I am not a holiday host who streamlines my holiday menu; that would be the practical thing to do, and holidays are the perfect excuse for me to be ridiculous—sort of like this cookie.
In my freezer, rolled into logs, and stashed away in containers are oddments of cookie dough. They hold up well for what seems like forever. So every time I make cookies, I prepare enough dough to serve a hungry family—all too aware it’s just the two of us at home—and then I feed my freezer the rest. I remind myself that those scraps will take care of dessert for some last-minute dinner party or guests I might have down the line. And those scraps definitely get eaten, more often by my own prowling hand than during eleventh-hour visits, yet it still proves to be a perfectly fine system worth keeping.
It was less than two years ago I created the practice of blending some of this leftover cookie dough—mashing them together like balls of play-doh to create a type of centaur-esque cookie. With some of my favorite mashups, the end bake would have a gnarly yin/yang look. And aside from eliminating the headache of nursing two hot and gooey cookies at once, I found that there was something novel about biting smack dab into the seam of two cookies, poles apart in flavor and indiscriminately fused, getting to taste a bit of it all.
During those moments, I’d also get to experience myself as I am beneath a wall of froyo dispensers—a girl with a face lit like a midnight Christmas tree. I am your ideal tapas and cheeseboard companion, a sample enthusiast, forever anticipating the joy of when I’ll get to tickle every last one of my taste buds in one sitting. Still, this wasn’t what inspired this particular cookie welding; my family is the one to blame.
My family has come to expect both mashed potatoes and rice at every Christmas gathering, along with baked potatoes and potato salad. I gladly comply and prepare it all. It’s because I understand that everyone has a different opinion of what Christmas should feel like, and usually, they are clear on the very dish or dishes or smell or piece of music that will help them tap that familiar feeling. I’ve made it my pleasure to facilitate their time travel, sure to leave no stone unturned, at least not in the kitchen.
Admittedly, this cookie is more for my own pleasure and inspired by each member of my family, literally a mashup of the foods I associate with them.
My dad, the polisher of the communal milk and cookies, and you remember my brother? I’ve already told many stories about him and his love for white chocolate–macadamia nut cookies. M sister, we call her the pretzel muncher. Mom can’t go a day without her coffee. My partner, Eric, ever the strawberry fiend, and me, pestering them all with my gluten-free experiments. I call this one the “sampler” cookie. —Jerrelle Guy
Featured in: Food52's Holiday Cookie Chronicles —The Editors