While visiting relatives last week, my mother sent this photo of some Halloween Madeleines that she and my aunt made together for a party they were attending. My daughter, who has spent the last 14 years of her life making desserts with grandma, sprang from the couch and bolted over to where I was sitting, waving her phone high in the air.
"So, what do you think of Grandma's cookies?" she smirked, shaking her head in disbelief. "Aren't they so scary?"
When I asked what was so funny, she told me the cookies weren't real, that there was no way grandma made those from scratch. "Look how perfect they are, and they're all the same size," she screamed, zooming her lens in to focus on the meticulous edging. "I'll bet anything she bought a box of Madeleine's at Costco, and frosted them. She probably used chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth."
Usually, I would have agreed with her. My mother has a checkered past when it comes to stuff like this, and it wouldn't be unlike her to cut corners and pull something off as her own. But our family is Italian. We don't mess around when it comes to baked goods—and there were witnesses. So I quickly dismissed her claim and went about my business.
The next day, when I told my mother that her grandaughter accused her of committing dessert plagiarism, the phone grew silent. "Well, she's not entirely wrong, but we DID decorate them and put on the frosting on ourselves."
I must admit, the waxed paper was a nice touch.