“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” Alphonse Karr
Something I’ve been struggling to write about, mostly because my tightlipped Britishness isn’t sure how, is the incredibly kind words sent to me over the past few months. Scores of The Imperfect Kitchen readers sent me messages, either on the blog or by private message and I read each of them frequently during my time away from here.
I didn’t respond to any individually. I’m still unsure how to express my gratitude appropriately, convinced that each would have turned into some awkwardly gushy tome of thanks. I’m sorry if you were hoping for a response to your notes and hope that it’s sufficient to write here that every single one of your messages meant the world and were one of the things that kept me waking into the possibility of light each day.
I shouldn’t be surprised by now that the world is full of wonderful people. And I should be even less surprised that my readers and fellow-bloggers are some of the most thoughtful. I’m not nearly as competent at expressing my thanks as I want to be. But if a little warmth sinks into your heart today and you find yourself smiling for no real reason — that might just be a tiny piece of my gratitude seeking you out.
As a small offering of thanks before I start writing in earnest again; here’s a very favourite recipe that I often play with liberally from Paris Pastry Club for you all to share with those whose kindness means something to you. Or may be with those you would like to introduce to a little more kindness. These cookies are charmingly soft in the middle and slightly crunchy on the outside, almost like brownies. The marshmallow is sweet and gooey, counteracting the almost sharp sweetness from the dark chocolate; and sitting unobtrusively in the middle, comforting and cradling, is the caramel. If I could bake these for each of you and share them over a cup of coffee at my kitchen table, I’d be one happy lady.
Until then, enjoy.
- 100g (3 ½ oz) dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
- 3 tbl sp dulce de leche (if you can’t find any in the shops, here’s a link to a couple of ways you can make your own)
- 1 tbl sp unsalted butter
- 90g (3 oz) plain (all purpose) flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 egg
- 75g (2 ½ oz) light brown sugar
- 24 mini marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 200˚C / 390˚F and line a baking sheet with baking paper
Place the chocolate, dulce de leche and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water until melted (you can also do this in the microwave, just be careful not to burn the chocolate)
Set the bowl aside to cool down slightly
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
Beat the egg and sugar in a separate bowl for a few minutes, or until light and fluffy
Gently fold in the melted chocolate mix
Working quite quickly, tip in the flour mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon
The dough will feel quite sticky and soft so use a couple of teaspoons to shaped into 12 walnut-sized balls and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Place two mini marshmallows in each ball and press down slightly
Turn down the oven heat to 170˚C / 340˚F and place the tray in the oven to bake for 10 minutes
The cookies should still be soft and their tops will be slightly cracked
Leave to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a serving plate
I have no idea how long these last in an airtight container, they’ve never lasted anywhere near that long in my house. Please feel free to let me know if you ever manage to find out…