On Friday, my lounging bloodhound roused herself, from what looked to be a sensational nap, to bark and howl like a mad thing at the front window: paws on the sofa and everything. This is not really a usual occurrence in our house. She howls back at us when we call her. She makes odd noises when she sleeps. She utters a passionate “roooooo” at her best bud when they play. But there is not a lot of front window mayhem at our address. So, like the super over-protective dog mama that I am, I came running to see what the fuss was about.
The scary business that was freaking her out was this: piles of little children walking through our neighbourhood. Scary stuff, I know. If there had been a few Harry Potters, a couple of dinosaurs and the odd princess or two it could have been mistaken for Halloween out there. But no, these kids were in standard mittens and touques and running up to all the houses on my street.
These wonderful elves were delivering hand-made Christmas cards. Our local school had each kid make a card and deliver it to each mailbox in the neighbourhood. Mine says Merry Christmoo. How awesome is that?
After Eight Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from One Smart Cookie
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
good pinch of salt
40 after eights
Beat the butter, oil and sugar with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time continuing to beat and then add the vanilla. Beat for 1 minute until smooth.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt. Add this to the sugar mixture and stir by hand until it comes together in a soft dough.
Shape into 2 discs, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Roll the dough out on a surface dusted lightly with flour and sugar until it’s just under 1/4″ thick. I used a biscuit cutter the same size as an after eight to cut out the dough so that the edges would be fluted, but a knife will do the trick – just cut as close to the size of the mint as possible.
Place the cookies on a baking sheet covered in parchment. Bake for about 10 minutes, until set. As soon as they come out of the oven, place a mint between two cookies and press lightly to create a sandwich while they are still warm – the slightly melted chocolate will hold them together. Set on a wire rack to cool.