These Williams-Sonoma chocolate-filled peppermint snaps? Have nothing to do with the recipe at all. They are, in fact, optional and are there only for you to snack on while you prepare the sugar cookies. That said, GO GET SOME. NOW. Because they are super awesome yummarific. (And they are already on sale. So, you know... GO GET SOME. NOW.)
The finished product...
This is the first year in a few that I've made these cookies. Mainly because our fan-assisted (don't ask) oven in London was superbly shitty and you couldn't bake any damn thing in it because it either always burnt it to a crisp or burnt the outside but left the inside virtually uncooked. Secondarily because it was not an easy task to find all the ingredients. In fact, it generally meant at least three or four tube lines and a multitude of busses.
Anyway, while I was merrily going about mixing up the batter, I got to thinking about my Aunt Kate, who was actually my great aunt. She died when I was in high school. And I was heartbroken. I was very, very close to her. She used to keep me when I was little. In fact, she taught me to read and write my name before I even started kindergarten. She wanted me to be the smartest kid in my class on the first day of school. She read to me and with me all the time. I think she's a huge part of why I did so well in school. She gave me the running start. I think she's one of the main reasons I devour books to this day. She gave me the one of the best gifts you can give another person. The gift of a love for words. And I have always been so grateful to her for that.
In the middle of sifting the flour, to my great surprise, I started to cry. I think I was sad because she never got to see what a good grown-up I turned out to be. I was thinking, look at me here in my lovely house. Just back from traveling the world. Getting ready to try my hand at fashion writing - a line of work I have no idea whether or not will actually prove financially beneficial but that part doesn't really matter much anyway. Two little cats purring at my feet. Waiting on my infinitely handsome and fantastically adoring husband to come home from work. My life is very very good, indeed. And she never got to see me get to this point.
But I realized that it's ok. Because this little episode made me pause to think about just how very very good my life really is. And that's always a good thing. Especially at a time of year when it's all too easy to get caught up in the never-ending to do lists that inevitably come with Christmas.
In totally unrelated (and less sentimental) news - George D. Kitteh got his unemployment check and has found some shelter for the holidays. He is most grateful.