turkish coffee brownies

Ok some little life updates!

The snow is here to stay, I believe. I keep seeing the high of 37º that’s in the forecast for the middle of the week and get very nervous that the snow will leave but Eggboy has assured me that because the ground is frozen the snow likely won’t be going anywhere.

I wear one kind of sock now. They are thick hiking socks, made by Stance, that hug my feet and will never get holes. I never thought I would feel so satisfied about finding a good sock but then again I also never thought that I’d be living in the north pole. 

It’s floor length parka weather!! 

I am in a fantasy figure skating league. I didn’t rank so well for the Cup of China but I’m hoping to be as familiar with this year’s competitors as possible so that the Olympics are that much more exciting. I’ve also obviously begun planning my Olympic party menus, which, no offense to my friends, will probably be served during all of the other sports besides figure skating because when the Shib Sibs come on I’ll need to be in silence and alone so that I can weep. 

An embarrassing amount of my time these days is spent looking for an outfit for my 10 year high school reunion. Do I wear a dress that shows that I’ve been going to the gym an average of 3.5 times a week and eating my yogurt? Or do I wear a wool romper that says that I don’t care if they care that I’ve gone to the gym an average of 3.5 times a week and et my yogurt? Or do I just wear my winter going out uniform of a dark grey turtleneck and dark jeans because it’s comfy and this is about seeing my old friendsies?????? Do they even want to see me????? Will there be name tags??? Should I wax my eyebrows?? Plz send help. But mostly Shopbop gift cards. 

Macaroni have let themselves go. It gets dark around here practically right after lunch and then doesn’t get light again until after my twelfth coffee so there is basically just enough sunlight to foster the entire Macaroni flock laying a collective one egg a day. It is so dumb!!!! The ones who lay the blue eggs have just stopped. 🙄 Come on you silly birds. 

It’s fine though cause I’ve also let myself go and went to bed at 9:50 last night. Yolo!

So in keeping with the theme of letting ourselves go, let’s make something that will be ready by the time the sun goes down. It always blows my mind how quickly and easily brownies come together and I wonder why I don’t make them more often. But easiness does not equal a lack of fanciness in this case, no way. These brownies are based off of my mom’s fudgey schnapps brownies (in Molly on the Range) but instead of schnapps, they’re taking on a flavor profile inspired by Turkish coffee, which often has cardamom mixed in. I first had a Turkish coffee brownie at Fargo’s cute little bagel shop, Bernbaum’s, and recognized its beauty right away. Coffee and chocolate are an obvious good match, but coffee and chocolate and cardamom??? That is a power trio on par with Haim, ya dig? I’ve added a bit of cinnamon as well to help drive home the warmth of the cardamom and the result is one truly fancy brownie.

And a fancy brownie needs a fancy nut!!! Here I’ve added Heirloom Walnuts, which are part of Diamond of California’s new line of Heirloom Reserve Nuts (Pecans and Marcona Almonds are the other two nuts in this line). These walnuts are a varietal that have remained unchanged for generations and have natural, beautifully rustic irregularities. They lend wonderful flavor and texture to these brownies!!


turkish coffee brownies

makes 16 brownies

ingredients

1/2 c (64g) all-purpose flour

1 c (200g) sugar

1/3 c (27g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

2 tsp instant espresso powder

1/2 c (113g) unsalted butter, melted but not hot

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 c (90g) toasted chopped diamond of california heirloom walnuts, plus more for topping

 

for the glaze:

1 c (120g) powdered sugar

3 tb (15g) cocoa powder

3 tb unsalted butter, melted

1 tb brewed coffee or 1/4 tsp espresso powder + 1 tb water

1 tb (21g) honey

1/4 tsp cardamom

Pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

 

Sprinkles, for topping

clues

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8” by 8” pan and line with parchment paper, allowing 1” wings to hang over the edges.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and espresso powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the walnuts and pour the mixture into the pan. Spread it out evenly (it will be quite a thin layer) and bake for 25 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Lift them out of the pan and place on the rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, whisk all ingredients until smooth. Pour the glaze on the brownies, spread it around, and top with walnuts and sprinkles. Let dry and then cut into squares. Enjoy!

-yeh!

Thank you to diamond nuts for sponsoring this post! Starting this month, their new line of Heirloom Reserve Nuts are available in the produce sections of fine grocery retailers. To learn more about Diamond of California, visit their website and follow their Instagram and Facebook.

