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Chef’s salad: a classic summer dinner we had growing up, served with warm baguette + Kerrygold butter on muggy, humid Illinois evenings accompanied by a deafening cicada soundtrack.

Adapted from Bon Appetit. August 2003.

Summer Chef’s Salad (recipe)

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 5 cups butter lettuce (3 oz)
  • 10 ounces Black Forest ham, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 6 ounces Swiss cheese, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded peeled carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (about 10 ounces)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade (stack leaves, roll into a tube then sliver)

Puree olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and oregano in blender or food processor until smooth. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. 

Arrange lettuce on large platter. Arrange ham strips, cheese strips, shredded carrots, and halved tomatoes in spoke-like pattern atop mesclun. Place egg wedges around edge of platter. Sprinkle with slivered basil. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve. 

-Paulina 

One of our ~followers~, Anna, asked if we were Dutch and oh my lawd are we ever (half) Dutch! Our papa is from a small province in the south of the Netherlands, a historied legacy of Catholic potato farmers who spoke only in Zeeuws, a dialect incomprehensible to most of the country. We grew up visiting our cousins in Holland almost every year, and as a result consider ourselves minor experts in the (purely academic, sociological) study of Dutch snack foods. 

The Dutch are not a classical cuisine culture, but maybe more as a result of the extremely down-to-earth approach to food than the actual quality of what they make. Because the food there - in restaurants and grocery stores - is incredible. Of course, Nel and I generally focus on grocery store snacks (above) and greasy snackbars with frikandel (hot dog boiled in OIL), kaassouffle (basically deep fried cheese), fries with mayo and peanut sate sauce and other frittered delights because of our priorities in life. However, if you are a fancy foodie and prefer gem lettuces and ramps you can get more than your fair share; the Netherlands are, after all, one of the largest exporters of agricultural and food products in the world.

A SNACKSCUSSION

Hagelslag and Calve Pindakaas: we’ve talked about this before. Nothing compares to Dutch peanut butter and sliced bread, and putting chocolate sprinkles on top and calling it breakfast? GODDANG.

A bottle of white wine: because everything tastes better when you’re buzzed.

HARIBO: this is a bit nostalgic, since we lived in France from 1990-1994 as wee lassies. I loathe marshmallows but these bananas are the best, especially when they get stale; crack the bag open a day before you plan on eating them. Dragibus are oversized, delicious round jellybeans. Pinballs are sort of the sour version of Dragibus. Whatever you do, never buy the little fried eggs. Once before a trip to Switzerland we were each allowed to get a bag of Haribo for the train, and I was lured into the eggs’ cute trap and spent the entire trip extremely upset and jealous of Nellie’s strawberry softies. 

Milka with Tuc: Milka is a wonderful super-creamy type of chocolate bar. a Tuc is a French brand of the most delicious, buttery, crispy salty cracker you can even imagine times two. They made the Tuc tiny and jammed in a Milka Bar and it is unbelievably delicious - the buttery, super saltiness framed by soft milky chocolate. 

Conimex Nasi Goreng mix: Conimex is a popular Dutch brand of grocery store fast Indonesian food; this mix is delicious in fried rice with cut up bacon and chicken and fried egg. 

Fristi: a delicious sweet yogurt (or “joghurt”) drink for kids; it’s shelf stable because duh, mega-pasteurized boxed milk is big in Europe. It’s got an iron tang I could never get behind, though.

Vla: vla is a very important custard and pudding thing that usually comes in big milk cartons and you just fill up your bowl and frost it with whipped cream in a can and call it a day.

Albert Heijn Blueberry Muffin Yogurt:  this isn’t some Yoplait Whips Key Lime Pie bullshit. This is full-fat yogurt with crumbly chunks of an actual blueberry muffin floating around inside. It is unbelievable.

Lotus speculoospasta (“speculoos paste”): you know Trader Joe’s crunchy cookie butter? They’ve had this in the Netherlands for years. Decades, even. You probably feel like you’ve been living in the Soviet Union knowing that now, don’t you. 

