Picture
There is nothing quite so enticing as the aroma of crushed peppermint at Christmastime.  That is, unless, it is combined with dark chocolate and then baked into cookie perfection.  As I write this, the strong, deep notes of "Christmastime is Here" are dancing from the kitchen and I am basking in the glow of the Christmas tree, waiting for my husband and a couple of good friends to come spend the evening. I'm feeling sentimental; perhaps it's the fact that I spent the week with a bunch of fourth and fifth graders who are pained with the anticipation of Santa, or because the living room is filled with a slight evergreen smell mixed with freshly baked, gooey cookies that reminds me of a time when I was that age myself.  

It's raining outside, which isn't quite right, but now that it's dark I can almost make myself imagine there's a winter wonderland on the other side of the window. 
Picture

 
 


I equate birthday cakes with love.  The entire time you bake a birthday cake, you are focused on the person you are making it for and are intent on making that person happy. You might even be thinking about how happy you are that this individual was born all those years ago, if you're mushy like that.  I made a cake this week for Ethan's birthday, and loved every minute of it.  He turned the big 2-4, a seemingly unremarkable age - unless you have a really killer birthday cake. Unbeknownst to him, I had invited a bunch of our friends over for a little surprise party for cake after supper, which gave me the perfect excuse to finally make that triple-layer cake I had been ogling - because you just can't whip up that kind of decadence on any old day!