The hosts shared their menu in advance -- shrimp creole, chicken and sausage gumbo, fried chicken, corn muffins and praline bars, all homemade by real Southern people. Begin salivating now.
However there was a noticeable and frankly unacceptable gap in the lineup -- a shocking lack of chocolate, on Valentine’s Day no less.
Happily, the cookies were a big hit as well. Folks remarked on the cookie’s heart-of-darkness, which comes from two powerful hits of dark chocolate – Dutch cocoa and chopped bittersweet chunks. The hostess reported back the next day that the (very few) leftover cookies worked just as well for breakfast as for party treats. Good to know.
First comes Nive Nielsen, an Inuit singer-songwriter from Greenland who plays a wee red ukulele. As sweet as that is, I like her anyway. Hope you do too.
Next up is Catey Shaw who got her start busking in the NYC subways. This catchy pop song also features ukulele stylings. Sweet!
Source: Martha Stewart’s Cookies, with only slight variations
Martha calls for sour cherries and I’m not sure exactly where to find those; mine are just what comes dried at the grocery with no sugar added. It’s best to chop the chocolate down from bars to chunks but I’ve been known to use chips in a pinch. Just be sure to run a knife through them, which roughs up the distinctive shape and lets them ooze their dark chocolatey goodness throughout the dough in the best possible way.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups dried sour cherries, firmly packed (9 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat until well combined.
- Add the flour mixture, and beat on low speed, until just combined. Do not overbeat.
- With a wooden spoon, fold in chocolate and cherries. (AJ note: I found it too difficult to do this by hand as it's a very stiff batter, so I did this step in the electric mixer on low with no problems.)
- Form balls of dough, each about 1/4 cup; place balls on baking sheet about 3 inches apart.
- Bake until puffed and cracked, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, up to 3 days.
Yields about 3 dozen