It is now after 9 PM on the west coast of the US. After I had a lovely visit with a dear friend at a local coffee shop, and did the school run this afternoon, I came home to find my sick husband on our roof putting the lights up for the holidays.
I hollered up to him in the pink sky and said, "You shouldn't be up there!" He said, "It's all for you, Babe!" in a quiet, throaty kind of way … and he wasn't trying to be sexy! He doesn't need his voice for that! He's sick, for Pete's sake! But our home is now ready to alert Santa to our whereabouts on Christmas Eve. We can't risk being overlooked on that all important night!!
The sunset was gorgeous tonight and we were even graced with a gorgeous crescent moon that I attempted to photograph …
… didn't turn out so badly, but I think a different lens and maybe a tripod would've helped.
But on to the cookies, huh?! This isn't a photography blog after all. It isn't even a food blog, for that matter. It's just stories—mostly fueled by food/and-or/photography!!
I promised Aly and I promised YOU that I wouldn't make "cookies for birds" tonight! Remember her saying that cookies with dried fruits and nuts were for the birds?! So, here's a yummy chocolate crinkle cookie. The recipe actually names them Chewy Chocolate Cookies. I had just made them this afternoon and stuck them in the fridge to chill while I taught piano lessons and Emily came downstairs. She said, "Oh wow. Did you make brownies?" She could smell the warm melted chocolate! Nope, I said, I made Crink … I mean Chewy Chocolate Cookies. "Oooh! Yum." . Pause … "Where are they?" In the fridge. "Oh. So no chewy yet, huh?" Nope.
Piano lessons over, dinner made and eaten, a Yahtzee game played, then a couple of pans of Crinkles in the oven.
OK … so I think I'm going to officially rename these cookies! They are now known as Chocolate Crinkles because that is what MY brain can absorb. I've always thought of them as Crinkles and to try to stop myself, concentrate hard enough to think 'Chewy Chocolate Cookies' is just too hard for this ahem-aged brain! There ya go. Renamed Cookies—the Crinkle Ones.
This recipe calls for melted butter AND melted chocolate. It makes life much more livable if you melt the two of them together instead of separately. Simply put them both in a microwavable container and heat for 30 seconds at a time till the butter is melted. Then (and this is important), simply .S.T.I.R. till the chocolate is melted. If you keep reheating till the chocolate melts, you'll end up with burned chocolate!! Yuck!! Defeats the whole purpose of this cookie. Burned chocolate is not worth the time it takes! It might take a few minutes to stir it till it is melted, but if you have Christmas music on, you can do it in rhythm, or if you're watching Jeopardy, just concentrate on answering the questions correctly, and the time will pass quickly enough. Life's too short to rush melting chocolate.
- 2 c. sugar
- ½ c. melted butter
- 4 (1-oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 4 eggs
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 2 c. flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- ¾ t. salt
- ¾ c. confectioner's sugar
In a large bowl, blend sugar, margarine, and chocolate. Add eggs, one at a time until well blended. Mix in vanilla, Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add gradually to chocolate mixture, mixing well after each addition. Cover and chill two hours or overnight.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into confectioner's sugar, coating lightly, then shape into balls, coat again. (WHY do the extra work?! I formed them into balls, then drop them into the sugar … works just fine and conserves energy!)
(I line a soup plate with saran wrap, put my confectioner's sugar in there, then I can manipulate the corners and sides of the saran wrap to coat the cookies. Keeps me from mixing confectioner's sugar into the dough while I'm rolling them out. See?!)
Place on greased (I don't grease mine, but help yourself) baking sheet, two inches apart; flatten slightly (I don't flatten either! I'm such a rebel!). Bake at 350˚ for 12-14 minutes or until done. It's best to take them out BEFORE they are completely done … they will continue cooking a bit after they are out and it's better that they aren't too crispy around the edges. Remove from baking sheets (after a minute or so) onto wire racks to cool.
Serve 'em up on a plate with milk after losing a game of Yahtzee (I was BAD tonight! Ughh!) and life suddenly takes on a rosy chocolaty glow! (Just ask Ben! He didn't lose – I did! But he ate the cookies … and even at that? life had a chocolaty glow!)
Remember how I said I was also doing a December Daily Album with Ali Edwards inspiration? I'm all caught up to today! To this point, I've created the pages digitally, but I may find as I print them off that I'll want to add some 'hands-on' embellishments. I'll be posting those pages in a separate Photo Gallery, along with the May PhaD (Photo-A-Day) accessible to your right … My plan is to upload those tomorrow, then be diligent about it each day. Yeah … we'll see how that goes! J I'm glad you are all full of grace! I will then follow with printing them out and putting them in the album I've already purchased for just said purpose! I can't wait to see the finished month all in one place! I will say … if you've never participated in a photo-a-day challenge, or a Daily Challenge of any kind, be it reading or journaling, or fasting, or any kind of introspective activity … I will recommend it. It has a way of heightening your awareness of every incident. I love that stimulation.
Dad Report: My Dad(dy) is doing better. He is not as nauseous as yesterday, but has still not succeeded at rising to a sitting position without feeling like he was going to pass out. My mom was concerned since this is the 3rd day in a row that this has been attempted. She talked to Dad's *very competent* nurse who said that she feels that Dad has undergone such traumatic stress with the surgery that his body is simply still in a state of rebellion. He was supposed to go home on Saturday, but I hope they keep him there till he is very well and able to sit up. Mom is strong, but I don't want her to have to deal with his passing out, ripping stitches (!), etc … after they get home. Keep him in your prayers … God is able!
20 days until my brother and his family come!