December 18, 2007

L.A. Rain and World Peace (in cookie form)

Ah, Los Angeles in the rain...on the one hand, it's nice to have some weather to break up the monotony of constant sunshine (I know, I know...), and I do love the rain, but on the other hand....the rain does a lot to make an already disfunctional and unattractive city even less appealing. Dirty water pours down streets and sidewalks not designed to handle the runoff, puddles have oily slicks on top, sewage and toxic substances are washed out to sea via the Los Angeles "River", creating hazards for wildlife and swimmers.

And the people! You'd think they'd never seen rain before. Outside with a (SoCal native) friend, there was a nice steady rain, nothing too bad. The friend snuggles into her parka and says, "Wow, it's really coming down!". Traffic becomes even more of a nightmare, since drivers have no idea how to handle the rain. They become so confused by the missing sun and all that wet stuff falling from the sky that many of them drive even more erratically than usual, speeding through lights and barely missing innocent, wet pedestrians (yes, you, lady in the blue SUV from this morning).

Oh, and don't get me started on the local news. What with all their "MegaDoppler3000"s and "Stormtrack!" broadcasts, you'd think a hurricane was a-brewin'. Without fail, every major rainfall brings a story like this one, investigating how the average Southern Californian feels about the rain (short answer: some like it, some don't. Groundbreaking journalism!)

What's my point here? Actually, I don't think I have one. Perhaps the point is that this is a perfect day to stay in, listen to the rain, and bake your favorite cookie. And this is a good one- Dorie Greenspan's ever-popular World Peace Cookies. Insanely chocolaty and a little salty, they are amazing right out of the oven, but even better once they've cooled.

You can find the recipe here- I used the same recipe and Anita's notes are very helpful. I will add a few of my own observations:

-If you don't have fleur de sel, you can use fine sea salt (in this case reduce amount to 1/4 tsp). You could even use table salt if nothing else, but one of the joys of eating this cookie is hitting a large fleck of sea salt - you want the salt to be a prominent flavor and texture.

-When you add the dry ingredients, make sure not to overmix. The dough will look dry, but it should all come together when you press it into logs (kind of like pie dough). Too much stirring will make the cookies tough. My dough looked like this:

-I like to finely chop a block of chocolate by kind of "shaving" its edges with a sharp knife- this makes nice small bits of chocolate.



Susan in Italy said...

The cookies look fabulous! And what a bunch of wusses! You'd think Angelinos melt in the rain.

Tartelette said...

I hear you about the weather! a cold front here becomes a winter storm and a bit of rain becomes a tsunami!
These cookies are sure to bring peace and happiness to the ones who eat them. I included themthis holiday season in my goodie boxes and they won everybody over!

John J. Goddard said...

Great blog! I'll be checking in, as my repertoire for sweets is embarrassingly minimal even after more than twenty years in the kitchen.

As for the rain in LA... It's been raining in Oregon for two months. This is my first time in this part of the country, so it's definitely something to adjust to...

John J. Goddard
Articles of Mastication
Dalmatian Cooking