookies on a Christmas plate and triumphantly delivered them waiting anxiously for his reaction.
"Oh, nice" was his response. Nice? Those blasted cookies took hours to create and they certainly warranted more than a "nice." Undeterred, I insisted that he try one. After all, perhaps he didn't know that they were his mom's recipe. Surely one bite would bring him to his Epicurean knees.
After taking a bite, he smiled and said, "They are pretty good, thanks." Annoyed, I informed him that they were made from his mom's recipe which I had followed precisely. "I know. They taste pretty good." He then put the cookie on the plate and continued watching TV. So much for the over-the-top reaction I anticipated.
It's difficult when so much work and effort yields an unappreciated reaction. I'm trying not to take it personally, and I know full well that Scott's reactions to surprises are often tempered. Regardless, I am hereby retiring my elf baking hat for the season. After all, I now have a container full of "nice" candy cane cookies which should be more than adequate for the remainder of the season.