I have to admit that sometimes I get a little grumpy around Christmas. The decorations, the cooking, the shopping . . . it all seems a little overwhelming especially when the true meaning of Christmas seems to get lost in the middle of it all.
Then last weekend we decorated our Christmas tree and the significance of the traditions became meaningful.
As we were hanging the ornaments, I could not help but think how the tree tells the story of our last twenty years together.
There is the ornament from our first Christmas, then the one from the short time we lived in Kansas City, ornaments from when I worked in Washington DC, one, two then three kids, our dear sweet golden retriever's ornament (who passed away this past year), the glass ballerinas from when the girls were little, the stockings crocheted by my grandma . . ..
You could go ornament to ornament and journal the last twenty years of our family life.
And so the Christmas tree became more than just a pretty decoration. It became a reflection of the choices given and made, travels, passions and values of our family.
This weekend we are baking cookies - again it is really not so much about the cookies, but more about the matching aprons that we all wear; the mixing the dough and smearing flour on our faces; using my Grandma's cookie cutters; making new memories.
So it is with great joy that I share one of our favorite recipes. Maybe this recipe will become one of your family traditions.
Gluten Free Chocolate Decadence Cookies
- 1/2 cup gluten free flour mix
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 16 ounces semisweet chocolate (use Tropical Source or Enjoy Life semisweet chocolate chips for casein free)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (use Earth Balance for casein free)
- 1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
In a small bowl combine the GF flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Combine chocolate and butter, and heat in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Set aside.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs until thick, about 5 minutes.
Add the chocolate mixture and the vanilla, beat until combined. Stir in the flour mixture.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and drop the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the sheets, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart. Note that this is very messy process. The dough is very sticky. Use some cooking spray on your hands and utensils to make this step go more easily.
Spray the bottom of a class with cooking spray and dip it in powdered sugar. Gently knock off the excess sugar and flatten the cookie with the sugared glass bottom. Not too flat - just to a disk-like shape.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes - until the outside has a nice crust but the cookies are still soft to the touch.
Makes about 18 large cookies. Store in an airtight container.