I remember when I was in high school, we had an exchange student staying with us. This was a few months after I stayed with her family in Bologna, Italy. Anyway, she was a lot fun and the prettiest girl I had ever seen. Just naturally pretty. No make-up kind of pretty. And I remember her saying that her mother would not let her wear any make-up; the only thing she could wear was lipstick. So while I was caked in teenage mascara, and eyeshadow (80′s light blue, probably), and blush, she was wearing a Sophia Loren red lipstick. How sophisticated she looked.
My daughter watches me when I am putting on my make-up in the morning. There have been times when she sneaks into my make-up bag and puts on my blush and then emerges from the bathroom pretending that she did nothing and that I will not notice anything. Of course, the pink cheeks, nose, and chin are exactly what I notice. I say ” did you put on my make-up”? And she usually looks at me with her big brown eyes and sheepishly smiles. I remember doing the same thing with my mother’s make-up when I was little, so how can I be mad at her?
I have decided that Anna’s mother (Anna was the exchange student) had the right idea. Lipstick is really chic and someone who wears it without other make-up presents an air of confidence. I would like to have this rule when my daughter gets older. I want her to appreciate the simple beauty of her face without all the added stuff. ’Cause frankly, the added stuff covers up the beauty underneath.
The day before Anna left, we made Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies for her to take home. I thought it was a fitting American souvenir that she could share with her Italian family. I have always loved this cookie. It is a really simple cookie with chocolate, but boy does it taste good.
The Tuesday with Dorie recipe for this week is Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies. The host this week is Peggy from Galettista. She has the recipe on her blog. These cookies are like a Toll House cookie with added stuff. For me, it was a little too much stuff. I like simplicity and these cookies were like opening up the kitchen cabinet and throwing in all the chocolate you had and then some dried apricots too. A lot of added stuff.
The recipe called for using 1 lb of chocolate. I used 8 ounces of Baker’s bittersweet chocolate, 4 ounces of Ghirardelli white chocolate, and 4 ounces of E. Guittard milk chocolate. A mixed bag, I know, but it was what I had.
Mixing all this, plus the dried apricots, into the cookie base that contained 2 tablespoons of instant coffee, took some arm power.
My dog was watching me intently, just incase something dropped. You would never know it from this picture, but he is quite a big boy at 85 lbs.
The cookie dough went into the refrigerator until the next day. Then after preheating the oven, I used an ice cream scoop to portion out 8 cookies on a parchment paper lined doubled cookie sheet. The cookies spread a little bit. The problem I had was how long to bake them.
The first two sheets were baked at 12 minutes. Since I could not get the cookies off the parchment without breaking them, I just moved the paper (with cookies) off the cookie sheet and onto the cooling rack.
About 10 minutes later, I removed the cookies from the sheet and put them directly onto the wire cooling rack. Even though I had allowed them to cool, they were still falling apart and way too soft. So given this, I kept the remainder of the cookies in the oven for 16 minutes. This might have been too long because although they did not look burnt at all, they had a distinctly burnt smell.
The cookies looked tasty. But to me, they just tasted confused. Three kinds of chocolate and apricots and coffee – Why? I love apricots, but in this cookie, I hated them. Really. Bleech. My husband thought the cookies were good. He is a chocolate-aholic. No wonder.
The TWD recipes for April have not been selected. Hopefully there will be a cake recipe selected. If not, I will be making my own to post. Check back soon!