We’re invited out to lunch this Shabbat. Usually when we’re guests in someone’s house, I bake a cake and, since our invitations out are relatively rare, I try to make it special. (My rainbow cake was one such attempt at “special.”)
Because the family we’re eating with has 10 regular members (plus such irregulars as significant others and friends brought home from the army), we’ll be at least 16 at the meal. My richest cake would be a stretch to feed 16, and half the time kids don’t like my cakes, so I opted this week for cut-0ut cookies. Plus, Wednesday is 4-year-old Banana’s longest day–she’s home for lunch and has no chugim in the afternoon. If she doesn’t have a play date that day, she nags all afternoon to watch videos, and since the answer is usually “no,” it behooves me to have an alternative activity lined up for her.
The photo below is a sample of our finished products. This hostess gift/dessert is a huge potchkee, making the dough, baking it in batches, and fussing with the icing and sprinkles. In theory, having young kids around to “help” should make it easier, but it rarely does. They want to be close up where they can see the contents in the mixer, making them (and their step-stools) underfoot. They nag constantly for a taste of the dough. (Peach was nagging before I’d even finished creaming the margarine and sugar. Yeccchhh.) They cut three cookies out from a lump of dough that lies a foot square on the counter. And when it comes to decorating, they take 20 minutes to decorate two cookies, then say they’re done.
But once I’m finished scolding, wheedling, and outright bribing them to help me finish the job, the final product is hard to beat. Every time I make these, I say “Never again.” Until the next time.