Thursday, September 5, 2013

Daring Desserts


It's that time.


You know, that part of the meal when you've finished the "healthy" stuff, the stuff you HAVE to eat, but now it's time to have that fantastic little extra that makes you close your eyes and moan in sweet culinary delight.

Now, this could be as simple as grabbing a chocolate chip cookie out of the pantry. But been there, done that, right? So cliche.

No, sometimes we need to DARE to be different. Dare to do go beyond the normal and have a knock-out, fabulous dessert. I mean, if you're going to have the calories... might as well make them worth it, right?

Our books can be like that.

We have a great main plot, some interesting characters. The book is shaping up well.

But what separates a good book from a GREAT book is those who dare to think outside the normal bounds, who add that extra splash that makes the reader's eyes burn to eat... I mean read... more.

This can be different for everyone. It could be a "WOW, didn't see that coming" plot twist. A unique angle on your character that just takes them to a new dimension.Or a surprise subplot that adds flavor and depth to your main plot. Or it could be like dessert... it could be a total, satisfying, unforeseen ending that takes the readers breath away.

What about you? Can you look at your work in progress and find something that is just "okay" or "good enough" and dare to go beyond your normal, to add a twist that leaves people breathless and wanting seconds, regardless of calorie count?

I don't know about you all but that's always my aim when I cook... AND when I write.

And in keeping with our theme of the last two weeks... below is the recipe for one of my FAVORITE cookies for dessert. (besides brownies...)

Because seriously, you can't get much more daring than making CHOCOLATE CARAMEL FILLED SUGAR COOKIES.

I think I just gained a few pounds typing that out...
  • Beat 1 cup of butter until nice and creamy. 
  • Slowly beat in 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of packed brown sugar. 
  • Then beat in 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. 
  • In a smaller bowl, stir together 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. 
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating well. (Careful... I always make a mess here because my mixer makes the chocolate flour fly.... all over my walls and cabinet!)
  • (here, the recipe calls for walnuts. I HATE nuts, so I leave them out. But if you'd like to ruin your cookies with them, add a 1/2 cup.)
  • Cover and chill for 2-3 hours. 
  • Preheat oven your to 375 degrees. 
  • Put a half cup of sugar into a shallow bowl. (It also tells you to add walnuts here too, but see my previous note about not ruining your cookies with something possibly healthy like nuts...)
  • Divide the dough into 4 parts. Put 3 parts back into the fridge, otherwise they will be IMPOSSIBLE to work with.
  • Divide the part you're working on into 12 pieces. 
  • Press each piece of dough around a chocolate covered caramel (I use Rollo's). 
  • Roll into a ball. 
  • Dip the tops into the sugar mixture. (Given the non-nutritious idea of this dessert, I personally roll the whole shebang in the sugar. If you're gonna go, go all out, ay?) 
  • Place sugar side up, 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. 
  • Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. 
  • Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely. (THIS IS IMPORTANT. I frequently forget and then get cookies that look like they have been in jail from the wire rack imprint... and a counter full of caramel which I of course have to then scrape off and eat... er, I mean throw away for sanitary purposes. *ahem*) 
  • Repeat with other 3 sections for plenty of yumminess to go around!

No comments: