Lately I’ve been trying to get better at cooking. I’m experimenting with several new dinner recipes and am trying to indulge my occasional cravings with homemade sweets.
We own this skinny, hardcover Mrs. Field’s cookie book, and from what I can tell on Amazon, it’s actually several years out of print. With the hair of Brooke Shields and the nails of Dolly Parton, I’m a little sad that Mrs. Fields never took off as a celebrity baker. She’s probably not lost much thought on that, after all, her cookie-kiosk empire has over 300 locations in nearly every mall in America. She’s done well, but it seems her cookbooks were a very short-lived endeavor.
My sisters and I spent many childhood years baking her treats. You can tell which recipes we favored from the crystalized vanilla extract on certain pages and the wavy paper stained from wet ingredients. The four of us would huddle together on a Sunday morning, spilling flour, rolling dough and decorating each cookie canvas with designs and sprinkles. It was one of our favorite things to do around the holidays, and is a tradition we still try to maintain.
I started following a few amazing sugar cookie companies on Instagram (see one in my 6 links from last week), and thought it’d be fun to take a stab at decorating a batch myself. So, I opened up the old Mrs. Fields cookbook to my favorite recipe and got started.
The finished cookies are far from perfect, but I think they didn’t end up too bad for a first try – especially considering that I’m a complete decorating newbie. I also made sure to bake the dough for maximum chewiness, so the cookies were delicious either way.
While I’m sure there are better recipes that produce evenly toasted, perfectly flat cookies, nothing compares to the happiness I feel from opening that book to a well-worn page and thinking of my sisters. I hope the next time I attempt these I’ll get better, but I’ll likely stick with Mrs. Field’s recipe. You can’t put a value on baking good memories.