Tag Archives: chocolate

Fudgy pantry brownies

image1No chocolate? No problem! I discovered these super-simple yet undeniably delicious brownies when I was pregnant, and they continue to be a trusty go-to for desserts, parties, and the like not only because they’re CHEAP (no baking chocolate—or even chocolate chips—required) and based entirely on pantry ingredients, but because they’re objectively some of my favorite brownies. Chewy and fudgy, not cakey and dry, with so much chocolate flavor you’ll swear you taste an expensive chocolate bar in there somewhere. (It’s just cocoa powder!)

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Coconut macaroons (not macarons): 11 cents each

As a copy editor and a cook, it goes without saying I have some pet peeves when it comes to food spellings. For instance, a single sandwich cooked in a panini press? That’s a panino; “panini” is the plural. Cassava root cooked in a mash? That’s yuca, not “yucca,” which is a spiky, inedible plant found all over Southern California. And those little ground-up beans you sometimes see sold as “cocoa nibs”? Those are cacao nibs, from the cacao bean. Cocoa is the processed powder. But the one that really burns my ass is when people call the French macaron, that notoriously-difficult-to-master meringue sandwich cookie, a “macaroon.” Most people know what a macaroon is—that sweet, sometimes dense puck of coconut and egg white. Does the macaroon even look anything like a macaron? Let me answer that for you: NO. So please, people, stop it. Here to help is a super-simple recipe for light coconut macaroons (chocolate chips optional), which also happens to be a splendid way to use up egg whites left over from eggs used for ice cream or crème brûlée.

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Splurge: mint chocolate chip ice cream: 34 cents/serving

A few words of warning: This is not the kind of all-natural, organic, wholesome and virtuous ice cream you sometimes see in those impossibly chic, soft-focus DSLR photos on other food blogs, the kind written by women who sew their own aprons and write 600-word ruminations on how their backyard heirloom pear tree looks against the winter sky. This ice cream uses artificial coloring—FROM GROCERY OUTLET (I bet you didn’t even know they sold artificial coloring, did you? That’s because it’s hidden away next to the 50-cent bottles of pre-ground spices that look like they spent the last decade in a moldy shipping container)—artificial flavoring, and For Maximum Value chocolate chips, otherwise known as the sub-store-brand brand. “Why is she doing this,” you might ask, “when she has a perfectly good mint plant in the backyard?” Reason No. 1: Because the chickens have stomped on most of the mint plant, which is now in the process of regenerating behind a shield of chicken wire. Reason No. 2: Because B. likes mint chocolate chip ice cream this way, and because he is the best husband in the entire world, it’s how I make it when there’s no real mint around.

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