The Great Cookie Bake 2000

In December of 2000, four young ladies braved the perilous journey to Ramona, CA, to participate in The Great Cookie Bake 2000 with Susan  This was record turnout for this event, largely because the was the first time it's ever been held.

Keep reading to hear about the extraordinary physical strength required to mix so much cookie dough, the dicey acrobatics of using so many cookie cutters near so many fingers, the small appliance meltdown that nearly brought the whole thing to an untimely end, and finally the joyous triumph of icing and decorations.


The Cast of Characters



Easiest way to get a tan during the winter.Molly started the day off by firing up the ovens and wondering when the cookies would appear inside.  When we explained that this wasn't like an automatic bread machine, she changed her story and claimed she could tell by looking at the blackbody radiation when the oven was at the correct temperature.  When she was able to give an estimate of the signal-to-noise ratio of her perceived spectrum as affected by the background gamma rays and weakly interactive massive particles, we decided to take her word for it.  In any case, she became our expert at taking out cookies before they became black bodies.


Martha is very experienced with rolling pins.Martha displayed her legendary smile regularly during the baking process.  In fact, to soften the butter we simply had Martha smile at it and it would melt instantly. Here she is shown warming up for what ended up being hours and hours of dough-smashing.  As the only member of the party wearing flannel, she was nominated "honorary Al Borland" and given lots of manual labor; however, her artistic touches during the icing phase of the project were second to none.


Gingerbread Man Guts... Ha ha ha...In less than ten hours, Patty transformed herself from cookie-baking newbie to Dough Processing Specialist, Second Class (E-4).  Her newly-acquired skills include boiling molasses, painting with cookie icing, and cutting out cookies with the correct side of the cookie cutter towards the dough so that it cuts the dough, not her hand.  (Ask to see the really neat angel-shaped scar on the palm of her hand... it's a sign from above that she is destined to make many cookies.)
Pantea packs up the fruits of our laborsPantea won the race to be first out of the oven with a batch of cookies (see the before and after shots below).  She also took the lead in ingredient quality control (through sampling methods) and desecration of holiday symbols (by using icing to render Frosty the Snowman with his tongue sticking out.  Everyone knows Frosty the snowman has no tongue!)
Too bad Lorena Bobbitt didn't have one of these!Susan, the hostess with an unnerving love for power tools, already had one in the oven long before cookie-day began.  So far, the baby seems to like the chocolate-chip best, kicking up a storm when Susan so much as smells one.  Susan obtained many of the supplies required for the baking adventure, including icing tints in the traditional Christmas colors of Barney Green and Purple.  It may be time for Santa to take another look at his fashion choices if a chubby green and purple dinasaur who sings about loving everyone is more popular than a chubby red and white guy who brings presents, candy, and other loot.

The Process

Entranced by their work, nobody notices the cameraperson sneak up on them...
(Notice how the talented Susam balances a box of cookies on her head the entire time!)

The Cheesy Posed Shot

Alerted by the fake shutter noise of the digital camera, everyone looks up

The Good, the Bad, and the Dead

Notice the nice clean engine?  Just overhauled! Overworked Oster Kitchen Center No actual spoons were harmed in the making of these cookies!
We all know that a car with its hood up indicates something has gone wrong and the car may not have much life left. So when we see a Kitchen Center with the beaters up and smoke pouring out, the news cannot be good.  Interestingly, after letting the Oster cool down for a bit it recovered and continued working well the rest of the afternoon.  Moreover, one batch of cookies has a very interesting "smoked" aroma. Five women and one sensitive new-age guy.  Guess which one broke the wooden spoon?  Guess which one cried over it as well?  Apparently someone broke the handle of one of my measuring cups, too, but they ditched the evidence before I got  a picture and nobody's saying who did it.  Hmmmm.


Before and After

Lambs to the slaughter... The very first batch of cookies turned out pretty well for a first batch, but we suspect someone may have counted out one-too-few cups of flour or one-too-many cups of milk.  The upside is that they tasted fine, and having them flat like pancakes made it much easier for us non-nut-eaters to find cookies with walnuts in them. Brownie Flats


The Results (abridged)

So much icing So many cookies
So Little Time! In case you were wondering...
"There's something hard in this bowl!" Nummy Nummy in my Tummy


Somebody Didn't Get Any

I'm sorry, Bonnie, but these aren't for dogs! Unfortunately for Bonnie, but fortunately for all our coworkers, she is allergic to wheat and thus doesn't get any cookies.  Instead, she gets a little love and attention from Molly, which is better than any cookie anyway (and less fattening, too!)