I had a good chunk of this post completed and then I lost it.
Not a good morning, actually, despite the lovely snow that fell. Oh, and it's changing over to rain, so later this morning it's going to be a yucky, cold, slushy gross mess. Winter wonderland, my…assssssssssssssthma. Yeah, that's it. Asthma. Which…I don't really have.
So here's these cookies, the ones you see in the picture above.
By all accounts, they're yummy.
I wouldn't know. I haven't had one. I'm giving up processed white stuff. You know, things like flour and sugar. Things I bake with all the time. Yeah, I'm not eating it. As of yesterday. Actually, no, as of Sunday afternoon.
We're going skiing in February, and I, despite having lived somewhere or other in New England my whole entire crabby little life, I never learned to ski. I can ice skate (or I could, once upon a time), but not ski.
Bill skiis. The kids ski now. So. I'm. Going. To. Take. A. Couple. Of. Lessons. When. We. Go. On. Our. Trip.
And it occurred to me the other day (that would be Sunday) that I don't want to be a clutzy, flabby ball of incompetence. (Incompetence, not incontinence. Just clarifying, in case you read that really fast.)
I know I'll be clutzy and incompetent. I just would prefer not to be a flabby ball as I'm falling and crashing into the trees. You know? It would just help, mentally. It would be like, "yeah, I'm falling and crashing into a tree, but hey, at least I'm being cool and athletic about it!" Much better than "oh great, here I go, falling and rolling down the hill, accumulating snow all over my flabby ball of a self. They're going to let the kids stick a carrot in my face and big sticks in my shoulders and call me Frosty after I bounce off this next tree."
So I started getting up early to exercise and I decided to just scrap the white stuff and alcohol, figuring that would be quickest and easiest to manage for the next couple months.
So that's why I haven't had one of those cookies.
And right about now, I could use one. Or seventy. Because I'm having a bit of a frantic morning in another part of my life, and it would be SO nice to just reheat my coffee and pour the container of these little chocolatey and pepperminty nuggets down my throat. I just know it would make everything all better.
But I'm fighting that urge, people. Fighting it. Because I don't want to be a clutzy, flabby blob on the mountain. Or the bunny slope. Or just walking on the snow. That's my motivation.
I really miss bread.
MY bread. Bread I make. Bread that is yummy. Bread that is good. Bread that is made from lovely, soft, all-purpose flour. Pretty and fragrant and comforting all white bread.
As I typed that, I thought "comforting…comfort and joy" and isn't it just a huge laugh that I'm undertaking this complete and utter lifestyle and eatstyle change RIGHT NOW? In DECEMBER? THE OFFICIAL MONTH OF STARCH AND SUGAR CONSUMPTION?
I'm so good with the timing.
Anyway. The cookies.
OH – and another thing. (I am typing with superfast jittery fingers) I thought I'd made these Chocolate Candy Canes last year, and I was frantically (FRANTICALLY! DID I SPELL THAT CORRECTLY?????) looking through my poorly organized archives trying to find the post for those. And then I took a look at the post where I took a picture of ALLLLLLLLLL the cookies I made last year, in all their containers on my dining room table. And at the list that corresponds to all the little numbers I had attached to all the containers so I could itemize what I'd made.
And guess what.
I didn't make chocolate candy canes last year.
Turns out I made them TWO years ago.
And here's the post. I finally found it.
Well, I guess that's my idiot story of the morning.
So what I did this year, since I didn't want to make candy canes (the cookies are kind of fragile and tend to break at the crook of the cane) (maybe that's why I skipped them last year), is, I made the little nuggets.
Here's the ingredient list:
4 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 sticks (1 lb) of unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
8-10 little candy canes, crushed to smithereens
And here's what I did:
Sift together the flour and salt. Set them aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat the heck out of them til they're light and fluffy.
Add in the flour mixture and blend gently until just combined.
Divide the dough into halves, and put them in separate bowls.
With one half of the dough, add in the vanilla and the cocoa powder.
With the other half of the dough, add in the peppermint extract and the crushed candy canes.
Shape each mass of dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
~~~ (dum de dum…an hour goes by…) ~~~
Take out the dough.
Now, here's where it gets wacky. (I know, you thought I'd already reached wacky and gone a mile or two past it.)
When I was first playing around with ideas, I thought it would be nice to roll out a bit of each dough into snake-like strands about a pencil-width thick.
and pinch the ends together to hold them in place, and don't worry if the dough cracks or breaks while you're rolling it out or twisting the strands together
because that happens to everyone, and so just press the dough back together and move on.
They looked so cool like that. I put them in the oven to chill down again. And then I baked a batch.
And they spread out and looked….well…ugly.
I tried adjusting the oven temp.
My kids and husband liked them – and at the time I was still eating my beloved flour and sugar, and I thought they tasted just right, too. They just looked…ugly.
So I left the dough in the fridge for a few more days while I avoided baking anything considered alternative cookie designs and finally just decided to cut off quarter inch sections from each batch of dough, press them together, then press down on them to flatten them in such a way that the resulting strip of dough was half chocolate, half peppermint, with the seam running the length of the strip.
I have to explain it all very well because I didn't take pictures. I was not optimistic.
Anyway, I pressed these down to about a quarter of an inch or so, hacked sliced them into oh, chunks anywhere from 3/4" to a little over an inch wide, stuck them back on the cookie sheets (parchment-lined cookie sheets) and put them back in the fridge. For probably 3-4 hours.
And then I baked them.
And they came out great. They didn't spread; they just puffed up a bit. YAY!
And I quickly put them in a container, slapped the lid on, and threw them on a pile of other cookie-containing containers.
And I try to ignore their call.
But so far, I am succeeding.