Christmas is my holiday. I love it. I love shopping for the perfect present. I love over doing it on stocking stuffers. I love wrapping things up with pretty paper and ribbons. I love writing cards and placing them in the red Canada Post box to be sent far away. I love gettting dolled up for parties. I love decorating my wee tree. I love having friends over. I love assembling Christmas hampers for those who need a hand over the holidays. I love putting a Santa hat on my beautiful black piglet who sits on my mantle. I love opening my door to see the wreath poised in all it’s evergreen and holly glory. I love “It’s A Wonderful Life.” I love my daily advent readings. I love eating my dad’s coffee cake on Christmas morning. I love my mom’s stuffing and my mother-in-law’s mashed potatoes. I love Christmas eve olympics: girls vs. boys. I love my sister’s creative efforts to use recycled items to wrap gifts: old blueprints were last year’s hit. I love my husband’s ‘family recipe’ that produces the best nuts n’ bolts ever. And I love festive baking.
For the first day of Christmas baking, my mom, my sister and I congregate in my mom’s kitchen and bake up a pile of delights. My contribution to yesterday’s efforts were these:
Mocha Peppermint Cookies
Adapted from Sunny Side Up in San Diego
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp espresso powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
hearty pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 candy canes, crushed – my awesome mom busted out a hammer for this task
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
Melt the chocolate over a water bath until smooth, set aside.
Mix the sugar and butter together until it has the consistency of wet sand. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the peppermint extract and then add the melted chocolate, stir until smooth . In a separate bowl, combine the flour, espresso powder, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry into the wet just until incorporated. Add the chocolate chips. Scoop dough onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for around 13 minutes. As soon as you remove the sheet from the oven, sprinkle each cookie with some crushed candy cane. The heat of the cookie will slightly melt then candy so it adheres. After sprinkling, remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.