What Day Is It?

2 12 2015

Tis the season to overdo, especially, I think, when it comes to our calendars.  For many of us, the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day will be a giant blur of activity, racing from one appointment to another, with every next item on our schedule distracting us from the present moment.

In our effort to not miss anything, we can actually miss a lot.

When you have children, the dates on the calendar hold real importance – they are steeped in counting down from one holiday to the next in school, by their entertainment, and by more than a few eager grandparents.  When your family has outgrown visiting Santa at the mall for the annual photo op, why continue to keep time with those damn twelve drummers drumming? Don’t you always end up feeling more like Snow White’s Grumpy than the Jolly Old Elf?

I am OLD. My childhood Christmas season did not start until after the Thanksgiving leftovers had been consumed.  The fact that decorations were only on display for a few weeks made them truly magical.  To see them in the aisles at Lowe’s when I go to buy a leaf rake in September hurts my brain. That said, I am about to suggest that we expand the season even more.

The spirit of gift-giving, family-gathering, goodwill-to-others – and Christmas cookies – is a mighty fine thing, so why compress it into a few overstuffed weeks just because of numbers on a calendar?

Okay, there’s that tradition thing. Fine. Choose a few things that make your heart sing, but don’t feel you must see every concert, shop every store, visit every acquaintance, or any other thing you do because “you’ve always done it.”

There are plenty of squares on your calendar, just waiting to be declared important.  Think about how much January could use a bit of holiday cheer and make it happen.  You know that your friends are in the same scheduling maelstrom as you are, so move that sewing circle gift exchange out a few weeks, make adult family visit plans for next year that don’t involve traveling during peak times, spread the joy . . . into other months, please!

You can do it all, you just can’t do it all in four weeks and enjoy it.  Get your fill of Christmas caroling, limited-time-only holiday-spice beverages, ornament ogling, and mistletoe kisses while the getting is good; the rest of the stuff will wait for you and a quieter month that could use a little Christmas joy.

The kitchen will smell just as good when you bake cookies in March!

. . . in case you really REALLY need a cookie in December, though, here’s a little gift to you – my recipe for Dulce de Leche Samoas.  Merry Wednesday!

samoas done 2

Yes, the focus is a bit off – I’m trembling with anticipation.


Dulce de Leche Samoas

 Shortbread Cookie Base

1 cup salted butter

½ cup sugar

2 ½ cups flour

In food processor, process butter and sugar until creamy.  Add  flour and pulse to dough.  Knead just to mix. Roll to about a third of an inch thick and cut into 1 ½” rounds. Bake at 300 degrees for about 22 minutes until very pale.


2 ½ cups shredded sweetened coconut

1 can (10-12 oz.) homemade Dulce de Leche*

½ cup good semisweet chocolate chips plus ¼ cup good milk chocolate chips

Toast the coconut either in the oven (300 degrees, stirring every few minutes) or on the stove top in a large skillet, stirring frequently. Allow to cool.

In a microwave safe bowl, heat dulce de leche until warm. Add the coconut and stir until well combined. Using a spoon or small spatula, add the topping to the shortbread cookies. Once all of the cookies are topped, heat the chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth. Drizzle chocolate on the tops of the cookies – dip and wave fork over cookies on rack over lots of wax paper to catch spatter.

*Dulce De Leche

Remove label from can of sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand).  Poke 3 holes in top of can.  Cook can, submerged ¾ of the way in boiling water, for about 4 hours.  Watch to be sure water does not evaporate – will need to add several times.




6 responses

2 12 2015

OMG. a cookie recipe!!!! Ya made my holiday!!!

2 12 2015

Glad I could help you, Carol. Merry Merry!

2 12 2015
elaine haag

I am so glad you included your recipe, not only for the cookies but for how to cherish and spread joy throughout the year. This year I am definitely slowing the pace and making more time for that cup of coffee (and cookies) with my special friends. Hint, hint.

2 12 2015

Elaine, thank you for your friendship. Happy Holidays!

8 12 2015

I do love your idea of spreading Christmas around. When we came to France 20 years ago it was blissful to find that Christmas didn’t start until December unlike the UK where it followed closely on to back to school! However, over the years it has become more and more commercial and although it has not caught up with the UK it is not what it was. I have, over the years, often suggested having Christmas celebrations in January which is such a long, dull month.
Good to find your blog and I look forward following you. xx

8 12 2015

Welcome and thank you, Lin.

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