A Thanksgiving Dash and A Christmas Cookie

I’m embarrassingly behind in my blogging. I’m also embarrassingly behind in my acknowledgement that the Christmas season is coming – coming really soon.

This year, instead of fretting about the timing of the turkey and the appropriate number of side dishes to serve, we spent the morning running/walking/hobbling laps around a beautiful lake in Minneapolis.

We didn’t win. In fact, we almost lost. Basically, we did lose. Don’t look up the results. Just trust me on this.

However, the 10k Drumstick Dash embodied what I love most about holidays: family, fun, and men in ultra-short track shorts.

Drumstick Dash

Then we headed home, threw together a pretty-delicious thanksgiving spread, brought my grandma over to celebrate and feasted… and feasted… and feasted. Together.

This was a perfect thanksgiving, if I do say so myself. I’m thankful for many, many things in my life, but it only takes a few good hours of walking around a lake, eating some tasty food, and laughing to realize what I am most thankful for:

Family

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This picture includes my brothers. Brothers like cookies. Cookies are good for celebrating the holidays. (creative segue, eh?)

FotoFlexer_Photo

Chocolate Turtle Cookies
Source: America’s Test Kitchen 2010 Edition via Pixelated Crumb
Printable Recipe

1C All-purpose flour
1/3C cocoa powder
1/4tsp salt
1/2C unsalted butter, room temp
2/3C sugar
1 egg, separated
1tsp vanilla extract
2T milk
1 1/4C finely chopped pecans
14 soft caramel candies
3T heavy cream

Combine flour, cocoa, and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Beat until combined.
Add in flour mixture to wet ingredients, until just combined.
Refrigerate dough for 1 hour, until firm.
Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy.
Roll cold dough into balls (about 1 inch each). Dip them in egg whites and then roll in chopped pecans.
Place on cookie sheet, about 1-2 inches apart. Make an indentation in the center of each ball (use 1/2tsp measure or finger).
Bake for 12 minutes, until firm. After removing from oven, press the center indentation again to ensure that each cookie has a defined well for filling. Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes on baking sheets. Then transfer to wire rack to cool.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine caramels and cream. Cook for 30 second intervals. Stir. Cook again. Repeat this until the caramel is melted. Fill each cookie with 1/2tsp of the caramel mixture. Allow to cool. Enjoy!

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