With travel and work consuming September, there hasn’t been much domesticity in Casa de Kelli as of late. Last weekend, one of my most favorite people in the world came to visit and I barely got the sheets washed in time. I’m still playing a bit of catchup, although thankfully after two weeks of excessive exercise and lots of water and fresh vegetables, I’m starting to feel like my old self again.
What to do when your pants just start to fit? Why bake, of course.
I had several hours yesterday to play, so I took the opportunity to read the September issue of Martha Stewart Living, which includes a wonderful recipe for polenta quicktime lemon thyme bread. Usually I find Martha’s recipes unnecessarily difficult and tedious. Not so with this one. I give it a five out of five bananas, absoloodle.
The recipe is quick, simple and the results are delicious. I passed them out last night after dinner with friends, and am taking a few others to my grandparent’s house today. Like all bread recipes, I find it easier to bake them in the individual loaf pans, rather than one large pan. This makes controlling serving sizes easier for everyone.
If I were making these for myself, I would not include pine nuts. They are not my favorite.
While in the kitchen, I whipped up a batch of Queenscliff-Sorrento chocolate hedgehogs. One of my friends from the bagel shop, AJ, generously gave me an extra computer printer he had. (I’d purchased a computer for my grandparents, but no printer. His generosity made the gift that much more complete.) In turn, I asked for his favorite baked good and without hesitation, he said, “HEDGEHOGS!”
He and his wife discovered the chocolate bar cookies on a recent trip to Australia and he was tickled pink when I showed up at the bagel shop this morning with an entire casserole dish of them.
They are fairly simple to make, but I warn you, they are as close to a heart attack in a dish as I’ve ever created — with some six sticks of butter and six eggs included. Can you imagine? AY! But of the small bite I had, they are truly a treat.
Recipe: Queenscliff-Sorrento Chocolate Hedgehogs
4 packages Marie cookies
(Gamesa‚Äôs version is called Marias)
(They can be found in the Mexican food isle of major grocery store chains)
2 cups walnut pieces
21 ounces butter
1 ¬Ω cups cocoa powder
2 ¬Ω cups superfine granulated sugar
6 large eggs beaten
21 ounces dark chocolate chips
(Milk chocolate chips can be substituted)
(Hershey‚Äôs versions are called Special Dark Chips or Milk Chocolate Chips)
4 ¬Ω ounces vegetable oil
In a large bowl, break cookies and walnuts into pieces (not too finely).
In a bowl over a simmering pan of water, melt the butter. Stir in sugar and cocoa and then take off the heat and add the beaten eggs stirring briskly.
Pour over cookie and walnut pieces and mix thoroughly all together.
Line a large, deep tray (20 inches x 12 inches x 4 inches deep) or four 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pans with plastic wrap. Put mixture into pan(s), pressing very firmly and cool over night in refrigerator.
To make the topping, melt the chocolate chips and oil in a bowl over simmering water until smooth, then pour over the cold mixture in the pan(s). Spread topping evenly and refrigerate.
When thoroughly chilled and set, use the plastic wrap to lift the molded mixture out of the pan(s). Place it topping side up and cut into 1 inch wide pieces with large, sharp knife wiping blade between each slice.