I love baking cookies. All year round, but especially at Christmas! Tonight we made 2 of my favorite kinds of cookies, stained glass and white chocolate macadamia nut. Yum!
Baking cookies can teach you a lot about your faith as well. Think about it. You have to add all the ingredients of your life in the right order and in the right amounts. You never start a batch of cookies with the flour, and you never begin your life with adulthood. It's not time yet.
First you need the creamy butter and sugar, which is kind of like the love and care you get from your family when you're a baby and a little child. You add a few eggs and vanilla. Eggs, like puberty, are the beginning of becoming something new, and vanilla to spice up your personality and add your very own flavor.
Next come the baking soda and salt. The salt is from the salty tears of disappointment. The baking soda can do everything--absorb odors, clean your teeth, even soften your bathwater. In this recipe, it's purpose is to lighten the dough and help it to rise. Very much like prayer. It serves a lot of purposes, but in this batch of cookies (which is your life) it will serve a higher purpose. It will enlighten you, and keep you from becoming hard as a brick.
Then comes the flour. Lots of flour. Flour holds it all together, and sticks to all the other ingredients and makes them into one cohesive substance--cookie dough. Flour is like God's love. It binds together every little part of your life to make it all something new. Something even better.
This is the part where you decide what to do with your dough. Just like life, YOU decide. Will you keep the dough just like it is? Add chocolate chips? Maybe go a little nuts, and add pecans, or macadamias, or maybe rainbow sprinkles? Maybe you will roll them flat and cut holes in them and fill the holes with colorful candies, like we do with the stained glass window cookies. Is your life colorful? Nutty? Semi-sweet and chocolatey?
Right now all we have is dough. All it will ever be is dough, if it never gets near the heat of trials and tribulations. If it stays dough, it must be kept cold. Sitting alone and desolate in a refrigerator or freezer. Waiting to become something wonderful. I hope you aren't frozen dough. I hope you have the courage to go into the 350 degree oven and be changed. Have you ever watched cookies bake? They puff up and spread out then they collapse in on themselves and brown. They come out something totally different from what they went in. So do we. We go in the oven full of potential. We come out browned and baked, and a wonderful piece of tasty treat that won't give people salmonella or e-coli like the dough could. (Raw eggs, you know.) Cookies = love where I come from.
One Warning: Make sure you take them out in time! If you stay too close to the heat for too long, you come out dried up and charred and useless. (Check out the cookie tray on my porch if you need an example.) You no longer contain love or hope. What you were hoping to be is no more. You have to go back to the dough bowl and try again. Remember all the things that went into making you what you are. Remember the heat of the ovens you've spent time in, and how that formed you and shaped you and changed you into something lovely and desirable that makes people smile, and reach for the milk (of human kindness) to dip you into.
Enjoy your cookies.