last minute gift: peppermint crunchies

If you have any last minute gifting needs this year, may I suggest making peppermint crunchies (the preferred name for cookies & cream peppermint bark in my house)? This treat calls for only three ingredients, can truly be considered last minute–it takes about 15 minutes to throw together and another 20 to 30 to cool–and is so over the top tasty. I made a batch for a work potluck last week, and six separate people asked me for the recipe. Another told me very seriously that I should look into selling it, and another stopped me later in the day to say, “you win–all of the bark is gone!” The effort to accolades ratio with these little bites is definitely in your favor, even at this extra busy time of year. Perfect for rounding out gifts that need a little something extra, having on hand for an unexpected present exchange, and for just pleasing yourself.

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magic marshmallow crescent puffs

Jessica is amazing, isn’t she? Her resilience and courage overwhelm me with pride and love and admiration. I’m beyond lucky to have her as a best friend and, of course, as my blogging partner. I wasn’t sure, though, that we would come back to our blog. This place is where we can be as silly and lighthearted on the page as we are in the kitchen, so during the past couple of months it was hard to imagine that we’d ever be back here having fun. Knowing that my best friend was in such pain made it impossible for me to think straight, let alone blog. Not that I gave much thought to the idea of posting here by myself—this is our shared conversation and without my Brooklyn counterpart, there is no Butter Poached. Jessica’s the one who started that conversation again. We were huddled in a back room at her wedding, waiting for the ceremony to begin, when she said she wanted to get back to blogging if I did, too.

You bet I do, bestest.

To mark my return to Butter Poached, I’m sharing the most why-not recipe I know, one that I think would’ve made Jessica’s mom smile for its silliness: magic marshmallow crescent puffs. A puff is made of a crescent roll stuffed with a buttery, cinnamon-sugar-coated marshmallow. The rolls are baked until golden brown and drizzled with a confectioner’s sugar icing. My mom clued me in to these gems. She mailed me the recipe clipped from a newspaper with her handwritten challenge: “I DARE YOU!” My mother apparently holds my baking tastes in much higher regard than is warranted—no dare needed. I couldn’t wait to make these. A marriage of two of my favorite processed foods in one ooey-gooey treat? Pop that tube!

magic marshmallow crescent puffs

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moving forward.

It’s been a little more than two months since I last wrote here, and for most of that time, food–and especially making it–has been so low on my priority list. When last I wrote, Hal and I were heading into the homestretch of wedding planning and my mother was very ill, though we fervently hoped she had turned a corner. Not quite two weeks later, my mother, as impossible as it still seems, passed away. This is a loss and heartbreak like I’ve never known, and it is still sinking in. And just over three weeks after that, Hal and I, with the support and encouragement of our family and friends, got married as planned on November 8th. Our wedding was such a joyful and love-filled day, and I felt my mother with me through every step. It feels unbelievable sometimes that the lowest lows and highest highs I’ve ever experienced should be so closely tied together by circumstance and timing, but here I am. A starry-eyed newlywed and a grieving daughter, working toward my new normal.
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one of my all time favorite mom+me pics, taken on our front porch.

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