Chocomel: is very delicious canned chocolate milk and appropriate for all occasions. We have never tried to mix it with alcohol but I imagine some Bailey’s would be out of this world.

There you have it - our souls laid bare upon this picnic bench outside the Buikslotermeer Albert Heijn. Dutch pals, what are we missing?

- Paulina

Happy Quatorze Juillet/Bastille Day! I made the French classic coq au vin for my mother and I, because apparently this is Valentine’s Day 1983 and I’m feelin’ fancy.

You MUST use Julia Child’s recipe (spoiler alert: saute everything in separate pans in lots of butter. Dirty as many pans as you possibly can.) Also, you MUST talk exclusively in a Jooollleeeeyyyyaaa voice, as interpreted by Meryl Streep in the modern classic Julie & Julia. I initially typo’d “Julia & Julia”, which is appropriate because I only watch the Julia parts. 

The recipe is available here; the best part is the obligatory first comment where someone said they just threw it all in a Crock-Pot, and I deeply wished I had done that instead when gazing upon the detritus of pans, cutting boards, and pathogen-breeding raw chicken juices splayed across the kitchen.

So celebrate instead with the Crock-Pot version perhaps, a glass of pastis, and several hours of gratuitous Tour de France château money shots.

-Paulina

OPA! Organic Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce [A Recipe for Tzatziki Sauce]

A few weeks ago, I got to use my amateur photography skills at home for a big grilling photo shoot for work. I also got to taste-test this burger and confirm that it was, in fact, delicious. 

Here is my favorite recipe for tzatziki sauce - it’s from Michael Psilakis’ “How to Roast a Lamb” - it’s edited a tiny bit, because I usually have cilantro on hand but not fresh dill. I also think he uses too much white vinegar, so I’ve reduced it down as well.

It’s summer, get out and get your grill on.

Tzatziki

Makes 1 quart (1 litre)

1 English cucumber, peeled and seeded

8 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

4 shallots, thickly sliced

1 cup washed and chopped cilantro

21⁄2 cups (625 mL) strained or Greek yogurt (full-fat, please!) or labne spread

2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper

Quarter the cucumber lengthwise and trim off the triangular wedge of seeds. Cut the cucumber into very small, even dice. Transfer it to a mixing bowl.

In a food processor, combine the garlic, vinegar, shallots and cilantro. Pulse until finely chopped but not puréed. Add the mixture to the cucumber; add the yogurt. Fold together with a rubber spatula, adding the olive oil and lemon juice. Season liberally with kosher salt and pepper, starting off with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt. Taste for seasoning. You can store tzatziki in a covered, clean jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. This tastes best once it’s been sitting in the fridge for a while.

- Nellie

Cronus Devouring His Cronut, a nonconsensual collabo between myself and Goya.

- Paulina

This month’s Bon Appetit just came in the mail and it is all about grilling, which is my new favorite thing to do. I think I was kind of intimidated because I felt like my hot zone was never hot and the cold zone was oddly too scorchy. On a gas stove, things seem much more controllable and things don’t get leathery or stick.

I am contemplating starting a tag here called “Grilling Gals” because now we have a gas grill (for free) and a Weber charcoal grill (given to my fiancé for his 28th birthday a few years ago). So basically, it’s pretty easy fodder for content and I want to encourage you all to try it if you have access to some outdoor space and a grill.

Anyway, grilling always seems like this male-dominated domain of sorts, which is silly, because grilling is just appealing from so many angles - you’re outside, for one!

More to come on this front.

- Nellie

[Recipe] Mixed Greens with Roasted Asparagus and Apple
Makes 8 servings. Barely adapted from a June 2000 edition of Bon Appetit magazine.

When I was home this weekend, my mom whipped out her extremely large recipe binder (one of three binders, mind you) and started prepping the fixings for this salad, which is very good and has lots of sweet and salty components to it. 

I thought I’d share it with all of you - it’s a great early summer recipe and can easily be multiplied to feed a crowd.

