Though I’m slowly coming around, Valentine’s Day has never been my favorite holiday. While, sure, it’s cool to get a card or some flowers, I’d much rather receive something a little more personal: a thoughtful homemade note, perhaps. Or, let’s face it, my ultimate fav: a snickerdoodle cookie (hint hint, Brian!)
In my youth, I was amazingly bitter about Love’s holiday. “It’s nothing but an invited holiday sponsored by greedy corporate American so the Halmarks and the 1-800-Flowers of the world can increase their bottom line,” my punk self would insist. And though I’m not sure I was totally off the mark, I do see the value in celebrating love. So, I figured, in honor of my younger self, I’d pay tribute to Valentine’s Day in a most untraditional way: with one of my favorite unexpected love stories. Nothing sappy. Nothing saccharine. Nothing…romantic, even. The book, is perhaps one of the best ever penned: Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.
When you think of love stories, this certainly isn’t the first that comes to mind. In fact, this novel centered on a man’s senseless murder of a pawnbroker probably doesn’t come to mind at all. But hear me out. This is more than the unraveling of a man’s mind. It’s more than a journey through the stages guilt. It’s the story of redemption through love. Raskolnikov’s ultimate salvation would not be possible without the influence, guidance, and loyalty of Sonya.
So, if you’re at all like me, and you enjoy a less than traditional Valentine’s Day, if Crime and Punishment is your love story of choice, then perhaps you’ll also enjoy a less traditional Valentine’s Day candy. Forget the chocolate…opt, instead, for cheese.
Cream Cheese Melty Mints:
4 oz Cream Cheese (softened)
1 TBS Butter
1 TBS Mint Extract
3 Cups Powdered Sugar
Red food coloring
Mix cream cheese, butter, and mint extract together in a large mixer. Beat until smooth.
Slowly add powdered sugar a little at a time until a soft dough forms. Remove from bowl and place on a clean surface. Add as much as ½ cup additional powdered sugar, if needed to keep dough from being sticky. Knead dough until soft and smooth (about 2 minutes).
Chill dough for about 30 minutes.
Cut into 3 equal pieces.
With red food coloring, tint one portion pink, and another red. Leave the third portion white.
Roll the portions into long ropes. Wind each of the three ropes together. Cut into about 50 bite size pieces.
Keep in refrigerator or freezer.