Shawty Got a A**

One of the best things about baking at home is that you can take yourself as seriously as you want.  I was trained in the strict, sort-of-stuffy French approach to the pastry arts, and I’m glad that I was.  I developed an appreciation for clean lines, exact piping, and the perfect crumb.  I learned that keeping on top of that endless pile of dirty dishes is crucial to keeping one’s sanity in the kitchen.  I learned to multitask and scale ingredients, make a earl gray ganache, fill chocolate shells, and stir caramel within a couple hours, all while politely grappling with a partner for the one tabletop stove that we had to share during our 3-day exams.  In short, I ramped up my sometimes pesky perfectionism to a new level.

It is still possible to attack a project that doesn’t take itself too seriously with a professional eye.  Take these donkey-shaped cookies, for example.  Sometimes you just have to let loose.  Pastry can be intimidating sometimes, but you have to keep it fun.  I prescribe a batch of donkey cookies as the antidote to your puff pastry burn-out, your long day at work, and your general winter malaise.  If the neon colors don’t wake you up, the sugar kick will.

If you’re a democrat, even more of a reason to whip these up!  Politics weren’t on my mind when I decided to design some kick-ass donkeys, but if you do want to find a republican elephant cookie cutter, there are plenty out there.  Whatever you decorate, be sure that you add lots of sprinkles.  Little pieces of colorful sugar are cheaper than therapy!  Unless, maybe, you eat as many of them as I do…