Monday, October 28, 2013

Dia de los Muertos

We’re all susceptible to impulse buys. Sometimes it’s a pair of shoes we really didn’t need and have nothing in our closets that will match. Other times it’s an expensive bar of gourmet chocolate, guaranteed to boost your chocolate cake to the next level or just taste super delicious as you eat it bite by bite. I recently gave into the urge to buy an overpriced novelty cookie cutter kit with four distinct cookie cutters shaped like skulls with decorate designs to stamp on the dough.

These cookie cutters, designed in recognition of Dia de los Muertos (Mexico’s Day of the Dead), caught my eye and I couldn’t walk away. I’ve walked through this store called Nomads several times before, always taking in the exuberantly priced exotic art, clothing and jewelry before walking out empty handed. This novelty kit by mass producer Fred is the thing that encouraged me to pull out my wallet and hand over my credit card. I resolved that if I insisted on buying these cookie cutters, I would be making Dia de los Muertos inspired skull cookies… this month.

That brings us to my four day cookie baking and decorating extravaganza. I carefully mapped out my time – bake on the first day and decorate for a few hours on each of the next two days. Naturally, it took a bit longer than expected. The indented designs from the cookie cutters didn’t work out as planned either, only holding their shape on one of four trays of cookies, so I wound up starting with a blank white slate and improving for the majority of my cookies.

I expected this great time commitment and wrote it off because I decided these cookies would be worth it. I knew I’d blog about them, bring them to work, and share them with friends. Part of the fun of baking for me is the opportunity it provides to commemorate holidays and occasions.

Pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin-flavored everything for October.

Cake for birthdays.

The joy of baking can be even more simple and personal by offering cookies as a thank you to a friend or making cinnamon rolls for a breakfast date.

Some bloggers celebrate every holiday and occasion with an elaborate dessert and description on their blogs.

They cover all things big and small, from Christmas to National Caramel Day – anyone else realize that’s a thing? It’s in April. Look it up!

Most of these bloggers maintain their blogs as full time careers and while I think that’s amazing, it’s not something I have the luxury to do. Instead, I try to celebrate holidays and occasions with a special treat WHEN I CAN and enjoy the rest as they come. Dia de los Muertos is just one more opportunity to be creative… even if it does take nearly 12 hours over four days!

Worth it. Happy Baking!

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