Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cookies for a Small Bear With a Sore Ear



Nick is away in Wales this week, so yesterday morning Finley crawled into bed at 7am clutching his travel clock (it says seven, look it is seven, is it seven? I think it's seven? I waited until it said seven.......) and twitched me awake with the loudest quiet whispering possible, whilst I tried to turn over and pretend that a small boy was not shoving a clock in my face. So instead of fighting the incoming day, I gathered that lovely boy in my sleepy arms and inhaled the bready scent of yesterday's muddy knees, perfect skin and nape of neck and then threw back the covers and tickled him out of bed.

When the kettle was on and a pan heating for eggs, Fin weakly announced that his ear hurt and he didn't think he could really attend school today. Alert to the possibility that this was an elaborate ruse to snatch a duvet day, I had a look in the proffered ear and did some crafty ear tweaking to ascertain whether it was genuine. Hmm, nasty wax and pain on pulling the earlobe down - external otitis, probably from swimming. I granted the longed for day off and Fin looked looked relieved that he wasn't going to have to resort to subterfuge.

As we weren't rushing off to school Fin suggested we start the day with a spot of Roulette to accompany our eggs. Soon, I was broke and Fin was clutching a fistful of IOU's from the empty coffers of the toy roulette bank and laughing maniacally each time his tall stack of chips became an even taller stack of chips. If we ever go to Las Vegas, I'm taking Fin, because that boy has an uncanny winning streak.

Around mid morning Fin's stomach told him that it needed a little treaty morsel to make his ear feel better. Of course, I had anticipated the necessity for comforting treats and produced a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a vanilla goats yogurt lassie that Finley gratefully carried back to the sofa to share with Piggy whilst they watched another episode of the Simpsons together.

Now these cookies would not be considered 100% legal in SCD circles because they include cocoa liquor - cocoa and chocolate are considered inappropriate for the diet because they contain indigestible carbohydrates. However, I find that my gut can cope with small amounts of unsweetened cocoa liquor (the raw form of chocolate before it has sugar added) so I'm happy to include it here for those of you who do not need to adhere religiously to SCD. If you're not on a sugar free diet, you can just use very dark chocolate instead. You can buy cocoa liquor and cocoa butter here.

Bitter Choc Chip Cookies (makes 18 small cookies)




2oz pecans
2oz whole almonds
1 oz pure cocoa liquor
4 heaped tsp set honey
1 teaspoonful bourbon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 140C fan assisted (155C without fan) and line a baking tray with baking parchment or use a silpat.

Grind nuts as finely as possible in a food processor.

Chop cocoa liquor coarsely so that it resembles chopped nuts in texture.

Mix nuts and cocoa liquor in a mixing bowl with vanilla extract and honey until a soft dough forms.

Roll the dough into a log and cut into 18 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on the baking parchment. Flatten each ball into a disk with the side of your hand - the palm will make the cookie stick.

Use a clean wet fork to make a pattern on the top of each cookie - clean if it gets gunky or it will stick.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden and firm - they will harden as they cool. Store in an airtight container for up to three days (return to the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up again if they get soft).