Today is supposed to be a silent day in honour of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school incident last Friday in Connecticut. However, as a student becoming a Teacher I felt I needed to say something. I cannot begin to imagine the grief the small town of Newtown is feeling in the aftermath. As a practicing teacher I have come to care for each and every one of my grade two students and I could not imagine anything happening to them. My heart goes out to the families affected, and to the heroic teachers who gave their own lives to save those of their students. As I flew home from Prince George last night I watch the Presidents speech, many of the topics he spoke of can resonate around the world.
“I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts. I can only hope that it helps for you to know, that you’re not alone in your grief. That our world, too, has been torn apart.” Obama
I hope everyone takes a moment to remember those teachers who lost their lives, and to appreciate and thank those teachers in their lives today.
This weekend I went to Prince George to visit family with my brother Nick. It was especially nice to be able to spend the weekend with my brother, and made me treasure it even more after learning about the loss other families endured that day.
My brother and I were like any other typical brother/sister combo growing up. We had days we loved each other, and days we fought. Over the years as we grew up we developed a more mature relationship as siblings.However since I’ve moved on and out from the house and he has began his career we don’t see each other as much. Adam actually works with my brother (both Electricians) as well as Adam’s brother in law (his sister’s husband) so Adam probably, if not definitely, sees my brother more often than I do. Our family is a very close family and we try to get together as often as possible but it gets hard to figure out everyone’s schedule.Nick is pretty busy at work organizing, developing and planning for his company so it was nice to get away together for the first time in a long time. It was probably only the second time we had ever been on a plane together. We took a family vacation, which turned out to be our last family vacation just before our dad passed away, flying to San Francisco and a cruise in 2004. We were a camping family, not a flying around family. Our summer vacations would always be a week long camping trip to Cultas Lake each year. My brother and I probably haven’t really gone away together just the two of us for a while so it was a really great weekend with him.
It was a weekend in the winter wonderland that is Prince George at this time of year. I love a white Christmas, and I’m not sure we will get one here in Vancouver this year, although on the way home last night we actually had some snow and it was sticking to the ground. But of course it is all rained away this morning.
I made these Almond Butter blossoms/thumbprints before we left so I could bring some baking up with me. I love these cookies at Christmas but with my peanut allergy I don’t make them often. So I though why not make them with Almond butter instead, and then I can still enjoy them. They are just as delicious as the peanut butter version.
I bought these mini kisses from chipits -they are perfect for making smaller blossoms for your dessert tray, plus you don’t have to unwrap them and there are tons in a bag. I made 5-6 dozen cookies and still have half a bag left.
Almond Butter Blossoms
1 cup butter
1 cup almond butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 bag Chipits Mini Kisses
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. In stand mixer, cream together butter, almond butter, brown sugar, and sugar until smooth.
Add in the eggs one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Mix in a couple splashes of Almond milk and 2 tsp vanilla.
3. On low speed add in flour one cup at a time, and baking soda. Mix until incorporated. Dough should come together, and be a little bit sticky but easily able to shape. Add more flour a tablespoon at a time if too thin.
4. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into balls in the palm of your hand. Place cookies 1 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to12 minutes. Remove from oven, and immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool completely, so the chocolate hardens before storing.
Dough should come together and be sticky, but not thin.
I made these about a tsp. size so I can add them to my dessert tray. I love cookies but I can’t eat too many full size ones. This way guests can try a bit of everything and the mini kisses are perfect.
Press a mini kiss into them once out of the oven.
Allow to cool completely before storing.
Share with those you love this Christmas.