I keep telling my dog, Hannah, to start getting excited. She’ll have a whole two weeks off with me! I am mostly met with this expression, in part, I’m sure, because she isn’t 100% sold on spending all day every day with me, but also largely due to her limited grasp of the English language.
Walk, park, treat, t-r-e-a-t (oh yeah, she’s learned to spell), Hannah, sit, wait… the word ‘vacation’ doesn’t really require a spot in her lexicon, even though it means she will be home from daycare for a glorious two weeks. While I do jokingly refer to her doggy daycare as ‘school’ on occasion, I do realize her days are largely filled with playing and sleeping, not learning multiplication tables or how to sniff out cocaine smugglers at the airport (dogs with jobs!).
Actually, Hannah’s pre-holiday days probably look a lot like mine, back in elementary school. Do you remember the days leading up to Winter Break back in the day? Instead of exams, it was all arts and crafts, school plays, treat days and watching Christmas movies. It’s probably glorious for the teachers as well- they can take a breather, catch up on some online shopping or what have you, knowing that we’re all glued to the TV, quietly sucking our multi-coloured candy cakes like pacifiers, comforted by the fact that once the sugar rush kicks in, school will be out and it will be the parents problem now.
Ahhh… sometimes I still dream of being a teacher (although speaking to my friends who teach, I now realize it’s like 1,000 times more grueling than I ever imagined- most of the time).
Adult life… is not like that. This is probably why neither me nor Chelsea can even wrap our mind around the fact that Christmas is NEXT WEEK. Previously, we had quite a lead up to the whole season. Crafts, movies, festively themed field trips… nowadays it’s more like- WORKCHRISTMAS. It happens all together, sometimes back to back, sometimes literally all together.
Remember Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? Ebenezer Scrooge made all his employees work Christmas Eve and begrudgingly allowed his overworked, underpaid staff Christmas Day off with pay- only to keep with social custom (“a poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every 25th of December!”).
As a child, I remember thinking- as most do- how cruel! What a terrible man! Scrooge is such a dick! Who would make someone work Christmas Eve?
Well, as an adult, you realize the answer is… everyone. Pretty much everyone.
Sure, some offices close around Christmas but, in chatting to my friends, we’re starting to realize that… most of them don’t.
Ah well, thus is life. The nice part is, as an adult, when you are able to roll a handful of vacation days together (like I did), those few days off are the sweetest, most prized of days. Few things feel as good as a well-earned vacation. It really is true, the sweet isn’t as sweet without the sour.
(Don’t even get me started on the retail industry. I have the utmost respect for anyone working retail, customer service or in the food industry at this time of year. I promise, I will not be one of the grumpy hordes. You are doing great, we are thankful, I’m so sorry it’s so busy.)
These “meltaways” are called so literally because they melt in your mouth. They’re like a fluffier version of shortbread. Pillows of buttery, sweet, minty cookie than dissolve on your tongue like the best kind of snowflake. Drizzled with chocolate, of course. In fact, drizzled with two kinds of chocolate- both for colour and flavour.
These would probably look quite festive with some crushed candy canes on top as well, if you wanted to boost the peppermint flavour, but a) I didn’t have any candy canes because I’m a grinchy adult and b) I didn’t want to temper the soft texture of the cookies too much. Up to you, though. I’m sure they’d be excellent in a completely different way!
|Chocolate Peppermint Meltaway Cookies|| |
- 1 cup butter, softened
- ½ cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
- 200g dark chocolate, chopped
- 200g milk chocolate, chopped
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, separated
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and icing sugar together until fluffy. Beat in peppermint extract.
- In separate bowl, mix flour, salt and cornstarch together. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the creamed butter. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into ~1 inch balls, roughly 2 inches apart and place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the dough is set, but not browned. These cookies are similar to shortbread- we want them lightly cooked so they really melt on the tongue. Let cookies cool.
- In a heat-safe bow, microwave the milk chocolate and 1 Tbsp coconut oil in 30 second increments, mixing after each increment, until smooth. Drizzle over the cookies. Repeat the melting process with the dark chocolate and drizzle over cookies. Let the cookies set in a cool place for at least 1 hour to set the chocolate (I put mine in my garage! Just don't forget them there!).