WHAT A PAIR! (-or- Moose Nuggets to say good-bye)
First there were Lucy and Ethel.
Then there were Barbie and Midge.
Then there were Gertrude and Alice.
Then there were Laverne and Shirley.
And then there were French and Saunders.
Now, there are Jamie and Clare. And what a pair.
Great women duos, what would one be without the other? One plays it straight or plays off the other, not as much sidekick as foil. They make fun of themselves, trip over each other, fall flat on their hypothetical backsides and get right up and start all over again. They know what the other is thinking before it is said, they reinvent themselves as they go along, they, in the end, are women, supported by the other, capable of anything, afraid of no situation and there is nothing they won’t try.
Clare and I just spent a week together. We have known each other for not quite a year, first through Mudflats then across the pages of Facebook. What happens when you finally meet someone you know only over the internet, what flits through your mind when you are off to pick them up at the train station knowing that they will be spending a whole week in your home?
The ten days have come and gone and she is now on her way to Switzerland. I am thrilled to say that Clare and I got along like a house on fire, as if we had been neighbors forever. Our inner Lucy and Ethel kicked in the minute we met face to face, Laverne and Shirley minus the beer factory. Well, we may not be as goofy as that greatest of American tv teams from the 50’s (I mean, false eyelashes and lipstick when you are disguised as a man? Who was she kidding?) or quite as outrageous as Dawn and Jennifer at their mightiest. We may not even be as glamorous as Barbie and Midge, but we made one hell of a great team.
She taught me to make no-knead bread, I introduced her to the first and best steak tartare she has and will ever eat. We showed each other clips of our favorite British Comedies and we laughed until we cried. Everything and anything makes us both think of food, and we giggled at all the bad hair, combovers, helmet hair and strange characters wherever we went. And if you don’t think that these things make for a tight friendship, then I don’t know what does. It was an outstanding week.
And we baked. We have posted what we made together. Yet as true Mudflatters, we watched in joy and fascination as the Governor of Alaska left office (I think you know my politics) and decided that the most perfectly appropriate something had to be made. Together. In honor of both Mudflats and the now-former Gov. I mean, after all, if it wasn’t for her we wouldn’t have ever met, now would we?
We batted around ideas, racked our brains for hours, for the perfect Going Away Party treat to offer our friends in celebration of this strange political victory, deliberating between Egg On Your Face Word Salad, Half-Baked Alaska and various other dishes, and finally settled on these wonderfully gooey, chocolaty goodies. We now offer up Nutty Moose Nuggets and a thank you for AKM not only for her fabulous blog, both amusing and informative, but for bringing us all together.
NUTTY BROWNIE DROP COOKIES (MOOSE NUGGETS)
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
6 oz (180 g) semi-sweet chocolate, either chips or chopped (we used Lindt Dessert 70%)
1 oz (30 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped (we used Lindt Dessert 85%)
2 Tbs (30 g) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup (135 g) sugar
¼ cup (30 g) flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1 cup (100 g) coarsely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment or oven paper.
Place the chopped chocolates in a medium-sized bowl in the microwave (or over a pan of simmering but not boiling water) and heat gently until almost melted.
Add the softened butter and stir vigorously until all the remaining bits of chocolate and the butter are thoroughly melted, combined and smooth.
Add the vanilla and the two eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk or beat together (by hand) until smooth.
Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add to the chocolate mixture and stir until completely combined and smooth.
Fold in the chopped nuts.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake (I bake one batch at a time in my tiny French oven) for 8 to 10 minutes until just barely set in the center but no longer gooey. Remove from the oven and carefully lift off and remove to a metal cooling rack to cool.
These rich, dark, fudgy cookies with the crunch of nuts are the perfect treat to have with a cold glass of milk or a hot coffee as you are sitting in your jammies in front of your computer, watching Alan Partridge on dvd or (yes we did) Tropic Thunder.