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen

pictured: plate, pan, pot, pastry cutter

CHOCOLATE O'CLOCK

my favorite little ritual: every afternoon, whenever i want, i eat one piece of dark chocolate. it's called chocolate o'clock. i make sure i have plenty of chocolate at all times in case i have visitors during chocolate o’clock or in case if by some time/space continuum magic illusion dreaminess chocolate o’clock occurs twice in one day. which it does. often. and it's the perfect little bit of joy and caffeine to boost me out of any afternoon lull that may occur. 

lately i’ve been a sucker for mast brothers bars. their wrappers are so pretty and they often punctuate special occasions for eggboy and me: i like dropping them in his tip jars at shows, he got me the stumptown coffee one for valentine’s day, and there is no better way out of the dog house* than with a brooklyn blend in hand. {we also once spent a lovely afternoon tasting allllll of the chocolate at the mast brothers shop in williamsburg. i highly recommend doing this.}

*eggboy doesn't actually ever get placed in the dog house. or the puppy house. this is just a preemptive statement in case he ever, i don't know, forgets my three-quarters birthday. 

another favorite chocolate {for when i run low on mast brothers or if there haven't been any recent special occasions that warrant spending $8 on a bar} is trader joe’s stone ground chocolate. i loooove the grainy texture of it and the compact round shape.

-yeh!

recipe: marzipan + dark chocolate + orange rugelach


when i was in school, mum flew in for just about every percussion ensemble concert, which happened twice a year. she'd arrive in the city with a giant massive suitcase weighed down by multiple batches of her amazing yummy fantastical rugelach, which i'd bring to the dress rehearsal for all of the other percussionists and, more importantly, the stage crew. the alice tully stage crew loved that stuff so much. to the point where even now when i pass by the stage door on the way to work and see one of them outside, they ask for mum's cookies. and whenever that happens, i miss those early mornings before percussion ensemble concerts, rehearsing and eating rugelach.

so last week in preparation for the first percussion ensemble concert of the year, i bought a silly amount of cream cheese and butter, and got workin so that i could arrive with a little surprise for the tully crew and my percussiony successors. i replaced mum's typical cinnamon sugar filling with my current obsession, marzipan. and then added some citrus to balance everything out. they came out of the oven beautifully, and i couldn't wait to prance back stage after the show and deliver batches of rugelach.

but then.

on the morning of the concert as i made my newspaper rounds, i discovered the percussionists dress rehearsing in peter jay sharp theater. not tully. i wanted to cry and i tried to think of ways to sneak in to tully and deliver the crew my rugelach.

but instead i let the percussionists {who played a wonderful concert} have seconds, and considered this round a test batch for the springtime concert. which i think is in tully? let's hope.
marzipan + dark chocolate + orange rugelach
{makes 40-50 cookies}
the dough is based on molly o'neill's recipe, the one that mum uses.
dough
1 c {2 sticks} unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
8 oz. cream cheese, chilled
2 tb sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
filling
1/2 c orange marmalade {apricot or raspberry jam would also work well!}
1/2 c dark chocolate chips
1/2 c marzipan "chips" {i make these by rolling out marzipan and then using a pizza knife to cut small squares, about the same size as chocolate chips}
egg wash
1 egg yolk
1 tb honey
1 tb water
a few pinches of salt {i use maldon flakes}

++++++++++

1. make the dough: in a large bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and flour with a pastry blender or your hands. 
2. in a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks, vanilla, and almond extract. add to the flour mixture and mix well until smooth. form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill overnight. 
3. preheat oven to 375, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. using half of the dough {the other half should remain in the fridge} roll out dough on a floured surface into a rectangle that is 1/4 inch thick. spread evenly with half of the jam, and then sprinkle with half of the chocolate and marzipan. working carefully, roll up dough into a jelly roll shape. slice the roll into one-inch sections and place on prepared baking sheet. repeat with the other half of the dough.
5. make egg wash by combining the egg yolk, honey, and water. brush this onto the tops of the rugelach, and then sprinkle with salt.
6. bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are brown.

cool and enjoy! the calories don't count if you've just spent the morning moving a ton of percussion instruments.
 -yeh!

cure me, smoke me, eat my belly!


the older brothers of my friends have historically been good for things like hogging the nintendo 64, burning green army men, and being boring spy victims. but i think i've hit the jackpot with jeremy: his brother makes bacon. and is a cook, most recently at torrisi. last night he made a tasting for me and maria and jeremy {a.k.a. the luckiest people on earth}. it was:
brûléed maple bacon amuse-bouche 
arugula salad bacon dressing
bacon steak an egg + purple potatoes + the best broccoli i ever had
cocoa cured bacon ciabatta bread pudding + peachies + smoked cocoa nibs 
99% cocoa chocolate bar just cause
[to drink: the red that gg got me for my recital]
...and during it, we discussed how good fat is for you. 
and how life is too short to not eat chocolate & bacon many, many times a day. 
{it was sort of like a role-play}
{{but a yummy one}}
i wish jeremy and brother didn't live so far uptown so i could come over for dinner every day.  
but then again maybe the bike ride there and back is what will keep me fitting into my jeans...
-yeh!