Christmas Cookies II: Sugar Cookies

First of all, I’d like to say, I’ve made a turn around when it comes to my job and living in a cold climate.  Obviously, I realize this isn’t a big deal to everyone- but I am officially not depressed anymore!!!!

It happened one Thursday afternoon, I was sitting in lecture.  Now, let me say, I have worked my very hardest to get these people to like me.  I have tried (almost) everything to make these people happy, to somehow make them realize that I am an important member of this team.  Then, it happened: one of the chief residents threw a “Neuro Christmas Party,” as one of my co-workers called it, and guess who hadn’t been invited: me and one other resident.  Am I not a neuro resident?!!?  I was furious!!! How could you have a Neuro resident Christmas Party and NOT invite all of the residents?!?  I am, to this day, infuriated at the sheer rudeness!!!  Actually, it’s beyond rude- it was petty and childish.  Grow up.

But wait, it gets better.  This all transpired in front of my program director- who asked this chief directly why only the two of us hadn’t been invited- to which, of course, there was no response, just awkwardness on her part.  I was still furious.  And that night, something inside me snapped.  I have worked for so long, so hard to get these people to like me.  But you know what?!  I’m done.  After this latest childish display, I asked myself, “Why do I care so much whether or not these people like me?!”  I have made effort after effort, and not once has it been reciprocated.  It’s been a year and a half, and I’ve made no headway.  None.  Even richer?  Two days later, I received a text message from said chief, with a quick invite to her party.  I recognized it for what it was: she was covering her butt, now that the Program Director had razzed her about snubbing certain members.

So no more Dr./Mrs. Nice Girl.  Since then (and it’s been a couple weeks), I have not flashed the extra smiles, laughed the obligatory laughs, or pulled those punches- and it’s actually been great!  Not that I’ve been mean, not by far.  But I just haven’t gone above and beyond- those extra saccharine steps I used to take just so I’d be likeable- no more.  I’ve maintained a purely professional relationship with all of these people, and I go home at night, able to sleep.  Able to digest my food.  I don’t hate it anymore, knowing that those people are never going to be friends with me, just co-workers.  Now that I know where I stand- all my problems are over.

About that same time, I realized I am a very important and valuable part of that neuro team, and the workplace wouldn’t be near as pleasant without me there.  I realized my true value, and I realized I don’t need to be treated like garbage, and I don’t need to try so hard for “friends” who will never be true friends.  I have wonderful friends who are there for me when I need them, and those vile people are not included.  So instead of trying so hard to make mediocre friendships work, I realized something important: I need to be focusing my time on the people who deserve it.

Not only did I NOT go to her lame party, I threw my own party!  And I invited all of my real, true friends, and it was a much better party than standing around awkwardly with a bunch of people from whom I had been snubbed.  Much, much better!  I decided not to attend the office Christmas party, either; instead, we went to Cleveland and had a fantastic dinner with some of our real friends from medical school.  That’s the way it should’ve been, this whole time.  It just took me a while to get there.  At long, long last (an entire lifetime of people-pleasing, in fact), I have recognized the importance of saving that effort for the people who deserve it.

And that’s what it’s all been for.  All the hardship, all the rude people, all the snubs- it’s all been a learning experience, to help me learn the greatest gift of all this Christmas Season: Self Respect.  Here’s to a head start on my new year’s resolutions!!

Something else that it worth the multiple steps and waiting: Sugar Cookies!!  And yes, I did serve these at my party, along with a cocktail recipe that follows! 🙂    I began by browning the butter, but skip that step if you don’t want a caramel/nutty flavor added to the sugar cookies.  Personally, I like it.  Maybe make 2 recipes and try a side-by-side comparison?  Just a thought!  This recipe comes from Cooking Light, the 2009 Christmas edition.

Sugar Cookies
(makes 3 dozen cookies)


  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
In a small saute pan, add the butter and melt over medium heat.  Continue to cook the butter until a caramel brown color.  Let it cool to room temp, and then add it to a large bowl.  Cream butter and sugar, then add the vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, whipping until light and fluffy after each addition.  
Add the salt and baking powder and mix evenly.  Gradually add the flour, bit by bit, stirring after each addition.  You may need a little more or less flour, to get the right consistency.  You don’t want sticky dough, but you don’t want dry dough, either.  Once it’s the right consistency, chill the dough overnight.
When ready to bake, let it come to room temp (about an hour), and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll out dough to 1/3 – 1/2″ thickness, and cut out into desired shapes and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 8 – 10 minutes.  Less if desire chewy, more if desire crunchy texture.  Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/3 cup pearlized sugar or turbinado sugar
For the frosting, of course substitute your favorite buttercream if you have it.  This one is super easy and perhaps slightly “healthier,” since it has no butter.  To a small bowl, add the powdered sugar.  in increments of 1/2 Tbsp. at a time, add the milk.  After the first addition of milk, add the vanilla, and any food coloring (if desired).  Then, add the remaining milk to desired consistency.  Drizzle over cooled cookies, and add spinkles!  Enjoy!

Wish you were here to share them with me!! 
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