Then there was me. I got to take a long-anticipated trip to BlogHer, and meet some of the women and writers I most admire. I unexpectedly lost a friend in tragic circumstances that still make no sense, leaving her two children without a mother. My mother fell down her stairs and had to move in with us while she recovered from her broken ribs and scapula. Superstorm Sandy left my state without power, and left many without homes to return to. I got myself elected to the Board of Education.
Finally, there was the tragedy in Newtown, which left us all grieving the loss of beautiful, innocent lives, and rethinking how we will live, to cultivate love for the future.
Despite some of the highs, honestly, I'll be glad to see 2012 go. I've been cleaning out the refrigerator in preparation for our trip, and it feels good to be empty, to start the year with a clean slate, even in my pantry. I don't make New Years' resolutions, because I feel that they're sort of artificial and arbitrary, but something about the change in calendar year makes me feel like I can start over, like I can wake up with hope and purpose. And I'm looking forward to that more than usual this year.
I won't be posting for a little while, because I'm going to disconnect from my computer, and I won't be wrestling with internet on my phone. But I'll be thinking about you while we're gone, and hoping to return here in the new year (or a little before then) with renewed blogging energy, with some thought-provoking posts, and with some tasty recipes.
In the meantime, here are the last sweets for the season. We'll be leaving cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve, and if I were Santa Claus, I think they'd be exactly right; chocolatey, snappy, with a slight caffeine kick to keep me awake for the long journey of good cheer before I turned the sleigh towards home. Wishing you warmth, light, and love during this darkest season of the year.
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 t. instant espresso
1 t. baking soda
2 egg whites
1 2/3 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
Beat butter in a large bowl on high speed for about 30 seconds. Beat in sugar, 2/3 c. cocoa powder, espresso, and baking soda. Beat in egg whites. Beat in flour. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl combine 1/4 c. sugar and cocoa powder. Roll dough into 1" balls (and then into 1 1/2" logs if you like) and roll in sugar/cocoa mixture. Place 2" apart on a cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.