In thinking about this year’s Santa plate, my son decided that Santa would like brownies. My daughter said she didn’t want to have dark chocolate (this is always a debate at our house). I settled the score with making both brownies and blondies. Nevermind that I had been baking gingerbread, sugar cookies, candy cane cookies, etc. We needed to make more.
Luckily I also have a stack of cookbooks to review. Two are really fun and I know I’ll be using them a lot throughout the year. The first is Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, Melt in Your Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich. The second is Food Fest 365! : The Official Fun Food Holiday Cookbook by Yvan D. Lemoine.
Chewy Gooey is great for those with a sweet tooth who need more ideas and inspiration (pictures are mouth watering). I like that the cookies are divided by mouth feel and texture. Each recipe even has a suggestion to make “upgrades” to create variations and new flavors. There’s also a veriety of diets and allergies in mind with an index of dairy free, wheat free and low fat recipes. I made the blondies from this book. And yes, they were chewy and gooey – my daughter had her first blondie and it’s become a fast favorite. Next time we make them we’ll try one of the updgrades. But which one? Nutmeg, cinnamon or peanut butter blondies? Perhaps a tasting of all three.
Food Fest 365! is a bit different, but very fun. It celebrates all the quirky food days established by politicians over the years. Did you know March 16th is artichoke hearts day? Of course I love the idea of celebrating the everyday. The tough part about this book is the arrangement and order is by the calendar. So if you’re menu planning, you’ll need to consult the index to find what you’re searching for. Of course it’s also just fun to look up dates and see what food day it is. For instance my birthday is Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day (after the Mayans of course) with a recipe for Sundried Tomato Cheese. I can see someone going through a la the movie Julie and Julia and blogging about making each day’s recipe. You’ll find everything from Hot Toddy Day to Lobster Day to Angel Food Cake Day, with hundreds in between. December 8th is where I found Chocolate Brownie Day. My son was very pleased with the gooey, rich flavor and they were quick and easy, like a brownie should be.
So what did Santa like? Well Santa (I believe) was so tired since one of the children at our house stayed up to try to see him (and made it to 2:30 a.m.), that he broke off an equal piece of each and then left crumbs on the fireplace. (Note. Besides the blondies and brownies and milk for Santa, there were of course carrots for the reindeer. Plus my daughter also made a beaded collar for Rudolph – see photo above)