Some days, you just want to cry on somebody's shoulders, or into a pillow. You let it all out, howl away, then you feel much better. Don't you? Sometimes, eating good, comforting food works wonders for the tearful soul too, but I wouldn't recommend this all the time (unless you're a full time athlete with a fearfully healthy lifestyle!). Eating is certainly no way to cure anything, especially psychological hunger.
Hmm...Wrong kind of stuff to write in a blog about FOOD, right? Darn right (nearly)! Guess I was envisioning the comfort part and the pillow part when I wanted to introduce you to this next recipe of mine : Chocolate-Chilli Walnut Cookies. No worldly, sophisticated hostess or gift-giver should go without this delicacy in their cookbook arsenal. Chocolate and chilli? So what, it's a pairing that's been done for centuries, back from the time of the Mayans in South America. Walnuts? Nothing special there. But how about this.... placing a chocolate chunk in between two flat cookie dough pieces to form a "pillow" and watching it ooooze when you bite into a warm cookie? Now, that's hot! Hot and comforting, in many sense of the words.
For cookie fans under 10 years old, you might want to omit the chilli powder and sea salt, and they will love you for it. Adult cookie recipients may not need your shoulder to lean on so much once they've eaten this, just make sure you make it available at their doorstep during those tough times, you know!
Chocolate-Chilli Walnut Cookies
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tsp baking soda
200g dark chocolate, cut into ½-inch chunks
1/3 cup walnuts, roasted and chopped
Sea salt, to sprinkle
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, cocoa and chilli powder in a bowl.
3. Beat the butter and sugar in another bowl until mixture is light and creamy (4-5 mins).
4. Add the egg, then add vanilla and beat until combined.
5. Fold the sifted dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, then gently stir in the walnuts.
6. Scoop out a tablespoon of the cookie dough and form into two balls. Flatten each ball with your palms. Place a piece of dark chocolate in the centre of one flattened dough and cover it up with the other piece of dough. Flatten one last time in between your palms to seal the cookie, sprinkle sea salt on top, then place on baking tray 2 inches apart.
7. Bake for 12 minutes, and cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
Key comforters: Chocolate, chilli powder and walnuts