This time last year was a whole lot like this year, and the two years before, with one noticeable exception: I've grown up. And I don't mean that in a good way. I feel like I've officially reached old lady status with a new number only two days away. I know I'm crazy, I realize I'm young with all the good stuff life provides still ahead of me. But! But, that ecstatic feeling I got around Christmastime even just two short years ago, I miss that, and there seems to be nothing I can do to get it back. For the record: my age hasn't affected my self-centered birthday feelings, I've still got that in spades. When I was young (12 months ago) I was able to feel things still. When something was pure and good I got a tingle that ran through my body like an electric shock, when something was truly horrid I had a shiver up my spine. I feel like these feelings are all stuck inside my heart, wrapped up in boxes and chains waiting to break free, but they sit so deep I can't quite reach them. All that sits in their place are the memories that I used to feel more true.
I'm convinced that having my own children will bring back my hostage-held feelings. Pure joy, bubbles of happiness that pour out like hiccups and sweet jingles will once again fill my soul. Until then I'll keep practicing my holiday favourites, so they'll be perfected by the time my children are old enough to enjoy them.
Candy Cane Whipped Shortbread
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
50g (1/4 cup) icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
90g (3/4 cup) flour
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate
2 candy canes, smashed to smithereens
Preheat oven to 350 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl whip butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and icing sugar and beat until incorporated. Add remaining ingredients all at once and mix until totally blended, about 1 minute. Using teaspoons drop cookies onto tray (I got 10) spacing far apart as they spread. Bake for 10 minutes, or until faintly golden. Do not over bake! Let cookies cool completely.
Over low heat melt chocolate chips. While chocolate melts crush the candy canes with a rolling pin in a plastic bag. Spread the chocolate over tops of cookies, or dip half of cookies into chocolate if desired. Place back on parchment and sprinkle candy cane pieces over the top. Chill in fridge until chocolate is set, then store at room temperature.