As some of you may or may not know or care I just graduated from nursing school! Woot woot, etc. The last hurdle to actually becoming a legit RN is sitting for my state licensing exam, which is ... tomorrow. Like TOMORROW tomorrow. Even though logically I know the odds are overwhelmingly in my favor I. AM. FREAKING. OUT.

So to deal, I baked cookies! Nothing like some good old fashioned distraction.

***

LEMON SHORTBREAD COOKIES

Ingredients:

- This Betty Crocker Shortbread cookie mix that’s been in the pantry since the dawn of time

- 2 (2!) sticks of butter

- Lemons, because I like lemon-y desserts

- Yellow food dye to make the cookies look more, idk, lemon-y looking? Whatever, food dye is fun.

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- Vanilla extract because reasons. It just felt right.

- Whimsical cookie cutters

OPTIONAL:

- Lemonade Rockstar to ponder adding to the batter since the fridge is apparently 100% devoid of lemon juice.

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- Bottle of Merlot

- 100 mg Zoloft

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PROCEDURE:

1. Pour a glass of wine. This is key.

2. Mix softened butter, lemon zest (which, yes, fine, full disclosure I started juicing the lemons before it occurred to me that I needed to zest them, but hey we got there in the end) and more food coloring than necessary in a bowl.

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3. Add cookie mix and combine until it resembles a dough.

4. Lay down a swath of foil because even though it’s clean the thought of food touching the counter top is irrationally revolting.

5. Flour your foil surface and roll that shiz out. Package says 1/4” - you can totes eyeball that, right?

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6. Choose to cut them out in the shape of flower because you watched a bunch of Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship while studying last night and are ~**INSPIRED**~

7. Realize the flower was a poor choice but PRESS ON anyway

8. Bake at 375. First batch comes out fine, but you *may* have zoned out on American Ninja Warrior and let the 2nd batch burn. Pour another glass of merlot and get on with your bad self.

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9. Mix 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1/3 cup lemon juice, and leftover lemon zest because that’s (more or less) what Martha Stewart says to do.

10. Drizzle over cookies and let cool.

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YIELD:

- 1.5 dozen cookies (RIP little burnt guys, I hardly knew ye)

- 1 zested fingertip

- A significant buzz from the liberal use of wine as a baking experience enhancer

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- Over an hour of sweet, sweet distraction. PRICELESS.

Nicole T (street name: Barkspawn) is a gamer and writer in California. You can find her on Twitter@ser_barkspawn and read more of her articles here.

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