When it was still summertime and the walk took me through a lush green park filled with tennis courts and children taking their lesson, it was actually quite nice. The sun was shining bright, the birds chirped, and I had a spring in my step on my way to work.
Fast-forward to December. By the time I'm on my way to work, the sun has barely risen, and chances are I'm trudging through rain, slush, or usually a mix of both. Everyone looks gloomy, hidden underneath scarves and coats and the morning fog. And the cute little park? Well, it's empty and filled with remnants of fall leaves, making the ground slippery and forcing anyone to look at their feet rather than at the sky.
There is only one way I can get to work without becoming a grumpy employee these days, and I'm the first to admit it just might be a little ridiculous. I have a four-song playlist that I put on repeat, and every single one of those four songs is of the Christmas variety. Hey, I'm entitled to it: December 25th is less than three weeks away, after all.
Here's my problem, however: listening to Christmas songs triggers something in my organism. I get the Christmas bug. My mind functions like a flowchart: Christmas songs leads to Christmas decorations leads to Christmas baking leads to peppermint leads to peppermint cookies.
Yep, Christmas peppermint cookies. Add a little chocolate to that and you've got exactly what I made last weekend. Chewy, "snow-covered" (can I at least pretend?), with a chocolate-mint taste that's just right. In other words, perfect for the season.
Did I mention that that flowchart was just a branch in the "master flowchart" of Christmas? Christmas baking leads to almond paste, also leads to gingerbread, also leads to... you get the idea. Infinite possibilities for a cookie-covered Christmas. You'll be ready to take on that dirty weather.
Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles
adapted from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book
makes 3 dozen cookies
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 TS vanilla extract
1 TS peppermint extract
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 TS baking powder
1/4 TS salt
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
Mix oil, chocolate and granulated sugar in a bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts.
Stir flour, baking powder and salt into oil mixture. Chill several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C when ready to bake.
Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into confectioners' sugar and shape into balls. Place on a baking sheet and bake approximately 10 minutes.
Cookies will keep for several days in an airtight container.