The advent candles on our table have been melting down, week by week, in anticipation of Christmas. After dinner and discussion, we read aloud our nightly advent prayer. Then I secretly add on a prayer request for less judgement in my heart, because those ritualistic purple and pink candles on the wreath are totally cramping my style.
Yes, it’s Christmastime again. Christmas cards have been mailed out, icicle lights hang gleefully from our front elevation, and hints of cinnamon and pine waft fragrantly through the home. This is such a nice time of year, but experiencing it in Alaska is very different from winter in Bakersfield, CA. Aside from the obvious difference in temperature and snowfall, the sun is showing up for less than four hours a day, hanging only as high on the horizon as a two story building down the street. It’s dark, cold and dreary up here. As I write this post at 2:44 pm, the sun has already faded behind the Alaska mountain range, leaving only a pink and orange glow in its wake. It will stay this way for at least another hour and a half before darkness envelops the tundra.
The Army provided us with a happy light to help with the daylight withdrawals. It’s a large lamp with bright daylight emulating bulbs to supplement our vitamin D intake and hopefully, improve our moods. It seems to be working, but some days I still have a hard time pulling myself out of my cozy bed to tend to my motherly duties. When it’s -20F outside, and the sun doesn’t even come up before eleven, it’s difficult to part with the pocket of warmth created every night in bed. I get a lot done, but most of it happens after Margot goes to sleep, and certainly after a few cups of coffee.
With the Holidays just around the corner, I pulled this recipe out of hibernation to bake a batch of cookies for this month’s book club. We just finished reading the Christmas Candle, and tonight, we discuss. These cookies will hopefully win favor among a new crowd of church and military friends.
This recipe is adapted from Honest Fare’s version to include ingredients and portions I prefer over the original.
The dough base is made with a whole wheat pastry flour, and the portions of white chocolate chips and nuts are scaled back. I also added a little bit of ground flax seed to give them more fiber. It cuts the guilt a little bit, too 😉 .
- ½ cup unsalted room temperature butter
- ½ cup of sugar
- ½ cup of golden brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1½ tablespoon of milk
- 1½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups of whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ tablespoon ground flax seed
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt
- ½ cup of instant oats
- 1 cup chopped pistachios, lightly salted
- 1 cup of white chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter and sugars together on high speed for several minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with each ingredient addition to ensure even mixing.
- Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and beat for several more minutes.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and rolled oats. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture slowly.
- Fold in the chopped pistachios and white chocolate chips. Using a small ice cream scoop, portion out heaping scoops of dough onto a greased, or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If you desire, for decoration, add a couple of pistachios, or white chocolate chips to the top.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Allow cookies to settle onto cookie sheets before transferring to wire cooling rack.
I hope your holiday is filled with hope, joy, love, and candles in the color of your choice.