Monday, February 04, 2008

*beam me up, 'scotti.

What is it with coffee drinkers? They're masochists, I think. I can't imagine another scenario wherein it's considered completely rational to toss back huge cups of acid. There are times when I love the idea of a steaming mug of black, chewy coffee. But even that is a rare craving. And once it gets all fancified, well then you just lose me altogether.

So to all you devotees, the people who need that morning jolt of life ... this one is for you.

Because I have discovered the CURE for coffee's needless harshness. And that panacea is chocolate. Rocket science, right?

Per usual, the Italians have it all over us. The perfect partner on the coffee seesaw is biscotti. I've always thought these rock-hard cookies were Italy's answer to root canals, but it turns out I've been duped by stale bakery cases. Or at least Gourmet thinks so.

That's everything I needed! Almost. Baking soda was too shy to make an appearance. Either that, or I forgot it before taking the picture. Cocoa, salt, eggs, butter, flour, sugar, and—stealing the limelight—semisweet chocolate chips and walnuts. Then the wet and dry segregated. Yes, that is the fury-inducing, blue pill-needing "whisk."

SeƱor Sugar and Madame Butter enjoyed some private time with Los Huevos and came back frothy. When the dry ingredients joined the party, everything got really stiff.

Oh dear. Please disregard the rather suggestive nature of the previous sentences. Unless, you know, you like that sort of thing. The chocolate chips and walnuts made a late entrance, and everything got a little crowded.

There was some frou-frou business in the directions about flouring hands and such, but I'm no princess. I formed these logs without fanfare.

YES, I know what they look like. Please refrain from comment. If you're nice, I'll let you try them, and you'll forget what you were about to say. Stop acting like a child.

This is the point when the anxiety sets in. They're supposed to come out of the oven sort of firm-ish, and I always think one person's firm may be another person's ... not so firm (seriously, what is happening? I've hopped the sexy train to Commentaryville, and I can't get out). But I was pleasantly surprised by what emerged from my 350-degree oven after 35 minutes.

I mean, call me crazy, but ... that looks ... dare I say it? Right to me. It sat for 5 minutes, then I held my breath and sliced.

Weird, right? I mean, it actually (hi j-bo!) looks like it's supposed to. Back in the oven for another 10 minutes, and you have the perfect coffee-side treat. And a cameo by my grandmother's china, which always makes me happy.

I'm a little worried. This turned out well. And I think my cynicism took a holiday. Ah, well, I'm sure it shall return. And I hope this makes you happy, too.


at: 12:48 PM said...

Those are damn good crunchy brownies. I'm a little bake-shy, so any attempt to tackle a recipe like this is admirable.

Unknown says:
at: 8:31 AM said...

And you said you couldn't bake! Liar. Looks fabulous.

K. says:
at: 9:56 PM said...

j-bo: you shouldn't be. you are an excellent instinctive chef! baking is like cooking with training wheels on.

becky: who you callin' a liar?? thanks, though ... they weren't too shabby, if i do say so myself!



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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.