by Caitlin Hart
I’m in high school, probably in grade 10 or 11. It’s Christmas time, which in my family means baking time. Each year we bake around 20 different types of cookies from shortbread to Nanaimo bars to classic gingerbread. All of this usually happens within the span of two weeks and as a result sometimes you’re often baking two types of cookies at once or sharing the kitchen with someone else.
Now, each year I like to make a new cookie; something I haven’t made before. This particular year I decide to make candy cane shortbread. The combination of buttery shortbread and minty candy cane sounds like heaven to me. I pick out a recipe and gather the ingredients.
The first order of business is crushing candy canes. I decide the best way to do this is to put the candy canes in a plastic bag and smash them with a hammer—a fun way to release any built-up holiday aggression. After a few whacks the candy canes aren’t quite smashing as I would like, but I persist. Then the bag pops open coating the kitchen in a light layer of candy cane. I go on an expedition to find all of the pieces.
Thankfully the mixing and kneading of the dough is disaster-free. I put the cookie sheets in the oven expecting some lovely cookies within ten minutes. But, part way through the baking I notice that the cookies start to resemble ever-expanding blobs. At that moment I realize I added those darn candy cane pieces at the wrong point in the recipe. As they melt, they cause my cookies to expand in width.
At the end of the ten minutes, I take them out of the oven to see that my lovely cookies are now less than an inch thick. They look more like a science experiment gone wrong than a cookie.
I let them cool hoping that they at least taste good. To my horror when I pop one in my mouth it tastes exactly like mouthwash. They’re crispy in all the wrong places and the candy cane bits look like some bizarre Christmas-themed mold. In short they’re nothing like the pretty round thick cookies I was promised in the recipe.
The task is now to get rid of my abomination, for I certainly don’t want to eat them myself or give them to my friends and family. (I have a reputation to uphold.) So my mom pawns off the mouthwash cookies to other (unfortunate) people until the mouthwash cookies are no more.