Tuesday, April 3, 2012

dessert before dinner

Sophie and I haven't done a Monday dinner in a while now. It's been so nice out that maybe three or so weeks ago, we did a waterfront picnic, then two weeks ago, we went and visited the cherry blossoms (visual proof below), and last week, I was on the ill-fated MegaBus adventure back from Charlotte. So, yesterday was a long overdue dinner that a)I actually cooked, b)we ate in my apartment, which was much more in the spirit of the original idea. 

Anyways, cherry blossom distractions behind us.... 

For last night's dinner, I emailed Sophie with four options. I was feeling especially stressed on the whole "trying to get a loan" front, and didn't want to have to make a single extra decision, not even what to cook. Option 1 was what is typically my personal default dinner "some sort of salad and a really unhealthy dessert." Sophie picked option 4 instead, which involved herbed mashed peas + some sort of protein. By the time Sophie emailed me with her choice, though, I'd already decided these chocolate caramel cookies with sea salt really needed to happen. I'm by no means a Pinterest addict, but I go through phases where I save a lot of recipes using the site, and this is one of the desserts I've had my eye on for ages now. 

So the desire to work my way through saved recipes + my raging sweet tooth + a case of the Mondays = how I ended up with a mash up of options 1 and 4. The herbed mashed peas were alright, more on that some other time, I suppose. The more essential recipe to add to your arsenal rightthisminute is the one for the cookies. I'm here to tell you that it'll accomplish all of the aforementioned goals, and while they're nowhere near as lofty as world peace or a well-rounded meal, well, they're still worthwhile.  

my version

Don't they look delicious? I should've figured out how to get some artsy shot of them a la "two peas and their pod" (the blog from which this sinful recipe came).  

from the original recipe

In the spirit of full disclosure, I followed their directions to the word, and my cookies were not very flat (as you can tell from the "my version" snapshot). I used kind of thick, oval milk chocolate coated Werther's caramels (because Trader Joe's, Whole Foods had exactly zero caramels, and the chocolate covered ones were all Walgreens had), so perhaps that's to blame for the decidedly round nature of my cookies. 

Spherical shape aside, they still tasted absolutely, insanely amazing. I ate one right out of the oven, and forced a still-warm one on Sophie when she arrived. Then we ate all but two of the rest while we watched trashy tv and the NCAA championship game. There was dinner somewhere in between all the cookies. I think we both probably gained five pounds between the cookies and the wine. Naturally we both agree it was entirely worth it. 

Had I not sent the extra caramels and plain yogurt home with Sophie for her to try her hand at recreating the recipe, I'd be making another batch to devour tonight. 

ps-yes, plain yogurt is an ingredient. I thought it was weird, too. When I tasted the raw dough (don't worry, no eggs!), I could definitely taste the tang of the yogurt, but it was entirely unnoticeable in the final product. 

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