The outdoor ice skating rink at Bryant Park is beautiful in the moonlight. Especially during the first snowstorm of the year. when the snowflakes falling from the sky are big enough to grab onto and, even though you are surrounded by whirling masses of color – tourists and natives alike gliding giggling gazing – a certain hush has fallen over the city. Snow, you see, has a kind of dampening effect, as if the little flecks that glisten like silver have absorptive properties that suck in all of the sound and churn it back out as peace and goodwill. Or at least, that is what it feels like.
So there you are, also gliding giggling gazing when out of the corner of your eye you spy a crowd forming at one end of the rink. The far end. And even with your bad leg, which is really not happy with you might I add for putting it through any of this, you make your way over, not wanting to be the last to know.
Visions of broken legs, amputated fingers, crying children pop into your head. (Why do we always assume the worst?) The car accidents of the ice rink that will have all other passengers rubbernecking as they pass. But as you move closer, you can tell that none of these are correct. The chill in the air isn’t quite cruel enough to enable such catastrophe; things like that don’t happen (not me not here not now) during the first snow of the year.
At the forefront of the crowd now, you see it. A man. One knee. Ring proferred. A woman. Smiling crying nodding. Yes. I do. I will.
Well. According to the New York Times, homemade cookies are all the rage at weddings these days with family members joining forces in the months before the big day to produce over 6,000 cookies for the beloved couple.
A tradition that, although it is indigent to Pittsburgh, may just have to be incorporated into my future wedding. I figure if I start now, with a dozen cookies a week, I will be prepared. Although seeing as how I still haven’t truly decided which cookies to make for Christmas yet, it is actually preposterous to consider planning an uncertain event that is four or five years in the future. What I really need to do is buckle down and focus on the concrete. The here and now.
That couple in the park though? They need to get started, whether they know it or not. So to them, I offer these cookies.
2 sticks Salted Butter, Slightly Softened
1 cup Powdered (confectioner’s) Sugar
1 whole Egg
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2-½ cups Flour
½ cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
4 ounces white chocolate
About 5 candy canes, crushed into flakes
Cream softened butter with powdered sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix together until dough comes together. Place plastic wrap on surface of dough and refrigerate for 2 hours.
In the meantime, unwrap candy canes and place them in a plastic bag. Beat with a mallet until finely crushed, leaving larger chunks if desired.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll cookie dough in walnut-sized pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Gently press balls flat with a plain, smooth surface. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, being careful not to burn. Cookies will remain the same general size and shape after they bake. Remove from oven and place cookies on a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely.
Place crushed candies in bowl. Melt white chocolate in the microwave. Dip cooled cookies into white chocolate, coating half the cookie. Immediately sprinkle crushed peppermints over both sides of the almond bark. Gently set on parchment paper and cool in the refrigerator for half an hour or until chocolate hardens.
I am submitting these to Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman. The theme for this edition is Christmas/Holiday recipes.