Yes, roasted asparagus looks pretty gross, but it is really delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 24 thin asparagus stalks, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 5-ounce packages mixed baby greens (my mother’s religion is heavily based in using butter lettuce from Costco, or from her garden when available)
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, quartered, cored, diced. We used Fuji because that’s what we had.
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, cut into thin ribbons with vegetable peeler

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange asparagus in single layer on large baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast 30 minutes, turning once. Let cool 5 minutes.Try not to burn your mouth when you basically eat all of them at once, leaving very little for your family’s salad portion.

Meanwhile, whisk remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, vinegar, honey and garlic in small bowl to blend. Place greens in large bowl. Add vinaigrette to greens and toss to coat. Mound salad on each of 8 plates. Top with diced apple and cheese, dividing equally. Arrange asparagus on top.

Walk outside and take a picture of your plate out in the grass, because it’s SO GREEN IN ILLINOIS!

- Nellie

[Recipe] Spicy Coconut Mussels with Grilled Sourdough

New mussels recipes are always a risky venture because there’s nothing sadder than killing 300 little animals for a mediocre dish. Thankfully, this one turned out absolutely delicious and will forever be in my repertoire. I had the unforgettable coconut-curry mussels with grilled sourdough cubes at Five Leaves in Greenpoint sometime, oh, four years ago and knew I needed to one day make an at-home version.

Spicy Coconut Mussels with Grilled Sourdough, adapted from the New York Times. This versions serves 4 people who love mussels (including the other half of Faux Pasta, who is at home with me right now!)

Ingredients

4 tbsp coconut or neutral oil

In a separate bowl, combine:
2 shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks lemon grass, trimmed (outer layers removed) and finely chopped - use the back of your knife to crush the stalks, then slice them lengthwise.
1 small hot chile (like Thai bird, Serrano, Scotch bonnet or jalapeño), seeded, ribs removed, and finely chopped
1-2 tbsp finely minced, cleaned cilantro stems

2 cups unsweetened coconut milk - light works fine, but heavy is richer
6 pounds fresh mussels, rinsed well
Zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
1-2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce, or to taste
1 cup whole cilantro leaves (pull the leaves off when dry, then rinse them in a strainer. Rinsing before makes them hard to pull apart.)

1 sourdough boule, cut into thick slices
Olive oil for brushing

1. Inspect your mussels, tossing out any that are already open or broken. Pull off the fuzzy “beard” that may remain on the side, and soak them in a large bowl for 10-15 minutes.

2. You may have to use two pots to do this, unless you have a tremendously large stock pot. Heat the oil in the bottom of a large pot (or two, dividing the total oil above) until hot. Add the shallot, garlic, lemon grass and chile. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the coconut milk and mussels. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook until the mussels have opened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the mussels to a large bowl, leaving the liquid in the pot. 

4. Stir the lemon zest and juice, fish sauce and cilantro into the pot. Taste and add more fish sauce and/or lemon juice if needed (fish sauce provides the salt and a rich, brothy taste.) Pick through your mussels and find any that haven’t opened yet, and drop them back into the pot - they might just be late bloomers. If they haven’t opened in a couple of minutes, discard them. Deadbeats.

5. As the mussels cook, heat the broiler or grill. Brush the sourdough with olive oil on both sides and grill or broil until crusty.

6. Pour the broth into 4 bowls, and top with mussels. Bring the remainder in a pot to a table so everyone can re-up their bowls over the course of the dinner.

- Paulina

[Recipe] Green Chile Chicken Tamales

I plunged headfirst into a tamale-making project the other day, when a perfect storm of:

1. Unemployment
2. Saw my mom scope out the tamales at Costco last week

brewed to a head.  However, without the steady ship’s captain of someone’s kindly abuelita showing me how to gently massage the secret ingredients of love (amor) and compassion (Crisco) into the masa harina, I turned this project into My Struggle, which I shall share with you. I’m your abuelita now, and you’re my niece now.

I used this recipe for Green Chile Chicken Tamales from Epicurious, except for in the above close-up which represents when I ran out of filling and slapped in some canned Goya black beans and cheese. 

