Monday, May 02, 2005

Play It Again, Sam

There are some recipes in my repertoire that get trotted out but once a year:

gratin dauphinois
croissants
Pie in the Sky
baklava

And then there are those recipes that, either due to popular demand or to my own cravings, get made much more frequently.

This weekend I made cinnamon/Mexican brownies once again, including the "wicked" variation, for the end-of-the-year party for the Tech Gods. I was just itching to perfect the recipe, including cutting the base recipe by half (resulting in a thinner, lighter layer of shortbread) and trying a slightly different recipe for the nuts... and I think it's safe to say that the results were favorable.

On top of that, I made the lime-ginger squares for a second time, doubling the quantity of lime juice and ginger to make a more decisively-lime-flavored and mellower treat. I've also been inspired to consider adding fresh mint or mint sugar the next time around, to give it a more summery edge.

Both of these treats bring to mind a wonderful quote I found recently in The Language of Baklava (p. 188): "The thing about cinnamon and ginger -- they're pretty, yes, but they also bite, which is more interesting and can be dangerous."

I like having a hint of excitement and mystery in my baking.

Usually I bake for other people, but on this recipe, that little voice inside (which sounded strangely gravelly and called me Sam, I don't know why) told me, "You made it for her, now make it for me."

So I did.

And it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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