The Christmas cookies are coming.
I made a lot of them in early December, but gave mine out haphazardly, some thumbprints to the neighbor, some candy to a friend down the street. I didn’t organize. But now, it seems, the tide has changed, and there’s so much good stuff flooding into our house that I’ve found myself making more treats to give away.
Two nights ago, a friend hunted us down at a bar to deliver Christmas cookies before she took off to spend the holidays in the Midwest. There were rich chocolate shortbread cookies, and her grandmother’s holiday meringues:
Then yesterday, I received a whole loaf of stollen, that rich, eggy, fruit-studded German holiday bread:
Oh, they are here, the holidays. And I do love the giving part. But I’m excited for the rest, too – we’ll spend Christmas day in Vermont this year, up to our waists in snow.
I’m getting giddy. I bought new snowpants, and I’m sitting here, wearing them as I type, crinkling away in the middle of a Friday afternoon. I can hear the sleigh bells. I’ve actually turned on Christmas music when no one else is in the house. (This is my current favorite.)
Or maybe I’m just tasting alcohol, because I’m getting ready to celebrate.
You think the ball dropping is exciting? We usually forget, when whoever replaced Dick Clark comes on, that we started counting at 365.
This year, I haven’t forgotten. Ten recipes left.
Nut-Smothered Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels (PDF)
Recipe 355 of 365
Sweet. Salty. Fatty. Plus carbs, for kick. What’s not to love?
TIME: 30 minutes active time
MAKES: About 2 dozen pretzel sticks
3/4 pound (12 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup roasted, salted cashews, finely chopped
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
1 (10-ounce) bag pretzel rods
Melt the chocolate over very low heat in a small saucepan, stirring constantly. When almost melted, remove from heat and stir until melted. Transfer to a tall drinking glass, and set aside.
Place the nuts in a shallow dish (if you’d like to coat pretzels with both nuts) or two (if you’d like to keep the flavors separate).
To assemble, dip a pretzel rod in chocolate about 3/4 of the way. Hold it above the glass to let most of the excess chocolate drip off, then roll the chocolate part in nuts.
Let pretzels dry on waxed paper, then store in an airtight container at room temperature.