HOT TIPS for HOT TAMALES! 

1. Those little tied up packets do look cute and provide closure for everyone involved, but it looks like most places do an open-ended packet that would have slowed the onslaught of carpal tunnel syndrome.

2. Steam these puppies for 2 hours, not 45 minutes. Check the Epicurious comments if you don’t believe me. 

3. Chilllllll out, bro! No, really: let your tamales cool down after this steam sesh otherwise they’ll be super mushy and your audience will smatter the conversation with weak compliments about how they “like it better mushy anyways.”  I don’t like to cool down either, ESPECIALLY when I exercise, and that’s why I have a stress fracture and a full calf orthopedic boot just in time for summer. Don’t repeat my mistakes. 

- Paulina

My friend Kate also made a great kale and apple salad for a dinner party along with coconut amino kelp noodles with shrimp. Super tasty (and healthy)- I’ll get the recipe from her and share!
Nellie

Working Gal Office Lunch: Kale Caesar with Farro and Homemade Croutons

I’m starting a new series, as of right now, called the Working Gal Office Lunch series. I was waffling between “girl” and “woman,” and realized that “gal” is the perfect old-timey confluence of the two.

This lunch is perfect for a working gal, minus the garlic blast that comes from eating this. And maybe the kale. Maybe this is more of a nighttime dish to be enjoyed with crackers, brie, and wine. But I’m also the kind of person who has a toothbrush and toothpaste in my desk - I am, after all, my mother’s daughter. And my father’s daughter. Basically, just a daughter, all-around.

A few nights ago, my sweetheart came home to a whole pile of de-ribbed and washed kale that was drying next to the sink, and said, “What is this?”

A long time ago, I made him a raw kale salad and his response was, “Isn’t this supposed to be cooked?”

This Tumblr post is starting off incredibly well! Let’s get to the recipe.

About the dressing: this caesar dressing does NOT have cheese (oh god, I’m losing you!), because I didn’t think it needed it. The recipe is from So Delushious, which is Chrissy Teigen’s blog. I don’t know, she’s funny and beautiful and likeable. I just like her! It’s hard to explain. The rest is inspired by Berkeley, California’s Pasta Shop/Market Hall, which makes this salad, but for like $6 a container. It’s cheaper to make it yourself, maybe.

Caesar Dressing (Adapted from So Delushious, 1/2 the recipe)

  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoons anchovy paste (like the kind from a tube, they are $2.49 and last forever in the fridge in a creepy kind of way)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or red wine vinegar)
  • 3/4 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayo (I like the organic TJ’s kind)
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Chrissy’s instructions call for a bowl and a whisk and stuff, but I just throw everything into the mini food processor that I got for free when I bought a Cuisinart immersion blender from Costco for $30, so that is the way that I recommend doing things. Follow her instructions if you don’t have a food processor (or blender).

Taste your caesar dressing. It should taste delicious and not fishy. If it tastes fishy, up some of the other ingredients (minus the anchovies) and whizz for a bit so you don’t taste it.

This makes more dressing than you need.

Salad and Croutons

  • One bunch of kale
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of farro (I like a lot of farro in mine)
  • Dead half loaf of baguette
  • Half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper

Preheat your oven to 400F. Wash and remove stems from a bunch of curly kale. Dry very, very well and slice into thin ribbons, and place in a bowl, squeeze a lemon lightly over top, season with a little bit of salt, and massage for a bit. Put this bowl aside.

Take half a loaf of a dead baguette and cut up into bite size pieces (you can’t really tear it at this point), toss onto a baking sheet, and pour over butter and olive oil. Toss to evenly coat, then scatter some salt on top. Maybe like a teaspoon or more. Toast the croutons until they are golden (you will be able to smell them), and take them out. I think it took 15-20 min or so.

Start with about 2-3 tablespoons of the prepped, homemade caesar dressing, and drizzle then toss the kale. You can add more later, but you should be able to taste a ribbon of kale without it being thickly coated.

In the meantime, fill a small pot with water and a healthy amount of salt, bring to a boil, and toss in your farro. Let your farro cook for 25 minutes, drain.

