I’ve officially joined the ranks of a group of person I vowed never to become: Those who send Christmas cards of their offspring.
This phenomenon part fascinates me/part annoys me. Why do we think all of our friends and acquaintances want pictures of our little childrens and then big childrens? Are we all THAT self-absorbed?
Now, don’t get me wrong: I love receiving pics of my fab nieces and nephews and the children of close friends and family and my piano students. They always bring a smile to my face. And, I save the pics for years upon years upon years.
But doesn’t it crack you up when you get Christmas cards from people 10 times removed from your life? No? This is just my hangup?
Thank God the whole check-out-my-awesome-kid-in-reindeer-sweater motif wasn’t a trend when I was a child because if my Mom and Dad wanted to put my mug on a Christmas card, I would no doubt answer with a, “Bitch, please.” Or, at least I would have said that inside my truck driver-language filled head.
I asked my sister Monica what the age cutoff is with kiddies in Christmas cards. She had no idea. Do I mortify my son throughout his entire life or just the pre-10 years? Does this madness stop in high school? College? During post-graduate studies? Anyone? Bueller?
Meanwhile, The Husband dropped a major bombshell on me: He wants us to send out a family portrait for next’s year’s Christmas card.
So, here’s my hypocritical blog shot of Baby Evan decked out in Ho Ho hat. No, this is not The Christmas Card Photo, but it is from the holiday photo shoot and it came in a close second. And, well, I quite love this photo. It is so cute I can’t stand it. I did post it on my Facebook page, and now I’m sharing it with my blog peeps.
And, please do not call Child Protective Services on me due to my bambino’s nakedness: There was warm and snuggly blanket on hand to cover him up in between takes.
Yesterday, Baby Evan let his Momma get on with her Christmas baking. You know, if it wasn’t Christmas time, I would feel quite normal. It’s just that getting all the Christmasy stuff done – including sending Christmas cards – is quite overwhelming immediately after having a super cute and cuddly baby, because all I want to do is stare and hold my cute and cuddly baby.
But, Christmas baking is my most fav thing of all the holiday chores. Shopping, too. Wrapping and card sending, well, I could do without.
I’m sharing with you a recipe for Crisp Chocolate Bites. I love these for Christmas because they are covered in powdered sugar, which resembles snow in my humble opinion. Perhaps, you can tell from my photo, which pales in comparison to the shots taken by The Husband.
My rules for Christmas baking are as follows: The Christmas tree must be all aglow and Elvis’ holiday tunes must be pumping through your veins. Plus, have all your ingredients out and clean up as you go along. Oh, wait those are the cooking rules set by my seventh grade home ec teacher. (Yes, I went to school when they actually had home ec.) I explained all of this to Baby Evan, who most likely cooed or drooled in response, and then dozed off to the sounds of “Blue Christmas.”
Crisp Chocolate Bites
From Williams-Sonoma Cookies
6 Tbsp. (3 oz/90 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 oz (60 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract (essence)
¾ cup (4 oz/125 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
¼ cup (3/4 oz/20 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup (2 oz/60 g) confectioners’ icing sugar
Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment (baking) paper. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over very low heat, combine the butter and chocolate. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until they are melted and the mixture is smooth.
Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in the granulated sugar until evenly moistened. Add the egg and vanilla, beating until light and fluffy.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together onto a sheet of waxed paper. Gradually add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator. Shape the dough into ¾-inch (2 cm) balls and roll in the confectioners’ sugar to coat completely. place the balls about 1 ½ inches (4 cm) apart on the prepared sheets. Bake the cookies until puffed and cracked on top, about 12 minutes. They may appear underdone in the center but will turn crisp as they cool. Let cool on the sheets for 2-3 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 ½ dozen cookies.