Wednesday, November 30, 2011

For Lisa.

You know those people who blog about stupidly complicated recipes with 59 steps and 26 different ingredients?  Those people?  Well today I’m one of them. 

 I made owl cookies.  They were time-consuming and tedious. They were finicky and miniature.  They were quirky and questioning little beings that stared at me wide-eyed from the plate.  I don’t suggest you make them.  But they were awesome. 

Ever since I visited London's Cinnamon Tree Bakery I've had their famous shortbread on my mind, so for my friend Dana’s birthday I thought what the heck, let’s go crazy.  Let’s make some wicked little owl cookies. 

It was a long and annoying process, and I cursed my plan after all of eight minutes.  I made the dough, rolled it into a log, froze it, cut it, rolled out some more dough, dusted it with cocoa powder, cut out the eyes, put two on each cookie, finished the eyes with tiny chocolate chips, chopped almonds in half for the beaks, added slivered almond horns, made patterns on their bellies with the tip of a paring knife, baked them, cooled them, packaged them, then transported them to Dana’s house, anxious the entire way they’d fall and be ruined.  They survived the journey, however, and were received with much enthusiasm.  

It took a few re-designs to get them right (phase one creatures resembled muppets, not owls) but by the end they were sufficiently wise-looking.  I don’t suggest you make them yourself because frankly you probably have better things to do with your time, but here's the shortbread recipe I used, which is  actually quite simple.  Eat them plain, dip them in dark chocolate, or by all means, turn the little suckers into owls if you want.  Just don't say I did warn you.  


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Danger Chocolate.

If I had a nine year-old daughter who came to me and said "I'm going to be an expired Hershey bar for Halloween," I would fist-pump the air, high-five her Dad, and know she was destined for greatness.  

My friend Carey's parents experienced just that, and while I don't know how they reacted, the latter part has proven true.  Happy Belated Halloween, Carey.  I wish I'd known you as a kid.

Please note, this bar expired in 1972.  That's some bad-ass chocolate.