NOW HERE’S THE IMPORTANT STEP: put the hot farro straight into your bowl of kale. It will slightly wilt it and turn it bright green. 

Add a little more dressing if it needs it. Toss in the croutons. If you toasted them long enough, they will actually get kind of a perfect softness to them (if you like that) but they will not get soggy when you leave the whole salad in the fridge.

I made this the night before, and also stored it for two days, and it was still great two days later. I didn’t add any extra dressing, but you can if you really love the dressing.

- Nellie

Nellie’s Trip to King Arthur Flour’s World-Class Baking Education Center — and a Recipe for Whole Wheat Cinnamon Scones

About a month ago, I got the coolest opportunity of my entire life to go to Norwich, Vermont for a work trip. I know, I haven’t talked about my trip to the East Coast at all yet. About once or twice a year, my team at work gets together with other folks who work in the organic and natural food industry. We learn best practices, share cool tips & tricks, chat, eat a lot, and it doesn’t feel like work AT ALL. It’s great, and I get so much out of it. 

This summit in particular was exceptionally cool, because it was held at King Arthur Flour’s widely-acclaimed Baking Education Center. In addition to the amazing array of baking classes you can take, like Empanadas in Grenada and Gnocchi Your Heart Out (I made these up), it’s also hosted some of my favorite food bloggers — most recently, Joy of Joy the Baker.

Anyway, there’s a long list of reasons why I was excited about this trip, but one of my favorite parts of it was a break-out session all about BAKING WHOLE WHEAT CINNAMON SCONES WITH CINNAMON CHIPS, taught by one of their full-time baking educators. They were amazing. I am usually not into scones and I was very much into these.

Did I mention there’s a gift shop, and they sell almost every specialty product you could ever hope to purchase for your home kitchen? I came home with maple sugar, edible glitter, lemon sugar, vanilla extract, a bowl scraper, pizza seasoning, and POWDERED VERMONT CHEESE to use for biscuits and crackers. I put it on popcorn and it’s delicious.

I mean, come on. I don’t even know what my life is right now. 

King Arthur did a great job of hosting our crew of social media, digital, & PR professionals (photo credit goes to a bunch of them), and they’ve kindly let me share the exclusive-to-the-baking-education-center recipe with our Tumblr crowd, so I’ve re-posted it below for your viewing and making pleasure:

King Arthur Flour’s Whole Wheat Cinnamon Scones with Cinnamon Chips Recipe

Ingredients:

For the scones:

2 cups (8 ounces) King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour (white or premium)

2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) chilled, unsalted butter

3/4 cup (6 ounces) buttermilk

1 egg yolk (save the white for topping the scones)

1/2 cup cinnamon chips

For the topping:

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Sparkling white sugar

Directions:

Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Cut in the butter with a pastry blender. 

Whisk together the buttermilk and egg yolk and stir into the dry mixture until a dough forms.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently and quickly knead in the cinnamon chips.

Pat the dough into a flat disk about 7 inches across and cut it into wedges. 

Transfer the disk to a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet. For crispier scones, separate the wedges; for softer, higher rising scones, leave them in the circle. 

Brush the tops of the scones with the egg white and sprinkle with sparkling white sugar. Bake them in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 27 minutes, inspecting at midpoint to admire and turn. 

Remove the scones from the oven when they’re light, golden brown and cool them on a wire rack.

- Nellie

Welcome to your new favorite snack, friends! It’s a magical combination of tortilla chips, fancy cottage cheese, and a bit old tub of za’atar that you’re just gonna dump all over the whole thing. I’m one of those people who really enjoys the gentle milky blobbiness that is cottage cheese, but I know it’s not for everyone. Good snack if you want chips and dip but kinda feel like you might go down a slippery slope with some onion dip.
- Nellie

Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe (adapted from Cook’s Country)

Serves 6.

