I think these may be some of my favorite cookies ever, and they look like my 5-year old decorated them. She didn’t. Nor did my 1 month old. I did. I call them “chaos cookies.” I’m not exactly sure you can call these cookies “art,” but I’ll at least steal the concept of how art may come about, because I was compelled by emotion to create these. Hmm, they look more like scribble cookies, I guess.
Though surprisingly, even with a kid and a newborn, I don’t necessarily feel surrounded by chaos, so maybe these are more about what I should be feeling? Don’t get me wrong. I’m someone who needs order. A house that appears clean, even if it never actually is (I’m a terrible cleaner). My to-do list tidily sitting next to my computer, even if I rarely cross stuff off of it. So having a 5-year old that talks all the time and is messy and gets nail polish on the coffee table, and having a newborn that goes through lots of diapers and tends to awaken at maddeningly frustrating hours in the night, or a newborn that sleeps when I’m awakened by insomnia (like as I’m typing this), in theory, should make me a bumbling, chaotic mess. And I sort of am a bumbling, chaotic mess (ack!! No new blog post in weeks?!?). But gosh, I’m so dang determined to care less about chaos. It’s hard work, though, caring less about the chaos that’s going to exist no matter what precautions I try to make to prevent it. Because I went through a lot to have my daughters.
I went through a lot before they were even notions in my head. You can read my story and battle with intestinal disease, organ loss and reconstruction in an article I wrote almost a decade ago, HERE. Given my medical history, I needed IVF to conceive a child. As a long-time, experienced patient, I wasn’t phased by the daily shots I gave myself in the stomach and the doctors’ pokes and prods. I could even give myself the butt shots, wherein you inject a very long and big needle and push thick, viscous meds into your muscle. Not easy to contort oneself in the position necessary to do this to yourself. Yeah, I’m proud of this feat, and I brag about it every chance I get.
My first daughter was an immediate IVF success. My second, as many of you know, was not. After the first embryo transfer, I developed a very rare infection that led to more complications that, in short, put me in the ICU. I understandably lost the embryo, but I almost lost my life as well. Needless to say, this worried my doctor. After my next two frozen embryos failed, my doctor refused to try a new round, and they did not find humor in my insistence that I ALWAYS almost die, and I never actually do, so they needn’t worry (which, by the way, is true). My husband and I presented our case. We were thorough and thoughtful and were heard. After much debate, my doctors reluctantly agreed to try again. And we have Violet.
Someone told me to make sure I “enjoy” her when she’s born, after what we went through to get her. I thought that odd. Who “enjoys” a newborn? They don’t do anything enjoyable. Sure, maybe when she starts making eye contact and smiling, but a newborn? I remember being so stressed with my first. I wrote down everything she ate, her pees and poops. It was a bizarre journal of bodily function. I held her head correctly, I scolded my husband for leaving her lying on the couch, I was nuts. But I know now what it means to “enjoy” a newborn. I’m working less (apparently, by the way, sorry for the lack of blog posts). I let all of Maeve’s friends hold the baby, often forgetting to tell them to wash their hands. I don’t panic when I hear that blood curdling scream. Really, baby? A blood curdling scream just because you have a wet diaper? Is it really that bad? I’m (only slightly) less anxious by the lack of sleep. And one day at some hour when the rest of the world is fast asleep I pictured a cookie with just a whole mess of icing. Chaos. Imperfection. Though admittedly, neatly contained on a circle. Hey, I can’t change all at once.
how to make chaos cookies
you will need:*
- cookie dough
- royal icing
- circle cookie cutters
- food coloring
- disposable decorating bags
- size 3 or 4 decorating tips
- rubber bands
- lollipop sticks (optional)
*Find circle cookie cutters in the craft store. I have a set of them. Here I used 2 1/2-inch and 1 1/2 inch. You’ll also find decorating bags, couplers, tips and sticks in the craft store. For food coloring, I suggest Americolor Soft Gel Pastes, found online or in specialty stores. Orange, Electric Pink, Electric Green and Sky Blue used here. To find cookie decorating supplies, click HERE.
step one: bake your cookies
Roll out chilled cookie dough according to the recipe, cut out your circles and bake according to the recipe. For cookie pops, roll out a bit thicker, 3/8 inch, and insert sticks before baking. For tips on making cookie pops, click HERE.
step two: make your icing
Prepare icing according to the recipe. Divide and color your preferred colors. Assemble a decorating bag with coupler and tip for each color, fill and close with rubber bands.
step three: decorate your cookies
Pipe swiggles and designs and loops or whatever for each color in any way you like and let the cookies dry overnight.