1. I have watched Elf two times already (and still counting);
2. I searched for the music video "Merry Christmas, And Happy Holidays" by *NSYNC recently;
3. One night I asked Chris to stay up to cut out paper snowflakes; and
4. I am craving peppermint!
I love peppermint even though some people associate it with dental mouthwash and chewing gum, I just can't get enough of it this time of year.
This weekend was a crazy, jam packed one. It started off with a really big lie. I told Chris we were going to a coworker's surprise birthday party on Friday night when in reality, the party was for Chris! Talk about being blindsided. Chris had no clue and had the worst 'surprised' face ever - it was part shock, mostly horror, and teetering on disgust. It was bizarre and I wished I had a picture to share. Chris' party kicked off the weekend with our friends from Monterey, Ryan and Maegan, who came up to visit. On Saturday, we explored the Haight and Hayes Valley, and ended up in Bernal Heights at Piqueos for dinner. That night we met some random people from Connecticut when we went to a party at a greenhouse in Berkeley (strange, but fun).
On Sunday, we went to the Niners/Dolphins game. It was incredibly hot outside, and not just for December, but for any day of the year. It was so hot that I could have traded my Uggs, jeans and thermal heat shirt with fleece and scarf for shorts, t-shirt and Converses'. It still blows my mind I can get a tan in December.
Which is why it's hard to be in holiday mode sometimes since there are no seasons! It helps putting up twinkly lights in your apartment and your snowflakes cutouts on the windows:)
Baking peppermint hot cocoa cookies will also help.
Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies
Recipe adapted from The Pastry Affair via Rachael Ray
Makes about 3 dozen
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 12 ounces (2 cups) semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (about 2 packets) hot cocoa mix
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, cut into 1/2 inch squares
- About 8 ounces of mini marshmallows
- Crushed peppermint candy canes (optional)
- Chocolate syrup (optional)
*In a small saucepan, melt together butter and chocolate chips over low heat. Stir until smooth and set aside.
*In a large bowl, beat together brown sugar and eggs. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts. Slowly incorporate flour, hot cocoa mix, baking powder, and salt. Mix in melted chocolate. Refrigerate cookie dough for 1 hour to solidify (otherwise it is too liquid to bake!).
*Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside.
*Use a spoon to scoop out cookie dough and spread out evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookie tops begin to crack.
*Pull out cookies from oven and place a 1/2 inch piece of chocolate on top of each cookie. Take 4-5 mini marshmallows and place it on top of the chocolate. (You can snip the ends of the mini marshmallows to make them adhere better to the chocolate.)
*Bake cookies for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until marshmallows have softened. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy canes if desired.