May 29, 2016
With the decadence of classic fantasy, Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass is a treat that brings a warm, sugary happiness. The land of Erilea isn’t next door simply a car or train ride away, but instead surrounds with a richness that only well-formed magic, and castles, and wyverns can bring. The sprinkled puzzles, the emanating myths, the lingering histories of the valleys and mountains are each layers of flavor to be savored. And so befitting the luxury of this read and our indomitable heroine, with her taste for the finer things in life, is a sweet snack with something for the refined palette.
... befitting the luxury of this read and our indomitable heroine, with her taste for the finer things
in life ...
... each bud melts and mingles with everything it touches in an echoing
Lavender is one of my true loves, my intoxicant. Watching a tide of elegantly strung blue-purple buds sway as steady current through a sunbathed field, noticing the kisses of fragrance it grants to its dance partner the wind, is an experience in tranquility. Like little snowdrops, each bud melts and mingles with everything it touches in an echoing whisper. The flavor does not so much demand notice, as it relies on its sinuous reach to ensure it cannot be forgotten. The sweet of this flower is not sucrose but essence. Chocolate and lavender are wonderful in tandem in this cookie, with the first bites strikingly perfumed and last notes of cocoa an unquestioned companion.
I layered flours in this recipe to utilize the many magics of wheat and butter. Toasted bread is piquantly brown and crunchy. Whole grains wear wild nuttiness. And simple, cloud-like all-purpose ensures a fluffy palette.
... utilize the many magics of wheat and butter ...
This is a moist yet springy chocolate chip cookie, for one who loves a hint of gooey core with a cake-like air. Lavender is the star, as expected; the scent is in every sponged crevice, traveling down your throat like a warm oil to end effervescent in your belly and brain. There is no shortage of chocolate for your craving, placed in decadent dollops that melt to coat your tongue. With the added delight of unexpected crunch that comes from the coarse sugar, this cookie finds strength in her many shades.
... this cookie finds strength
in her many shades ...
Indulgence in these cookies is a nice distraction while I impatiently await September for book five, Empire of Storms!
1/2 c butter
3/4 c cane sugar + 3/4 tsp molasses (or 3/4 c light brown sugar)
3 tbsp coarse turbinado sugar
1/2 c all-purpose flour, toasted
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
3/4 tsp dried lavender buds
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
flaky salt for finish
Prep time: 25 minutes + any resting time for the dough
Cook time and temp: 375 degrees F, for 10 to 13 minutes
Yields about 12-16 cookies
1. Toast the 1/2 c all-purpose flour. Two options for toasting: 1) Spread the flour onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F. Or, 2) heat on a low heat setting on the stovetop for about 10 minutes or until you detect a light toasty smell; stir intermittently to avoid burning the flour. Let the toasted flour cool completely before mixing ingredients.
2. Cream the butter, sugars and molasses together using a stand or hand mixer. Using a mortar and pestle, lightly bruise the lavender buds to release their flavors. Add the vanilla and lavender to the butter mixture, and cream together. Add the egg and cream. Add the egg yolk and run the mixer for about 2 minutes or until the mixture expands slightly and lightens in color.
3. In a separate bowl, combine all the remaining dry ingredients except the chocolate. Slowly incorporate into the wet mixture until just combined.
4. Add the chocolate and stir to combine and evenly distribute.
5. The dough can rest, kept covered in the refrigerator, for 1-3 days to allow the flavors to more deeply combine. Or the dough can be baked right away.
6. Scoop about 1 1/2 tbsp of dough into a ball and place on baking sheet. Dust with a little flaky sea salt. Bake until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned, but the dough is still very spongy. Cool cookies on the pan for about 5 minutes, and then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
And then, welcome that gorgeous lavender and silky melted chocolate.
a pairing for you
food pairing: Spring lamb acorn squash soup with An Ember in the Ashes
food pairing: Cherry coconut toaster pastries with The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland