In just a few hours we (meaning Madeline) baked six dozen cookies and almost lost our minds.
It was Sunday morning around 10:30 a.m. I rolled over on my couch where I had fallen asleep after letting Bear outside. It was the weekend, and I was incredibly determined to do absolutely nothing.
Then the phone rang.
"We have to make five dozen cookies today," a groggy voice said on the other line. Madeline had just woken up from her mid-morning nap too.
Ugh, I had completely forgotten about the cookie exchange party we had been invited too at the McDonald's house. Wonderful people. Way too much ambition.
"Don't worry," I said mid-yawn. "We'll find an easy sugar cookie recipe or something and call it a day. I'll be over soon."
One cup of coffee and an hour later I was walking the bridge when Madeline called again, this time much more panicked.
"EVERYONE'S COOKIES ARE GOING TO LOOK GOOD, AND OURS ARE GOING TO LOOK LIKE TRASH."
I pulled the phone away to avoid rupturing an ear drum. Apparently, Madeline had gotten a sneak peek of some of the other cookies people were making, and simple sugar cookies just weren't going to cut it.
In a sad attempt to calm her down, I joked about my original idea of bringing a sleeve of Oreos. After a 30-second silence, she said, "I'm going to get cream cheese."
An hour and a half later, I was opened Madeline's door to find three batches of cookies laid on a table in her living room where her dog, Winnie, was patiently waiting underneath for some crumbs. The house was smokey. Madeline had a big, chocolate splatter across her shirt.
"It smells great in here," I said. "Sorry, you had to start without me."
But being my best friend, she already knows that it's better to start without me when it comes to baking and most kitchen things.
Miraculously, Madeline had found an easy recipe for a brownie-chocolate-chip cookie hybrid that tasted amazing but looked a little like an Easy Bake Oven experiment gone wrong. One batch somehow came out squared.
"I have enough to make a sixth batch," she said, furiously whipping the dough. "So go through and get rid of all the cookies that look bad."
There were easily some super square cookies that weren't going to make the cut. After those were gone, I looked at the brownie to cookie ratio to make sure there were only evenly dispersed cookies left. This was easily the best job I've ever had.
I looked at the clock. We had about an hour to clean up, get ready and get to the house by three. Madeline and I went outside to get some fresh, non-cookie air while the last batch finished baking.
"Next year I want to go to a cookie tasting party," I said. "No baking, just eating."
"You didn't do any baking for this party either," she snapped back. Can't argue with her there. A lack of baking knowledge really comes in handy when you don't want to do anything.
A few minutes of chatting and Madeline was starting to relax. Until we realized we had completely forgotten about the sixth batch that was replacing the batch of ugly cookies I had already thrown away.
"THE COOKIES," she yelled, throwing herself out of her patio chair. Madeline rushed to the oven and pulled out the sheet. They were a little crispy on the edges, but they had survived.
Somehow we both did — but we were still an hour and a half late.