Adult chocolate cookies

November 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm (A (4 stars, love), Alice Medrich, Cookies, Derek's faves, Necessarily nonvegan)

This recipe from Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies is actually titled “Robert’s Chocolate Cookies,” but I call them adult chocolate cookies because they’re supposed to be  chocolate cookies for the “sophisticated palate.”   Medrich describes these cookies as “only slightly sweet, but rich and gooey, and laced with the chunks of the finest unsweetened chocolate in the world.”  Robert Steinberg created the recipe for his company, Scharffenberger, and thus they call for Scharffenberger unsweetened chocolate.  Medrich says if you can’t find it then use bittersweet chocolate of another brand, as most brands of unsweetened chocolate are too harsh and bitter to enjoy as chunks.   I first made these cookies in 2006, when I checked Cookies and Brownies out from the Pittsburgh library.  I adored them, but didn’t make them again until now.  Right before I moved to Germany, I toured the Scharffenberger factory in Berkeley, and bought a number of bars of their chocolate.  The Berkeley factory is now sadly defunct.  Hershey bought out the company, and closed down the factory, and consolidated Scharffen Berger production in Illinois with some of their other “gourmet” chocolate brands.  I haven’t tried the chocolate since the buy-out.  But I still had an (expired) bar of Berkeley-produced Scharffenberger  unsweetened chocolate in the pantry, and I decided it was finally time to try these cookies again.

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Chipotle roasted potatoes

November 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm (A (4 stars, love), Derek's faves, Fall recipes, Peter Berley, Quick weeknight recipe, Root vegetables, Winter recipes, Yearly menu plan)

This is the recipe that Peter Berley (in Fresh Food Fast) pairs with the baked escarole and eggs recipe that I blogged about yesterday.  The potatoes are steamed briefly (to speed up the roasting time) and then tossed with crushed cumin, garlic, salt, chipotles in adobo sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh thyme, and paprika.  Then the potatoes are baked on a cookie sheet at a very high temperature until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.  Berley warns in the headnotes that these are “some really spicy roasted potatoes,” but I chose small-ish chipotles, and our potatoes turned out spicy but not as fiery as I expected.  I liked the potatoes a lot, and Derek loved them.  There’s something about spicy, crispy roast potatoes that’s just very satisfying on a cold autumn day.  And the lemon juice and garlic add a little acidity and bite, which contrast nicely with the dark, roasted, smoky flavors of the cumin, paprika, and adobo sauce. Read the rest of this entry »

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