I came into work this Monday and it was like Christmas had thrown up all over downtown Vancouver. The lobby of my office tower was decked out in 20 foot Christmas trees. The mall was covered in twinkling garlands and weird, unsettling animatronic elves. Christmas music had overtaken the usual nondescript elevator music playing through the halls.
Don’t get me wrong, it makes me feel festive as f*ck. I’m totally ready for gingerbread syrup in my coffee and random cookies and gift baskets in the lunch room all the time. It sounds awesome.
But also… it’s mid-November? Isn’t this… too early?
I get why they do this. The mall does this because the second I saw all those bright twinkling lights, and the festive music, my brain pulled a classic Pavlovian response and went “SHOPPING. MUST START SHOPPING. LET’S BUY PRESENTS.”
Which, of course, is very clever on behalf of the shopping malls. All of a sudden, they have officially extended the Christmas buying season by a whole two weeks.
I want to be anti-consumerism over Christmas, I really do. But it’s tough. I love getting the important people in my life something really good. The moment when that perfect gift pops into your head, the one that is so IT, so aligned with that person, that you’re shocked you haven’t thought of it before… it’s so exciting, so satisfying. Now, this gift doesn’t need to be extravagant. More often than not, the best gifts I have given have been meaningful and personal- based more on really, really good ideas rather than pure cha-ching. But it really is one of my favourite parts about Christmas.
The best presents I have ever given have been for my sister, Megan. Megan is easy to shop for… too easy to shop for, because she’s pretty much just me. We’re opposite sides of the same coin.
One year when she was little, I bought her every flavour of Jones Soda that existed. I made an elaborate scavenger hunt that took her all over the house and yard, with the grand finale located in the giant toy box at the end of her own bed.
When she got older, I pulled a grown-up version:
Things Megan loves: wine, DIY projects, adventures.
Gift: A batch of U-Brew wine, at a highly rated brew shop in East Van. We made a day out of it- A Poho Sister Sister Adventure Day. A good brunch, involving eggs and unnecessary amounts of hollandaise, then we headed out to bottle- this process was more fun than you would imagine (it didn’t hurt that we got to sample as we worked). Bottling, corking, drinking. At the end we walked away with a case of wine each. Not too shabby, especially for a then-starving-student.
Megs is fun to shop for.
Sure, croissants may seem fancy, but these beauties take a quick minute to throw together. They are utterly foolproof. As a bonus, I bet these would make a fun and easy treat to make with kids.
Buttery, flaky pastry… warm, oozy chocolate… decadent raspberry. And- that’s it! Three ingredients, 5 minutes. Perfect for a Christmas morning.
(Or, you know, a mid-November morning with Christmas music on in the background, because that’s a thing now. If it feels like Christmas, I eat whatever I want. That’s just science.)
|3-Ingredient Chocolate Raspberry Croissants|| |
- 1 package puff pastry, thawed in fridge overnight
- 75 grams dark chocolate, cut into pieces
- 2 Tbsp raspberry jam
- 1 egg + sprinkle of water (egg wash)
- Preheat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Dust a clean, dry surface with flour and roll out the puff pastry into a large rectangle. Cut the large rectangle into 4 equal pieces. Cut each smaller rectangle in half diagonally to create 8 long triangles. The triangles will be a little lopsided (right angled or scalene, if you will- flashbacks to Trigonometry 10!), but that's okay. To make them more even (one short edge and two relatively equal long edges- isosceles. I won't pretend I didn't have to google these terms as a refresher.), use your rolling pin to give a quick stretch.
- Lay a line of chocolate roughly ¼ inch in from the short edge of the triangle, along with a small spoon of raspberry jam. Roll the dough up, gently sealing the edges, and curl the sides down to make a classic crescent shape. Place on the parchment paper and repeat with the remaining 7 triangles of dough.
- Brush the rolled croissants with egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed up and golden. Enjoy hot and oozy, straight out of the oven.