It’s been a blur of flour, butter, and chocolate around here lately, and honestly, you’d think I’d be sick of it. But I’m not.
For the last month, I’ve been embracing holiday baking with arms wide open – and have the freezer full of cookies to prove it. There were the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, yes. Then the crumbly brown butter cookies. Next, Earl Grey.
Monday, on my cooking day, I made biscotti, four kinds of slice-and-bakes and, on a whim, triangle-shaped brown butter shortbread.
Right now, even as I type this, my sore throat aching and six blankets on top of me (thank you, winter), I’m dreaming of Molly’s peppermint bark and deciding I’ll have time to make it, too. Priorities, you know?
There’s something wonderful, food-wise, about this time of year.
As the holidays approach, even non-cooks, the ones who say they aren’t very interested in the kitchen, have been known to pull out a cookie sheet and to frost some sugary Christmas trees or snowmen cut-outs.
It’s just what you do in late December.
While I package up fudgy, sugary chocolate snowflakes in square, red tins – a gift for my coworkers – it’s with the knowledge that I am not alone.
I know there are kitchens throughout Chicagoland, throughout the country, throughout the world, serving as backdrops for powdered-sugar and creamed-butter activities. And I’ll admit that’s part of why I like it.
There’s a unity, a sense of us all being in this together.
This time of year, we’re all part of a large community that watches the same White Christmas or It’s a Wonderful Life on television, that checks off names on the same kinds of gift lists, that travels to see people we love, wherever they may be.
I like to think that at Christmastime especially, we reflect a little better the essence of something we all desire and for which we were made: love.
From Smitten Kitchen
The first time I saw this recipe, I rejected it, thinking I didn’t have a flower cutter, and wondered what would look as nice. Really, though, any large shape would work.
I happened upon this snowflake shape accidentally, and I love how large it makes the cookies. These chocolate treats would work especially well, I think, as the containers of an ice cream sandwich, or even as the bottom of a hot fudge sundae.
These taste great either plain or decorated with royal icing.
You try it and decide.
Love cookies? Make sure to check out all of our recipes.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna has a Masters in Writing through Depaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.