This is the time of year I feel time rushing past; do you?
It’s a different sort of rushing than happens in the summer and fall, when gardens are producing mountains of beans and squash, the hay needs to be cut and the straw baled (to say nothing of the lawn), the barns and egg baskets are being filled to the brim, and the daylight lasts way into the evening.
Now that I’m writing it, maybe that’s the difference—the days are so much shorter now, it seems that there’s just no time to accomplish all the things that we’d like to do before heading to bed.
I’ve read that it’s very important on these busy, busy days to take time to appreciate the moments as they occur. One thing our family has always done this time of year is making holiday peppermint kisses. I remember my dad’s mom having a cookie tin full of these on her oilcloth covered table, and I can think back to helping my own mom count off the minutes until they were taken out of the oven. My children’s little fingers were kept out of the mixing bowl when they made trips to the Christmas tree with a measuring cup—gathering “Christmas air” to pour into the mixture. And now there are grandchildren—one grandson in particular that “orders two batches” of the delicacies to share with his classmates.
This treat is not low calorie, oh, no. It’s full of sugar, but each cookie, when bitten into is light, and sweet, and well, filled with Christmasy peppermint air. Here are the directions, so you can begin your own holiday kiss tradition!
2 egg whites (save the yolks for making a different kind of cookie, or give them to the dog for a special treat)
10 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 cups Christmas air (best gathered by children from near the Christmas tree)
½ cup chocolate chips
2 teaspoons crushed peppermint candy
Dash of salt
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or ungreased brown paper (paper bags are great).
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Add 8 tablespoons of sugar, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Alternate sugar with Christmas air, taking care not to spill the air. Fold in remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, the chocolate chips, crushed peppermint and salt. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 32 minutes; remove from paper immediately. Cool a little before eating; the chips inside the cookies will be hot!
A batch of holiday kisses makes about 2 dozen, which is enough for a third grade class, plus a couple extra for a special teacher or friend.
Now that you have your cookies…make up a thermos of hot chocolate to go with them and take a slow drive around the neighborhood to look at the decorations. Slow down long enough to enjoy the season.