The days around the holidays, I’m especially reminded of traditions surrounding family. Of creating and sustaining those rhythms that our girls will look back upon and remember well. It’s not the presents around the tree, I think, that will be held the strongest in their minds and hearts, but those less tangible moments that have nothing to do with receiving.
Instead it will be the ritual of tromping into the woods to find just the right Christmas tree. Decorating the house with pine boughs, roping and white lights. Lying underneath the decorated tree and looking up at all of the branches illuminated with that golden glow. And, of course, Christmas cookie making.
Now, we’ve gotten “better” at these rituals as the years have progressed. The tree now has ornaments from top to bottom rather than a band of decorations high enough for a young one to reach on their tip toes. The cookie making is a more ordered affair. In other words, I’m not scraping flour and sugar off the floor and ceiling for a month afterwards. And even the decorating of the house happens without tears or broken ornaments. What a blessing to be able to spend these special days together.
The girls and I made these dark, silky balls of decadence as one of our Christmas “cookies” this year and had trouble not eating them ALL. Fine Cooking‘s recipe is perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. We covered them in several ways – with cocoa powder, chopped walnuts, and the classic ganache. Some got an espresso bean inserted in the center. Those were our favorites, but they were all out-of-the-park delicious. They make a perfect homemade holiday gift (If you can bear to give some away!)
In chocolate heaven!