Happy New Year! But is the New Year really so happy? There’s the actual night itself. The legendary New Year’s Eve. Does anyone actually enjoy it? Going out means the pressure of finding somewhere to go and someone to go with. A party isn’t very fun unless you have someone to kiss at midnight. Places are crowded, no, packed, so restaurant service tends to go a little by the wayside. Staying home means flipping between various celebrations on television, mostly amounting to concerts coming to you from Times Square. I have to admit, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve was pretty amazing last night, trading all the music, typically slow and sad, for Pitbull, Taylor Swift, and Psy. It was kind of great. It’s reliving last year and talking about hopes for the next, though, that brings sadness. To some people staying home even means turning in before midnight. Though I haven’t done that, sometimes it doesn’t sound too bad. Maybe January first will feel like just another day if the hoopla is avoided altogether.
Beyond the complications New Year’s Eve brings, there’s a whole range of emotions saying good-bye to one year and hello to the next brings with it. Remembering all the good things that happened the previous year, wanting to time travel back to experience them over again. Wishing the year hadn’t passed you by. Another year gone. This always leads me to think of all the regrets I have of the previous year, the things I didn’t do, should have done, could have done. I didn’t take full advantage of the time the year offered me, didn’t do enough to make my dreams come true, to take a minute and relish in the simple, yet extraordinary things around me. In the blink of an eye the year is gone, and I fear I have wasted it.
But in the same breath, a new year is greeting me, offering me the chance to use it as much as I can, to wring all the life from it, to enjoy, work, play, celebrate, remember. It is hope. It is opportunity. It is a chance. And a chance is all I need, all any of us need, to turn a simple year into the best of our lives. So much can change in a year. Twelve whole months, 365 days to make things happen, and in that time none of us know for sure what will happen, a scary and comforting thought all at once.
Looking outside at the January snow and frigid temperatures, then down at my slightly swollen fingers from the cold air and over to my computer with blog traffic numbers I’m not happy with, completed novels I need to work harder to sell, and a half-finished screenplay I love, this year is staring me down. I cannot waste this year. I will not waste this year. This will be my year. I hope you all feel the same about 2013.
Anzac Cookies are a great recipe to start off a great year. A recipe from World War I, they are unique as they contain no eggs. They are also a little healthy with tons of oats and coconut, as long as you ignore the two sticks of butter :) This is another recipe I have wanted to make for years and finally got around to. I’m so glad I did, as it is a very early contender for one of my favorites of this year.
Big, thick, golden brown cookies with slightly crunchy edges and soft, gooey and sticky centers, thanks to Lyle’s Golden Syrup. This is a bit of a tough to find ingredient, but it is so worth seeking out. I use it in place of corn syrup all the time. The flavor is smooth and rich without being overly sweet. It is a must for these cookies. The oats and coconut add chewiness and flavor. Anzac Cookies are also incredibly easy to make, coming together in under 15 minutes, and then about 13 more in the oven. An irresistible treat with great flavor and texture, Anzac Cookies are a sure sign of a happy 2013!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup desiccated coconut (I use Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Flaked Coconut)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment or bake in batches using 1 or 2 sheets.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugar, and coconut. In a medium, microwave safe bowl, place butter and syrup. Microwave in 30 second increments until the butter is fully melted. Stir to make sure the syrup is incorporated into the butter.
- Add the baking soda to the boiling water and stir to combine. Pour the baking soda mixture into the melted butter mixture. Be careful as it may bubble. Stir to combine. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until a dough is formed.
- Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop tightly packed dough onto baking sheets, 6 to a sheet. Flatten very slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the cookies are golden brown, but still quite soft to the touch. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in 350 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes.