Friday, February 02, 2007

How Do I Love Thee?...Two to One - Daughter and Son

Today it's two - two siblings - one cookie two ways.

Our local paper has a feature where they ask a different subscriber each week to answer some questions about themselves. Along with favorite book and movie and what your mother always told you, they ask for your most proud moment. Many times the answer is "The birth of my child(ren)". I'm right there with them. It is simultaneously an ordinary and amazing thing to be pregnant and deliver a child. There is nothing like it and the thrill of being a parent is never as ebulient as the day they are born, but it never really goes away if you love children.

I've been blessed with a daughter and a son. I was lucky because I got to experience mothering both genders. Each child is a masterpiece, so there really is no comparisons to be made. Each has brought me joy in their own way.

My daughter figured out much earlier than I did how to be a real friend with her Mom, so she and I have a very special relationship now that she is an adult. She is beautiful (really) and talented, hard working, super intelligent and organized, loyal, a good friend to many and she has a wicked wonderful sense of humor, plus a love of odd movies.

My son required an eagle eye of watchfulness as he was growing up because he was intensely curious...I think he identified with Curious George. He was a good friend who always looked for people with good hearts before any other attribute. He loved computers and Magic cards and role playing games and soccer, among other things. He played the alto sax in middle school and the trombone in high school. The years went quickly. He died in an auto accident when he was a few weeks short of his 17th birthday. Years have passed since then, but I sometimes almost hear him up in his room instant messaging his buddies.

You learn a lot when life gives you such a huge lemon to deal with. I've learned to cherish my husband, daughter, family and friends. I've learned to take on new things with gusto and am no longer patient since I now know in a gut way that we don't have endless amounts of time, but I've also learned to be kinder. I've learned to celebrate what I've had and enjoy what memories there are that make me smile. There are more of those all the time.

One happy memory is the days when either kid would have a party at school and I would need to bring a treat for the party. My favorite was the Giant Party Cookie which can be shaped and decorated in different ways depending on the party theme. It is even thick enough to stand birthday candles up in, at least long enough to sing "Happy Birthday" and blow out the candles. As it happened, while moving the heart cookie to photograph, it almost broke. Pretty appropriate I'd say.

For today I made a heart version to go with my February romance theme, but since we are getting close to Super Bowl Sunday, I also made one in the shape of a football. In case you think these are just for kids, think again. The football was devoured by the guys pretty quickly.

Giant Party Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar, light or dark, packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
½ cup quick rolled oats
2 cups (12-oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped nuts

For circle or heart shaped cookie:
1 cup M & M candies in appropriate colors
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons hot milk
Assorted cake decorations such as dragees, colored sugar, colored small shapes, chopped nuts

For football shaped cookie:
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons hot milk
1 tablespoon cocoa
more confectioners sugar as needed

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape bowl and beaters. Gradually beat in flour and beat until mixed. Beat in oatmeal. Mixture will be stiff. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Line a 12” pizza pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Put 2 cups of the dough on the foil. Using floured fingers, shape dough into desired shape, either circle or heart. Make shape about 10” in diameter. Exaggerate the shape since cookie will spread. Football shape can be made on foil lined rectangular cookie sheet. For circle or heart, sprinkle M&Ms over dough shape and pat lightly into dough.

Bake one sheet at a time in middle of oven for 15 - 18 minutes until golden brown. Let sit on sheet for 10 minutes, then slide shape on foil onto a cooling rack. Continue to bake the rest of the dough. You can make regular drop cookies with the remainder of the batter if desired.

Once the cookie has cooled, decorate for a party! Mix the confectioners sugar and milk and drizzle over the cookie in a random pattern. While it is still wet, sprinkle cake decorations over as desired.

For the football, use the confectioners sugar and milk. Remove 2 tablespoons to a resealable sandwich bag. To the remaining glaze add the cocoa and mix well. Spread in a football shape over the cookie, starting in the middle and spreading outward. Let glaze dry. Mix another 2 teaspoons of confectioners sugar into the glaze in the sandwich bag, or more confectioners sugar if needed, to make a firm icing. Mix well. Make a small cut on the corner of the bag. Squeeze the icing through it onto the cookie to make lines that mimic football lacing.

Put decorated cookie on party platter and serve. Pieces can be broken off or you can cut it into portions. If it is for a birthday party, candles will stand up for a brief time; long enough to light them and sing Happy Birthday!


  1. Anonymous3:20 PM

    I am sitting here in a fit of tears. I am so, so, so sorry for such a horrific loss. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it would be to lose a child.
    Thanks for sharing something so personal with us...

  2. Kristen, I appreciate your empathy. Hope you hug someone special today.

  3. You must be a very strong person.

    I'm sure everyone appareciates your giant party cookies. Who can refuse something in a fun shape?

  4. Anonymous1:29 AM

    How beautifully you've described two of the children I've loved most in the world. Sad tears, good tears. Many, many hugs to you. Love, T.

  5. Thanks Brilynn. As far as the fun shapes, you are an inspiration. I still carry the images of the SHF Mario figures you created in my mind. They sure were fun.

    Anonymous, hugs to you, too. Love 'ya