Adventures in Overconfidence: Sugar Cookie Edition

Despite the fact that I lack some of the necessary skills needed to make stuff by the book -- specifically reading comprehension, patience, and respect for authority -- I'm forever diving head first into a DIY project.

Jul 8, 2013 at 2:30pm | Leave a comment

I'm one of those people who thinks she can do things. Show me a Picasso and I'll go, "Pftt. I could do that." Then I'll actually go out and spend $500 on paint supplies just to prove myself right. Despite the fact that I lack some of the necessary skills needed to make stuff by the book -- specifically reading comprehension, patience, and respect for authority -- I'm forever diving head first into a DIY project.

The euphoria following my stressed-filled craft sessions is something like the gift of forgetting labor pains because otherwise you'd never have sex again. This is how I got roped in to making cookies for my best friend's baby shower. Cookies aren't that hard, you might say. But then I'd counter with Exhibit A: 

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I got an email with a link to the afore-pictured "sweetly sleeping elephant" with the subject line, "Can you make these?!" Ya'll already know asking me to make something is like calling Marty McFly chicken. That shit will not stand! So I replied, "Of course" immediately and then Googled how to get from vision board to vittles and then got so frustrated with all the scrolling that I ignored this project for weeks, hoping all the information would magically coalesce in my dreams and I'd wake up one morning knowing the answer. Yeah that never worked during finals in high school either.

I finally stopped procrastinating yesterday and got down to business. Too bad I'd already missed the shipping window to get the elephant cookie cutter I needed on time to make and decorate 3 dozen cookies. But I didn't need no stinking cookie cutter! According to some crazy lady with a blog I could concoct my own by jerry-rigging a disposable lasagna pan with nothing but my brawn and a pair of scissors. 

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This method -- cutting and then folding strips of aluminum -- could have almost worked if I had a longer sheet of material to work with in the first place. But I don't do measurements. Math and stuff is for straight busters. I eyeball everything and I don't wear my glasses. So yeah, this was a no go. 

With the time-saving efficiency of the cookie cutter out of the question, I decided to just free hand a rudimentary drawing of an elephant directly onto my raw dough and hope for the best. How hard could it be? The answer is very. There is no physical evidence of any kind to depict what came out of the oven following that brain fart. I'll describe the ensuing cookie as Dumbo on strong antidepressants, which caused a lot of swelling of the ankles and trunk. Despite being delicious, he was far from ready for prime time. 

The template was super crucial. I knew I needed one in order to get things right. The thing about DIYing is that you NEVER want anything to look "home made" instead you're going for "hand crafted." My grandmother, who could make you a wedding dress in under an hour, taught me this. Home made, in her opinion, screams bootleg and unskilled. Handcrafted, however, says "I could make a little doing this, but it's just my hobby -- being awesome." 

So I found a jpeg of the cookie cutter a better woman would have just bought and tried to print that out to size and use it to carve out my sweet baby elephants. Guess whose printer had just been possessed? This girl's. But instead of calling Ike at work and screaming about how he never connected my laptop to the printer thingie like I asked him to MONTHS ago, I listened to the tiny voice inside my head that sounded a lot like my 9th grade art teacher Ms. Porter's.

"Trace it and they will come," she whispered. 

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I said a Boom Chicka Rocka Chicka Rocka Chicka Boom!

Using this baby I was able to slice the perfect pachyderm. When he came out of the oven 12 minutes later -- and a good three hours after I began this whole ordeal -- I was mentally exhausted. 

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Please ignore what's happening on left. That's Dumbo's Sliders self from the parallel universe wherein I don't know how to do things. With a decent canvas in place, now all I had to do was dye some generic cookie frosting using red, blue and green food coloring gel (this was after two trips to two different stores looking for "grey icing") and add my flare. 

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This is my first pancake -- you know the almost-there-but-not-quite-yet college try -- and I've just got another 35 to go. But because of the DIY pain forgetfulness thing I'm actually amped for the crying fit that will undoubtedly come when I do this for real for real. 

Am I the only one who likes to make things waaay more difficult than they should be? I mean I could've just bought these babies off of Etsy and saved myself the rage, but where's the fun in that?