A Christmas cookie disaster

December 2, 2022 — by Sanjoli Gupta
Photo by Sanjoli Gupta
My oven had to endure my horrendous baking.
Don’t try to bake healthy cookies. Ever. 

When the holiday season comes around, everyone looks forward to Christmas cookies. A glass of chilled milk accompanied by warm chocolate chip cookies are a staple of the season.

Unfortunately, my mother found this snack too sugary and unhealthy for me and my sister to enjoy. After bargaining, we decided I would bake one batch of healthy cookies, and one batch of chocolate chip cookies. 

They couldn’t possibly be that bad, right?

After scouring the internet for about three hours, I finally found an eggless, coconut oatmeal cookie recipe. The name was not the most appetizing, but the picture looked nice and it would satisfy my mother’s conditions.


Step one: gathering the ingredients. 

I scanned the list quickly. Flour, honey, sugar, coconut flakes, oats and butter: basic cookie ingredients. Everything was in the pantry. 

I was sure of it. 

So sure that I didn’t check. 


Step two: Put the Flour, baking powder, coconut and oats in one bowl.

I opened the one pound box of oats and found white dust — the first mishap in a series of disasters. While my father went to the store to buy more (after much begging), I pushed forward with baking.. 

I couldn’t possibly be missing anything else.  


Step three: Melt the sugar, butter and honey in a pan. 

Sugar. Check. Honey. Check. Butter… not a check. 

I stared at the empty box of butter in disbelief. A sad smear of butter stared back, mocking my idiocy. Panicking, I called out for my father just as he walked through the door with the oats. 

Needless to say, he had to go back to the store. 

Melting sugar, butter and honey in a pan was much harder than I expected. It took about half an hour of continuous mixing over the stove until the ingredients melted and fully incorporated. 

Turns out, half an hour on the gas leads to burnt butter and sugar. 

When I finally mixed the wet and dry ingredients, I ended up with a sticky mess on the counter. I tried the dough and it had a smokey taste that I was definitely not going for.

By this point I was exhausted, and was craving the chocolate chip cookies I originally wanted to bake. The dough stuck to my fingers like super glue in a chunky brown mess. I scooped the goopy batter (I can’t even call it dough) onto parchment paper and threw it in the oven.

I collapsed on the sofa, exhausted, only to see a heap of flour on the counter. 

I forgot part of the flour. 

That was my last straw. 

I started working on the chocolate chip cookies. At this point, whether the abominations in the oven were even cookies or not was not my problem. 

This recipe was easy to follow, and the dough was beautiful and ready to use. I shaped the dough into trees, only then remembering the healthy cookies in the oven. It had been 25 minutes since the goop had been thrown in there.

I sprinted to the oven and pulled out the cookies to find that they had expanded and turned into one big rock hard burnt blob. 

Despite my great failure, I thought the cookies would not be that bad since there they still contained sugar and butter. I made the mistake of taking a bite. It was just warm, burnt and smokey sugar. My parents pretended to like them, and my sisters quietly grimaced and asked for the chocolate chip cookie dough.

Even if my creation couldn’t be called a cookie, the second batch looked edible even if it tasted awful. The pictures looked nice, and that’s all that really mattered. Needless to say, I will not be baking the “healthy version” of any desserts anytime soon.

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