When it’s over, I want to say all my life I was a bride married to amazement.
Happy Valentines day!
To live this life fully, we must dive in and love, over and over, letting it overcome us, letting it have its way with us. It may not last. We may get all busted up. It could get messy. Often it turns our world upside down, but on some level…. perhaps we need this.
Brian and I got married last fall. I am 45. This is my second marriage. I never planned to get married twice, because when I got married the first time, of course I thought it would be the one and only time. What can I say? Life does not always go as planned. Those of you who have gone through a breakup, or divorce, understand how it rips you apart in every way. It takes away the life you thought you would have.
But an unexpected and amazing thing happens. It almost always forces you to grow. To examine yourself. To acknowledge the humanness in all of us …and to forgive. And somehow through the process, our hearts expand, even more than we thought possible. We become more compassionate, more human, more real, having gone though it.
But then, unexpectedly, there come moments of profound and deep connectedness. Of joy, of lightness and laughter. Moments where you are in complete harmony with each other, filled will gratitude for the other person.
I have been waiting for an excuse to try out this stone ground chocolate ordered from Ranch Gordo . The chocolate is made in Mexico, by women who grow their own cacao, harvest it, toast it and then stone grind it with a little hint of cinnamon. It’s lovely, rich and delicious.
- 1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
- ½- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup extra dark Dutch processed cocoa, sifted
- ½ Cup ground bittersweet chocolate or mixed with some unsweetened chocolate ( 2 oz)
- 1 large egg
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1⅛ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- Vanilla Ice-cream for filling
- Decoratoring Sugar
- In your stand mixer cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for several minutes until light and fluffy.
- On low speed, add cocoa powder, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Then add the ground chocolate, vanilla and egg and mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined.
- Add the flour on low speed, mixing until uniform and comes together like a dough.
- Remove the cookie dough from the mixer, wrap in plastic and chill until firm about 1 hour or up to 3 days.
- When ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator. If it is hard as a rock allow to stand at room temperature for a little while.
- In a small bowl, mix together enough flour and cocoa to dust your cutting board and your dough to keep it from sticking (a mix of 50/50 flour/cocoa). Using cocoa powder to dust will keep the surface of your cookies dark looking.
- Roll out your chilled dough to about ¼" thickness and cut out your shapes. Arrange the cutouts on parchment paper or silpats. They don't tend to spread.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until the surface is no longer glossy. Allow to cool completely on wire racks. They will be soft fresh out of the oven but will crisp up as they cool.
- Once cool, place the cookies in a ziplock baggie or other container and freeze until ready to use.
- Ice cream -
- You can make your own home made version, or use store bought. In either case, spread out evenly on a sheet pan, about 1 inch thick and refreeze until hard.
- Use the same cookie cutter as you used for the cookies. Place the cookie cutter in bowl of very hot water so it is warm. Quickly press down into the ice-cream. Using a metal spatula lift ice cream and cutter up, and carefully push the ice cream out. Put the cookie cutter back in the hot water in-between each cut. Working quickly, assemble your sandwiches and put them back into the freezer. Dip in course sugar, wrap or decorate however you like.