This is probably one of the hardest post for me to write . . . I cannot stop these tears as memories bring back sorrow and not comfort at the moment. We recently had to make a very tough decision to put our beloved tuxedo cat to sleep.
Thirteen years ago, we adopted Bear because my hubby had to do a lot of traveling when we first moved to the Bay Area. Bear was my companion during those lonely days and my protector. We eventually got him a playmate, Whirly, and both cats were our babies until my hubby and I started our own family and kids. Even after we had our ai kids the cats were still our “original” babies.
It has taken me almost a week to write this and still I cannot get through this post without feeling a heaviness on my heart. I needed something that would help to ease my mind. So naturally I turned to the one thing that could provide some distraction-baking.
Bear was a beautiful black and white tuxedo cat. I wanted to bake something black and white . . . but then thought otherwise since it would only remind me of Bear and defeat the purpose of baking as a distraction. So I finally decided to bake some cookies, but still kept thinking of two-tone like Bear. I am not comfortable yet with baking cookies and in most cases turn to the store-bought cookie dough. So my decision to bake cookies was perfect. And on top of that, I decided to bake cookies that would be very complicated, well at least for a newbie cookie baker like myself.
At the recent SF Food Blogger Bake Sale, I bought some awesome looking checkerboard cookies that were out of this world. I did get to met the food blogger who baked these intricate little cookies. In fact, we volunteered during the same shift at the bake sale–Heather from Souffle Days. I was immediately impressed with these cookies since the cookies were not very large, but the checkerboard design was flawless.
I couldn’t find a recipe for these cookies on Souffle Days blog, so I did a search and found this very interesting blog: Baking Obsession. I can’t even begin to tell you what I did step by step, since this really did take my mind off of Bear, but luckily the instructions from Baking Obsession for these cookies are very well written. She even provides a diagram at the very end to help illustrate how to layer the cookie dough.
Like I said baking cookies from scratch is really not my forte and so these were really challenging to make. What I can recall is that you will need a ruler, a pizza cutter, and some patience. It took me two days from start to finish since the cookie dough needed to be chilled. Cutting into soft dough will not produce those sharp edges needed for the checkerboard design. I also experienced some tearing of the chocolate dough when rolling it out. This is probably due to the cocoa powder. I added some shortening and that seemed to do the trick.
They came out great! Not as straight edged as I would have liked it, but decent. And these were very tasty shortbread cookies.
Making these cookies did exactly what I had hoped it would do–it gave me a little distraction. I know that Bear is definitely in a better place. And as I think back on making these cookies, although conscientiously I didn’t want to bake something that reminded me too much of him, sub-conscientiously I did pick the perfect cookie. Because really these cookies are like him–two toned, complicated with a lot of attention, but worth every effort, and easy to love! I intend to make these again, but not so soon . . .
Thank you my beloved Bear for all the love and fond memories you gave us. Sleep and rest my love.