Cookie Party Traditions and Tribulations
Updated: Aug 4, 2020
Nearly every year since my sophomore year in high school, my friends Ally and Sarah and I have gotten together around the holidays to make cookies. The original idea was to give cookies and chocolates to our friends as cheap Christmas gifts. However, soon after I said, "Aren't we putting rum in the cookies? I always add rum to the recipe to make the cookies a little spicy," the intent of the party changed drastically. Cut to us getting loaded on boozy cookie dough, and a tradition was born out of necessity (the necessity to drink covertly in high school).
Over the years the dietary restrictions have come and gone - Ally was vegan and gluten-free, then Ally was vegetarian and not gluten-free, but Sarah was gluten-free with a mild allergy to nuts, etc. While we have altered our recipe to accommodate all of our needs (and sometimes added additional sweets such as chocolate truffles or boozy caramel apples), one thing never changed: we would pour rum into the chocolate chip cookie dough and eat half of it before putting the rest in the oven. The alcohol bakes out of the cookies, but a gentle spiciness remains.
One particularly touching year was when we finally finished Sarah's parents' bottle of Bacardi 151 - the original bottle we surreptitiously poured into our cookies. We were post-college. Sarah's parents apparently don't drink rum very often.
The dosage of rum in the cookie dough has never been codified. We just pour it into the dough post-egg addition and pre-flour mixture addition. We taste as we go and we try to stop right after you can clearly taste a spiciness on your tongue, but right before the whole dough collapses as the alcohol works against the binding action of the egg. It's a delicate balance, but we never fucked it up before.
Until this year.
I have no idea what happened. Either we put in too much liquor (highly doubtful) or the rum reacted badly when it met the gluten-free flour (this is my guess. I also react badly when I meet gluten-free flour, so....).
There is a lesson here: when your cookies won't bake, just eat the dough.