Black & White Thumbdrop Delights (and a glimpse of mushrooms!)

Since Superduperamazingblogidea has been put on hold, scheduled to commence on Christmas weekend now (methinks Friday so the G and I can cook up a storm together) I have to entertain myself somehow.  But provided I’m still hesitant to cook anything too rich or succulent lest it wakens the sleeping dragon in G’s turbulent tummy, I kept the dinner portion of the evening very simple and light: some spicy garlic roasted mushrooms, dahl (red & yellow lentils), rice… and just because it’s one of his ridiculous comfort foods, some Maggi noodles (for the blissfully unawares, those are pretty much the Indian version of Top Ramen.  Yeah.  Fancy pants cuisine right there hehe). 

FYI The mushrooms were gloriously easy – just tossed white mushrooms in olive oil, lots of garlic, a little salt, black pepper, and chili flakes, pour entire mixture into a baking dish, top with chunks of butter (or Smart Balance haha), and roast in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  The garlic melts into the butter and makes this sumptuous sauce… I found this recipe online at Smitten Kitchen and just had to try it.  So simple, so soft, so savory.  Squeeze lemon juice once out of the oven and sprinkle with basil or oregano or cilantro or whatever you like. YUM!

I love simplicity, but… I have the kitchen bug in me.  In the past month or so a dormant being has been summoned to life in my bones, controlling my urges, my actions, the very tinkerings of my mind, where all I can think about for hours on end is the magic awaiting me in the kitchen (seriously, the channel I watch most on TV is Food Network). I love to create.  Love love love it.  I may not be good at it, but I love it.  I’ve never been as thrilled by cooking and baking as I am now – is it simply because I’m doing it with and for my husband now, or that I have complete reign and freedom over a kitchen (as opposed to living with parents and always worrying about what they would like)?  Whatever the case may be, I just feel so at ease here that I want to continue to drum up specialties, or at least try.  For example: Eventually I’ll start a line of a variety of crispy spring rolls, I guarantee it! Once I create a variety that is…

It always comes back to creativity.  At some point I’m going to be more focused and driven on my writing again, having already started on a few projects that are now lying wistfully by my side.  <<Don’t worry my lovelies, I’ll give you some attention soon! I promise!>> Until then I am expanding my desire to imagine up something special into different forums.  What a blessing it is, I suppose, that I have the ability and opportunity to explore different avenues.  As a child I was all about drawing and painting, so artful expression is inherent to my nature.  And honestly, cooking is an amazing outlet, the beautiful method in which we can nourish our sanity and humanity.

But I digress.  The point of all this rambling is to explain why I decided to dream up cookies too.  But oy! Don’t think that I am on the fast track to Chubbsville with all these sweets.  No, these I actually dreamed up with the intention of having G share them with his coworkers, a little holiday treat for them.

And so after a bunch of thinking and consideration, I eventually settled on black&white cookie sandwiches, little buttery drops of goodness filled with rich chocolate or various fruit spreads… But no.  That didn’t work out and I shall tell you why.

  1. No double boiler set up to melt chocolate (i.e. I have no metal bowl to melt my chocolate in)
  2. The cookie batter didn’t conform to the little teaspoon shape I wanted, so I improvised.

And thus, black & white thumbdrop delights were born, thumb-pressed to be filled with any assortment of things.

I found a recipe for browned butter cookies online, and tweaked it to my liking and to incorporate chocolate.  I also made a small batch because as it happens I was nearly out of butter, so consider doubling the quantity of everything in order to make a large large batch.

Black & White Thumbdrop Delights

  • ½ cup of butter (8 tbsp/1 stick)
  • A bit less than ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½  tsp baking soda
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • Chocolate chips, fruit preserves, powdered sugar, for later.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Melt the butter and let it cool down a bit, then beat in the sugar and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together and add to the butter. Now what I did was , before mixing the wet and dry ingredients, I divided the in two bowls, and in one of them I added the cocoa, to make a chocolate dough.

Mix the ingredients and press/roll together with your hands to make a nicely incorporated ball of dough.

What I wanted to do was press and flatten dough into teaspoons and slide them out to have cute oval shaped cookies, lying the flat side down on an ungreased baking sheet.  But I couldn’t slide them out cleanly, and thus my thumbdrop cookies came to life – rolling a small ball of dough and just pressing down in the center.

Then fill with whatever you choose.  Had I a double boiler set up, I would have filled with white and milk chocolate, but instead just chips, and some strawberry preserves and lemon curd.  (Have you noticed I LOVE lemon?  Anyhoo…)

Baked them for about 15 minutes – 20 minutes.  Aim for 15 if you like chewier cookies, but even in their “crispy state” they have a soft center which I like.

As you can see, they melted down into nice round cookies… I just let them cool for a few minutes then moved them to a rack to cool completely.  Then I sprinkled some powdered sugar on them and tortured myself by not sampling it until G came home from work! OHHH THE PAIN OF RESISTANCE!  But well done, Alya, well done.  These butterlicious delights should hopefully please a few tummies today at the office.

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...After!

 

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