Friday, July 30, 2010

Lick The Spoon

It is sad that in most households today, children are no longer handed the near empty bowl of batter and given the opportunity to lick up every last drop of whatever confection has since gone into the oven or skillet. This is one of the greatest joys of childhood, or at least it was of mine. I have a mere handful of memories from time spent in the kitchen growing up, but most of them consisted of tracing my finger along a smooth glass bowl, creating trails in chocolate, and trying to twist my tongue around the metal beaters, determined to reach every last little nook and cranny. Now that is all becoming a thing of the past thanks to salmonella scares, which can easily be avoided by purchasing high quality, fresh eggs. But it seems like there is always something. It is becoming more and more rare to see children playing outside much these days, walking the sidewalks or climbing neighborhood trees... the potential for disaster to strike can be found anywhere if you are looking hard enough to find it. Do you remember the delight and feeling of importance that came from sitting in your parents lap and "driving" with your hands on the steering wheel? Since the advent of car seats and mandating that children be placed in boosters until they are practically of voting age, I imagine that this practice will too become only a remembrance. We are all so advanced, so cautious, so informed, and so missing out. We let our fears hold us back from things in life that can bring us so much joy, even those found in the sweetest of simplicities. Of course safety is a parents utmost priority, but with a little common sense, we can all get involved, get dirty, and lick the spoon.

Super Chocolaty Crackle Cookies

-These cookies are wonderfully rich and will satisfy even the most intense of chocolate cravings! Purchase the best quality of chocolate you can afford, it will make all of the difference.

6 oz good quality semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped if in a brick
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
6 TBS (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 TBS instant espresso powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chopped walnuts
3/4 cup good quality semisweet chips

-preheat oven to 325 degrees andlightly grease 2 cookie sheets
-melt the semisweet and unsweetened chopped chocolate with the butter over a double boiler and remove to cool
-whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside
-cream the eggs, espresso powder, and vanilla in an electric mixer on medium speed until thick and creamy-add the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and beat until combined, then add the flour mixture until just incorporated
-fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts by hand
-scoop the batter (it will be very runny) right away with an ice cream scoop or a large spoon and drop onto prepared pans 3 inches apart and bake for 12 to 15 minutes
-cool on the pans for 10 minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack
-do what you would like with the extra batter in the bowl

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