I was working out at the gym one day watching the Cook’s Illustrated folks make a really delicious chicken salad, and I knew that’s what I had to make when my friend came over for a Sunday lunch. She ended up having a bad migraine and couldn’t make it, so I’ve been having this for lunch at work for the past few days and it’s been SO. GOOD. And it’s so healthy, so I am feeling preeeetty virtuous right now. This is nothing like the canned mess of faux-Chinese chicken salads you typically find at your average quick-service restaurant. It’s fresh and has the perfect amount of texture contrasts. If you don’t want to poach your own chicken breasts you can use rotisserie chicken, but it’s a pretty easy (and delicious) poaching technique.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (I honestly grated my thumb up a little bit around 1.5 tablespoons and really didn’t feel it needed that much more - 1.5 tablespoons is FINE)
1 tablespoons sugar
1 clove of minced garlic
1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of SWEET chile sauce (this is Thai and it’s not at all spicy - it is not sriracha)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
2 romaine lettuce hearts (12 ounces), sliced thin
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 2-inch-long matchsticks

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup salted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
6 scallions, sliced thin on the bias


INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and chili-garlic sauce in bowl; transfer ½ cup orange juice mixture to 12-inch skillet. Slowly whisk vegetable oil and sesame oil into remaining orange juice mixture to make vinaigrette; set aside.

2. Bring orange juice mixture in skillet to boil. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until meat registers 160 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to plate and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, boil pan juices until reduced to 1/4 cup, 1 to 3 minutes; set aside. Using 2 forks, shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Off heat, add chicken, any accumulated juices, and 2 tablespoons vinaigrette to skillet. Toss to coat and let sit for 10 minutes.

4. Toss romaine, bell peppers, cilantro, peanuts, and scallions with remaining vinaigrette in large bowl. Transfer to serving platter and top with chicken. Serve.

NOTE: I made this for my lunches at work this week and just kept the toppings in separate tupperware containers, with the dressing in a mason jar, and just assembled it as I wanted to eat it.

- Nellie

Forgive me for this photograph of what appears to be a crackly polished turd, for how does one properly convey the tastiness of these chocolate-walnut dreams? I came across this recipe as all great cooks do, namely via one’s father subscribing to the WSJ and one’s mother saving the Food & Drink sections in the junk drawer for said great cook to read while eating breakfast.

This batter is so runny you’ll want to add another tablespoon of flour, but don’t! Just let the walnuts and chocolate chips give it shape and learn to live with the uncertainty. I waffled on whether or not the cookies were sweet enough, so you may want to add another tablespoon or two of sugar to half, or something. I also toasted the walnuts (raw walnuts are terrible) and reordered the steps for MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY so you can get these cookies into your gullet faster.

Bittersweet Decadence Cookies

¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
5½ ounces 70%-72% (dark, or bittersweet) chocolate (this Trader Joe’s chocolate is the perfect amount)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups walnuts or pecans, broken into large pieces
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, i.e. chocolate chips

1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Roughly crush the two cups of walnuts, put them in a brownie pan and set them in the oven. In about 7-10 minutes they’ll be toasty, so set a timer to pull them out then, shaking the pan around at the halfway mark.

2. Set a medium-sized metal bowl over a pot to create a double boiler. Add enough water to the pot to reach just below bottom of bowl. Heat water in double boiler to a steady simmer. Add the 5½ ounces of dark chocolate and all 3 tbsp of butter to the metal bowl of double boiler and stir until butter is incorporated into melted chocolate. Remove bowl and set aside. Let cool to room temperature. Leave water simmering in pan.

3. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla together. Set bowl over pot of simmering water and stir until mixture is lukewarm to the touch. At this point your walnuts should be done, so check on those if you haven’t already forgotten!

4. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

5. Stir egg mixture into chocolate. Stir flour mixture into chocolate until incorporated, then stir in nuts and remaining chocolate.

6. Use a tablespoon to scoop out batter and place on cookie sheets, 1½ inches apart. Bake until surface of cookies looks dry and set but center is still gooey, 12-14 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. The Wall Street Journal thinks this makes 36 cookies, but you may (I definitely) only get 24 due to a loosely defined tablespoon.


-Paulina