My sister Sharon and I are very close, but we are never more cosmically connected than during the holidays. Our shared love of Christmas has always been a great source of sisterly joy for us.
Today I’m feeling nostalgic for Christmas Past, for a time when Sharon and I lived under the same roof. In the last ten years our lives have gradually become less entwined as we each went off to college, spent years abroad, lived in different countries, fell in love, got married, and started our own families in different states. But no matter where we were, we’d make it together for some part of the holidays. And I think this is the first year we won’t see each other at all.
This past August, Sharon and Anthony moved to Atlanta to pursue their dream jobs, Anthony a pastor at a vibrant, progressive Presbyterian Church, and Sharon as Special Projects Coordinator at Atlanta’s Outreach and Advocacy Center. As a family, we cheered them on as they packed up their lives in New Haven and headed for Georgia. But as Christmas approaches, I’m feeling a little lonely.
Just as my dad and mom have always been wonderfully tied to their church community during the Christmas holidays, so will Anthony and Sharon need to be in Atlanta at their church, with their community, for Christmas. I want nothing more than for them to be with this wonderful group of people, deepening their roots and relationships there, but it means she and I will not be sitting hand-in-hand all misty-eyed in the living room by the fire and a glowing tree listening to Chanticleer’s “In the Bleak Midwinter.” And that’s hard.
So here are some holiday cookies that make me smile. Mom’s brainchild, of course, but certainly the kind of cookies Sharon and I would have baked together. Here’s sending a holiday kiss to you, Sharon.
- 1 whole egg, plus 1 yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2½ cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup crushed peppermint candy
- 36 peppermint kisses
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix egg, yolk, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl. Mix flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add egg mixture; mix on low speed until well incorporated. Add flour mixture; mix on low speed until dough forms. Beat in crushed peppermint.
- Divide dough into thirty-six rounded tablespoon portions, rolling each into a ball. Working in batches, arrange 12 cookie dough balls on a large silpat- or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and puffed. Remove cookies from oven, gently pressing a peppermint kiss into each one. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough balls and kisses. (Can be stored in a tin for a week or sealed and frozen up to 1 month.
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
I love these! So perfect for Christmas 🙂
Sharon Sucher says
What a lovely tribute to your relationship with your sister. I’m going to make these cookies (today I hope); went to the store yesterday to buy the mint Hershey kisses and candy canes to crush. Of course I will have to freeze them until my kids and their families come or the hubbie will eat them all!!!
These look delicious! Although it will be hard to compare with your Peppermint Bark! I would like to make these for our holiday potluck at work. One question – do you suppose I could make a second batch with chocolate cookie dough? What do you think would be the best way to turn this amazing peppermint cookie dough chocolate? Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks so much for all of these wonderful recipes!
Pam Anderson says
I have yet to develop a great chocolate cookie dough, but any reliable cookie book or baking blog should have one. I very much like the idea of these peppermint kisses partnered with chocolate cookie dough! (And I’m pretty addicted to my peppermint bark too!)
Caroline Oakes says
Having a beloved sister by your side at Christmas is such a blessing, and those years it doesn’t happen, there is this deep longing for that I-know-you-so-well-and-will-love-you-forever closeness. As so often you do, you are speaking the thoughts of so many of us, thank you, Sharon.