October 10, 2013: A Cookie Fail

Kathy and I went to Les Mis last night. It was exceptional. Our night out began with Happy Hour at Aksarben Village and ended at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

In anticipation of the long production, we purchased drinks and a snack. Our snack of choice was a colorfully decorated sugar cookie. As Kathy prompted me to take the first bite, I hesitated. My fear of colored frosting haunted me. I had forgotten about my epic cookie fail many years ago. Until last night.

Many moons ago, my neighbors invited our family to their annual pool party. My parents were in town and were invited to tag along as well. Carol, the hostess, knows how to put on a party. Not only is the food and drink exceptional, the display of these edible items are worthy of Martha Stewart Living.

When asked to bring a dessert, I took it as a challenge to bring an item up to Carol's high standards. I wanted something that would visually add to the glory of her dessert table. After scavenging through all my best seasonal cooking magazines, I found a pictorial recipe for frosted sugar cookies.

The cookies were shaped and decorated like little beach towels. They were adorable. I burst with pride visualizing myself showing up in Carol's kitchen with these works of sugar art. No doubt that I would be the only one bringing beach towel cookies.

I spent the afternoon baking the cookies to light brown perfection and then painstakingly decorating each one in every color and design I could come up with. They were an art masterpiece. I was pleased.

When party time arrived, Mom and I carefully carried my prized creations into Carol's home. As expected, everyone ewed and ahhed over my unique cookies. And then a guest took the first bite. My pride quickly turned into panic as the entire inside of her mouth turned black. Her tongue, lips, gums, teeth; all black as night. And she hadn't a clue. She just kept raving about the flavor and look of my cookie.

Mom and I looked at each other in complete disbelief. What went wrong? We then noticed another lady with a completely red mouth and tongue. Carol's guests were being dyed and marked by my cookies.

With no time for words, we had to act fast. Our nonverbal panic was evident to each other. As I directed attention to the appetizer table, Mom quickly and quietly removed the stain-filled cookies. By the time I nudged the group outside to admire the pool and get drinks, everyone had forgotten about my cookies. Theie removal and absence went unnoticed.

No one spoke of the black and red mouth stains. I am hopeful that their drinks quickly washed the coloring away before blame could be placed.

When we returned home, the garbage gave away the ending to this story. My beautiful cookies were heaped in a pile in the garage can. Mom swept them out of Carol's house and put them promptly in the trash. After further investigation, we found that I was using pure dye for the detail frosting designs. The colored paste in the tubes was meant to be added to frosting for color, not squeezed directly on the cookies. Fail.

I don't think I can ever bite into a cookie again without fear of a black mouth. And as for Carol's party this year, I brought chips and salsa.


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