At 5 pm Friday night I sent the ladies a Facebook status that said you can start cursing me out now. I did not realize that by Saturday I would be cursing myself out as well. The invite says that we are suppose to bake 13 dozen cookies so I had my game plan in place. I would knock mine out Saturday morning in an hour and a half tops by using 4 cookie sheets and have the rest of Saturday to rest. WRONG!!! Earlier in the week Nicole sent me a text saying that she may not be able to make it because she wouldn't be able to get everything done in time. (she works 2 jobs and has a daughter) Being the Power Ranger that I am I offered to help her, on Friday night. It was no biggie its not like a had a hot date or anything and plus that's what friends do.
So Friday before heading to Nicole's Keithon, Bianca and I hit up the Crosstown Arts Christmas party. It was a pretty low turn out due to the rain. But just like any Crosstown party it not disappoint. All the food was VEGAN even the items on the decorate your own cookie station were vegan. My son made and ate 5 cookies, he asked if I wanted one. I declined because I knew I would have over a 100 cookies in my possession in the next few hours. After hanging out and doing a little karaoke we headed to Nicole's so we could get to work. Armed with my cookie sheets and apron we set to work...almost. Nicole could not find her measuring cups. She recently moved and just like with any move things were lost in the move. So we headed to Family Dollar where we got her the baking basics, measuring cups, spoons and a cookie sheets with a cooling rack. Now we could get to work. Nicole went the truffle route instead of cookies. There was nothing in the rules that says she couldn't. We rolled 144 truffles. Yes I know that is not 13 dozen but we had a girl drop and I could not replace her. By 11:30pm the truffles were rolled, in the fridge and we were done. Success!!
8 am Saturday morning I woke up, walked Hollywood and tied my apron back on and set to work on my own cookies. I had Pandora going, I was in my zone. I finished my cookies by 9:30. I am a beast in the kitchen! After cleaning the kitchen and packaging my cookies I crawled back into bed to rest before setting to work on the food and taking Keithon to his Grandma's birthday breakfast. No sooner than I closed my eyes I got a message from one of the cookie members saying she couldn't make it. It was 10:40 am one the day of the party and most girl were done baking. There was no way in blue hell I was going to send a message saying that we would be another girl short. So I had to figure out some way to replace 12 dozen cookies. My first thought was to make cupcakes, no that wouldn't be right. So I went online and Googled "easy vegan cookies" hoping to find one I could knock out using what I had at home. No such luck everything called for one or two things I didn't have. Then I came upon a slide show of 25 christmas vegan cookies as I was going through the slides I stopped on the one of the gingerbread man that was frowning. The story of this cookie is from none other than Annie Shannon from Meet The Shannons. Her story was that she set out to make mini gingerbread men and her plan to to decorate them all cute and what not but they were too small so she was pissed and all she could was decorate with was frowning faces. This was my cookie because it was the day of cookie club and and I had to get back in the kitchen and bake.....again. I was not a happy camper but I refused to let the girls down.
Now it was my turn to call in a favor from Nicole. She was at my house and we got to work measuring and stirring. My poor hand mixer could not take the strength of gingerbread dough so we had to take turns mixing this dough by hand. A pink Kitchen Aid stand mixer is in my future. With the dough chilling in the freezer and the kitchen re-cleaned, Nicole and I sat on the couch and she told me, "if you start working on these cookies and it doesn't come together walk away. Its not your fault the girl canceled. No stress." After the dough was chilled I started rolling, cutting and baking. Pan after pan went in the oven. I had little gingerbread men everywhere. Once they were cooled I started to decorate them and of course I couldn't find my icing bag or my coupler so I cut a hole in a Ziploc bag and taped the tip on. The bag broke at the seams 6 cookies in! I tossed the bag and started with a new one. I finished 12 cookies and the second bag broke. I was done. I tossed the bag, icing tip and all in the trash and packaged the cookies. No stress remember. I did what I could do.
I only had the energy to throw together the food spread so I opted for simple things. At the Crosstown Christmas Party they had this yummy Crostini topped with hummus celery and olives. I made the same dish put instead of topping the Crostini with the olives and celery I put them in the hummus and tossed in a few chopped capers for good measure. I paired the left over hummus with carrot sticks as well as chips and salsa. I was spent and the girls would be arriving soon. Lucky for me Bianca brought an awesome crab dish using Match Meat. I forgot how much I missed crab when I had this dish. I need to obtain some Match Meat.
After getting settled and semi caught up we started on our stories. Since we have the new rule, "What's said in Cookie Club, stays in Cookie Club" I'll only give a brief summary. We have all had a crappy year but we survived it and even found a bit of joy along the way. Unknowing we were all going through a bit of the same struggles. My cookie is the Diva Delight because I am a diva and this year is the year where I am always trying to find the positive in things. All of my cookies were different on purpose. Some were small, some hard, some soft, some were big but there were only 11 in the box but I included a fortune cookie. The reason all my cookies were different is because each month has been different. In the past year I have lost almost 40 pounds, finalized my divorce, became vegan, lost friends, changed my religious beliefs and dealt with death. The lack of a 12 cookie was because I don't know what this month holds for me but I am excited to find out. Here is the recipe.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp of Cookie Butter Swirl
What you do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix everything together in a large bowl, well!
Using a small/medium scoop, (or a spoon) place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cookies won't brown on top when they are done.
All the ladies in the group aren't vegan and I have no problem with that so there were a few non vegan cookies but I was happy that a few non vegans made vegan cookies.
Brenna- Betty is my Friend Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Aisha- Turn Lemons into Lemonade Sugar Cookies
Stephanie- Kitchen Sink Chocolate Cookies
Bianca- Chewy Spiced Molasses Cookies
Amy- Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles
Nicole- Coco dusted Truffles
Lisa- Chocolate and Vanilla M&M Cookies
Karen- Oreo Cookie Balls
Jennifer- Gluten free Vegan Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cassi- Diva Delight and Soft Gingerbread Cookies
After all of the baking, wine, drama, tears and laughs Cookie Club was a success. This year we gave our extra dozen cookies to Hope House. It is a school for children in the Memphis area affected with AIDS and HIV. I love my girls and am so happy we were able to come together again this year. I can't wait til next year mainly because we won't have to bake as many cookies and the club will only have 10 ladies. 10 is a good number for us.