Red John

Do you watch The Mentalist?

I’ve been DVRing The Mentalist since it’s first debut.  And I have been desperately trying to figure out who in the world is Red John!   And every time I think I have the mystery solved, the character I think is Red John gets killed.  Go figure.

But that’s not really what this post is all about.  True, it’s about Red John, but it’s really about a confession I have to make.

It’s like this:  My sugar cookies never turn out right.  What does sugar cookies have to do with Red John?  Just keep reading.  And every year as the Christmas season approaches, I tell myself that I’m going to try again.  I mean, let’s face it.  I’m a seasoned cook!  I’m a baker.  I bake a lot.  So when the Christmas season rolls around, I try a new  “guaranteed to be easy and simple” sugar cookie recipe.  Don’t get me wrong, they taste great.  I mix them up and let them rest in the fridge just like the recipe calls for.  I roll them and cut them and they look so pretty before they enter the oven.

I have a cookie cutter collection for practically any holiday you can name, including baby hand prints and foot prints.  And at Christmas I cut out cute little prancing reindeer, heavenly angels, gingerbread boys and girls with one whimsical bite taken out of them, jingle bells and candy canes.  I gingerly place them in the oven and dare myself not to take a peek.  When the timer dings, I open the oven door and all of my cute little cutouts look the same – one round blob!

Where are my heavenly angels and prancing reindeer?  Where is my jolly old St. Nick and my Christmas tree?  They all look the same!  How can it be?

And I ask myself:  “What am I doing wrong?”  (Please feel free to leave a helpful tip)  Am I rolling them to thin?  Should I pray and fast before my baking marathon?  And I answer myself:  “Well, if I knew, I wouldn’t be asking myself.”

After another failed attempt in 2011 – yes, I do keep up with my sugar cookie failures – I came up with an idea.  Since it’s obvious that the sugar cookies are never going to come out of the oven looking like they did when they went in, I changed my approach.  I decided to just make Red John sugar cookies.

Did I mention that I’m not much of a cookie decorator, either?  I think it’s because it takes time and involves patience and talent.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!   🙂


Red John

Red John!

My grown-up offspring loved them, knew immediately what they were and thought I was hip and cool.  When the grands came over, they didn’t understand the cookies at all.  They, of course, are way too young to watch The Mentalist.  I’m sure they were expecting cut out sugar cookies that resembled the cover of all the magazines lining the check-out stand in the grocery stores.  Once they got over the initial shock of these cookies, they tore into them.  In the end, that’s all that matters, I guess.

Meanwhile,  I’m hot on the trail of  the latest, greatest cut-out sugar cookie recipe that promises me success! Maybe it’s my year to conquer the sugar cookie once and for all!  I’ll keep you posted!  If I fail again this year, Red John will be returning to my house this Christmas.

Do you really think they finally caught Red John?  Never mind, don’t tell me.  I’m behind an episode and need to catch up.  🙂

What is that one food item that you just can’t get right?  Come on, I can’t be the only one out there!




About Alli

Southern, Morning Person, Jesus Girl, Frugal Party Planner, Writer/Blogger, Mom, Nana, Wife, Beach Bum Wannabe - Let's Have a Party!


  1. For some reason, I cannot make snickerdoodle cookies that turn out. I can make any other kind of cookies and cinnamon rolls and yeast breads but not snickerdoodles. Well, I did make some from a mix once that turned out but not from scratch.

  2. I am pretty much like this with all cookies. I follow directions and yet some how most often, they just don’t turn out right. My mother likes to tell me its my old crappy oven. I have no idea if shes right or just trying to be nice 😉
    Chrystal M. recently posted…Holiday Pesto Toast AppetizersMy Profile

  3. My cutout cookies are delicious, but ugly. I have given up. My kids still love them so I still make them! I can make every other cookie known to man, but not the dreaded cutout cookie!
    Carolyn Smith recently posted…Great OutfitsMy Profile

    • Carolyn, I’m so glad I’m not alone. Mine taste great. They just look like a 2 year old did them. Oh, please, a 2 year old would do a much better job.

  4. Funny, but I always had the same problem! Every year I’d attempt sugar cookies and every year I’d end up gathering up the whole mess, throwing it in the garbage and swearing NEVER AGAIN! But then the next year would come around…repeat story here. The cookies won–they beat me!

