I spent this weekend snuggled in with all of my boys. We wasted lots of gas and electricity running the fireplace all weekend and keeping the Christmas tree lit 24 hours a day. We played video games, watched movies, and made meals together. We gave our furry baby special hot dinners, and we ate our weight in sugar and chocolate.
I unplugged from the online world, and kept to my close friends and family for three days, and we discussed painful and scary things more than once, in reflection, out of respect, and to honor those who were taken last week.
I felt great sorrow all of Friday, and my boys comforted me. On Saturday, I felt fear and anger, and my boys reassured and calmed me. By Sunday, I felt an astounding awe and respect for the good and the heroes of our world, and my boys reflected on it with me. Most importantly, through it all, I have felt the greatest of gratitude and appreciation for the blessings that fill my heart and my life.
For myself, I have taken from this tragedy a moment, an opportunity, to remind myself of what is good and wonderful about my life, and to hold onto that feeling in times of grief, anger, or fear. I’ve made a promise to myself to remember these feelings when I get upset at another driver, or I am impatient with the kiddo.
I will honor the great loss of innocence this weekend by living joyfully, and peacefully. As Scrooge says, “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” For me, there can be no greater way to remember the heroes and children of Sandy Hook.
And I will bake more yummy cookies. Truly. Starting today. With the yummiest, actually.
It’s that time of year again…
This year, I’ve finally done the irresistible, and put them in a cookie. I really don’t know what I was waiting for. My favorite candy+my favorite cookie=Holyohmyyum-I’m-buying-Target-out-of-their-stock-of-Junior-Mints good.
I put Â peppermint extract in my cookies, but I didn’t just want to make a pepperminty chocolate crinkle to remind of my favorite candy; I wanted these to actually be my favorite candy, in cookie form. That, of course, meant only one thing: Junior Mints-stuffed cookies.
And one candy was definitely not going to be enough.
For the peppermint crunch part of the cookie, I crushed several candy canes. Half of the crushed candy went into the cookie dough, the other half went into the sugary coating on the outside of the cookies.
I rarely make crinkles, because they’re always one cookie that I can’t stop eating. They are basically the brownie version of cookies, andÂ weÂ allÂ knowÂ howÂ IÂ feelÂ aboutÂ brownies. I can never have just one chocolate crinkle…or three, for that matter. I love them, and I will eat them all. All of them, I say!
And now they have my favorite candy in them, too? Yeah. These’ll be made once a year, just to protect myself from Diabetes. For real.
I’m making them again this year, though, just so we can get fat and happy for Christmas, because it’s the time of year for celebration and love. So bring on the cookies!
Okay, so now is the part where I tell you how crazy fast and easy they are, and how you can make them (or just eh dough) in advance, so you don’t have to rush around, blah,blah, blah. Do I really have to? I mean they’re cookies. If a cookie isn’t easy, there’s a problem.
So go make these (use plain Junior Mints, if you can’t find the Peppermint Crunch), let your babies eat themselves silly, just this once, and come back Wednesday for another tasty celebration of peppermint.
Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Crinkles
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons crushed candy canes
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons crushed candy canes
2 boxes Junior Mints Peppermint Crunch Candies, or plain Junior Mints Candies
To make the cookies: In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour, crushed candy canes, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine sugar and oil until well mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Stir in the vanilla and peppermint. Add half of the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until well combined. Cover bowl and chill dough for at least 2 to 4 hours.
In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar and crushed candy canes.
Once the cookie dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, press into the center of each ball to create a well. Place one to two pieces of candy in the well and wrap the cookie dough around the candies until they are completely enveloped. Roll and coat each one in the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Place on cooking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpat sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack and top each one with another candy, if desired. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Recipe by Darla