But we can at least hope it is temporary.
The Spiced Life has gone, maybe temporarily, maybe permanently, dairy-free.
If it took a while for that statement to sink in you are not alone. I am sure some of my regular readers have noticed that I get sinus infections–a lot. And this year I got the chronic one that would not go away. 6 rounds of antibiotics in 6 months. The doctor said if the cough came back–and it did–I needed to try cutting dairy (if that does not work, next is gluten). That would be my family doctor, but next week I am scheduling a visit with my allergist, because as of right now I don’t really understand all the implications and nuances (for example, am I allergic to all dairy protein or just lactose? Can I cheat occasionally? etc). At first I was maintaining my zen, contemplating and trying various subs at home, but then I went to a reception at the university for professors who have gotten tenure (my husband), and I couldn’t eat anything basically.
I won’t lie, it really upset me. Especially since we had been planning to go for Indian after the reception and I realized that was out also (it will be easy to make my own curries, etc, but at many Indian restaurants in the States, there is tons of cream and butter used). I came home and ate my woes in mint chocolate chip coconut “ice cream” with an additional mint chocolate bar chopped into it, which is hardly the appropriate response but I never claimed to always be sensible or respond with perfect equanimity to bad news.
Anyway this is a recipe I made before I got the bad news, and this cookie was so absolutely delicious that it has become this symbol of everything I am potentially giving up. A simple cookie, I suspect it really needs real butter to achieve greatness, and the milk chocolate complements the hazelnut perfectly–this is not a case where semi sweet will do. At least not for this milk chocolate fiend.
But if you can still eat dairy, unlike myself, run don’t walk to get the ingredients to make this latest triumph from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich.
- 16 T (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
- 2 t vanilla
- ½ t fine sea salt
- 2 cups (9 oz) AP flour
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped milk chocolate, preferably at least 35% cacao (I love Scharffen Berger)
- ¾ cup (3.75 oz) coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
- approx. ½ cup powdered sugar
- Using a large spoon or a mixer, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt just until blended. Stir in the flour just until it is completely blended. Stir in the chocolate and nuts. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours (at which point they were great) or overnight (even better).
- Before baking, prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment or leaving un-greased. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
- Using a fork and your hands, pull of irregular clumps of about a tablespoon's worth of dough. You may need to use your hands to encourage the dough to stick together (it is a fairly dry dough), but leave the shape irregular and spiky. Do not smooth or round. Place the cookies 2 inches apart (I got 12 to a sheet).
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cookies are lightly colored on top and golden brown on the bottom. While the cookies are baking prepare the powdered sugar by placing it in a small sieve.
- When the cookies are done, let them cool on the sheets for 5 minutes. Then sift powdered sugar over the cookies; sift a second time if necessary. Sift yet again before serving if all the powdered sugar has absorbed.
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