    • And they make the biggest mess, don’t they? I do the same thing when I’m cleaning all that mess up. I always say never, but I usually forget I said it when the holiday season rolls around. This year, I’m just making an ode to Red John cookie and calling it a day. I may even use the refrigerated store bought dough. Ha!

  5. I’m with Laurie…I can’t make snickerdoodles. I’ve tried every recipe!! They are my husbands favorite cookie that he had growing up. In fact, it was one of the few things his mother could bake. I can bake anything…..but snickerdoodles. I’ve come to hate that cookie!! 🙂

  6. What was that cookie Mama used to make years and years ago? Was it a “teacake”? Maybe these would work. I bet your Mom has a receipe. Your Aunt Faye thinks she used to ice them like a cake. I just remember that I loved them!!
    Jane Rutherford recently posted…Red JohnMy Profile

    • I can (and do) make teacakes. And my sugar cookies taste awesome. They just want keep their shape and that’s why I turned them into Red John cookies! 🙂

  7. This is funny – I have never seen the show, but that’s awesome the kids got a kick out of it 🙂 I am still trying to perfect the chocolate chip cookie – lol. Nesle Tollhouse is my mentor 😉
    Renew Your Space recently posted…Incorporating Feng Shui in the Home OfficeMy Profile

  8. My food item that I can’t get right is brownies. I know it is weird but I have given up, and tell myself they are not healthy anyways ;).
    Anna @ Northern Homestead recently posted…Our favorit Christmas cookies: HusarenkrapfenMy Profile

  9. I gave up on any kind of bundt cakes. I was literally reduced to tears in my kitchen one Christmas over what had promised to be the perfect orange cranberry bundt cake. It was NOT. I gave away my bundt cake pan after that and haven’t looked back since. (Well, until now…)
    Kristen from The Road to Domestication recently posted…Over the Weekend…My Profile

  10. I loved Simon Baker since I was a kid and he first appeared on a long cancelled night time soap called E Street. My “Red John” in the food world is caramel, I love the stuff but it NEVER works for me and I have tried the simplest to the most difficult. I hope you kill red john and make some awesome cookies this year. Love this post 🙂
    Mel recently posted…Funky Tween Sunglasses CaseMy Profile

    • I love Simon Baker, too! I caught up on the new episodes last night. The caramel that finally worked for me is the Pioneer Woman’s recipe. It is so simple and so good. And I didn’t have to use a candy thermometer. Those thermometers scare me just a little bit.:)

  11. Alli,
    I don’t even try with rolled/cut out cookies any more, but give me a good drop cookie recipe and I’m on it!
    I love how you turned a tasty fail into a win–and am glad to follow you on Tasty Tuesdays!
    Kirsten recently posted…Orange Teriyaki Slaw Stir Fry with Orange Sriracha Turkey MeatballsMy Profile

    • Hi, Kirsten! Those rolled cookies always look so pretty on the cover of magazines. But, alas, I have given up on them. Drop cookies are my friends!

  12. My husband is the cookie baker in our home. Nothing I make comes out right but his are literally perfect every single time! People actually request for him to make cookies for them!! I can make candy pretty well and bake scrumpdelious cakes but cookies are not my forte’. I too have a nice cookie cutter collection though 🙂
    I couldn’t help but notice that you did not share the recipe??
    Shirley @ Intelligent Domestications recently posted…Bacon Grilled Pimento Cheese with Pepper Jelly SandwichMy Profile

    • Shirley, I didn’t share the recipe because I’ve tried so many and I was mainly posting about my inability to make a decent cutout sugar cookie. They all taste great, but look horrible. I will try to find my favorite. I think I clipped it out of a magazine and it was by a country music artist – maybe Allen Jackson. After looking at my cookies, who would even want the recipe? 🙂

  13. It’s such a bummer when things that taste amazing look…well, ugly. Haha you are definitely not alone in that department!
    Sarah@WholeAndHeavenlyOven recently posted…Mini Blueberry Tarts With Oatmeal Cookie StreuselMy Profile

    • You know, when I look at those beautiful cut out cookies in a magazine, for a brief moment I want to try again. Mine are pitiful, but they do taste good. Thanks for stopping by!!

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