Reese’s Criminally Drunk Blondies

Hello your honor,

My name is Reese Witherspoon–Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon. I am so embarrassed to be standing in front of you today after having been arrested for disorderly conduct in Atlanta; almost as embarrassed as I was at the premiere of This Means War. What: you didn’t see that movie? Join the club. Anyway, please don’t consider this bribery–oops I said the “B” word–but I baked you a batch of my famous blondies. Get it? Because I’m a blondie? (Well not in my mugshot.)

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The Best Brownies of Your Life

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Here they are, the brownies I’ve always wanted and never found. I didn’t know my brownie life was lacking; for years, I’d been melting chocolate in a double boiler along with some butter to make the Martha Stewart version. Those were always good. So were all the other brownie recipes I attempted with a similar technique: melt chocolate and butter, stir in sugar, eggs, flour, and voila, brownies. The resulting brownies were always enjoyable–fudgy, flat–but never reminiscent of the brownies that made me love brownies in the first place. Until I came upon this recipe.

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Drunk Blondies

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Repeat after me: Butter. Chocolate. Pecans. Coconut. Bourbon.

Again: Butter. Chocolate. Pecans. Coconut. Bourbon.

On Saturday night, we joined our friends Brendan and Danny for a screening of “Sunset Blvd.” at the Hollywood Forever cemetery. (You can read all about that in this week’s newsletter.) I was assigned the task of bringing a salad and a dessert. The salad was cous cous with roasted broccoli; let’s not dwell on that. Instead, let’s talk about the dessert… a dessert that featured (everyone!) butter, chocolate, pecans, coconut and Bourbon. A dessert so addictive no one could stop eating it.

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S’more Bars

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You know how some people use Memorial Day and Labor Day to delineate time? As in: “We bought our house around Memorial Day” or “We’re spending the summer in Cape Cod and we come back around Labor Day”? I always nod and smile when people do that but truthfully, I never remember when Memorial Day or Labor Day fall. July 4th, however, is different. It’s a holiday with its date built right into the title. And, having just glanced at the calendar, I’m fairly certain this weekend is July 4th weekend and, therefore, you’re going to have a picnic and you’re going to want something to bring to it. Well I have the answer: S’more bars.

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Brownie Sundaes

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“What do we need that for?” asked my grandmother, and she had a good point.

You see my whole family, well most of my family–mom, dad, grandma, grandpa–came to see my Brooklyn apartment on Friday, and after a lovely lunch at Miriam (where we shared hummus and I ate an Israeli breakfast), I led my parents and grandparents across the street to The Chocolate Room. It was there that we ordered a brownie sundae and my grandmother protested. “It’s too much food,” she said, shaking her head disapprovingly.

And then it came. The waitress set it down and suddenly my grandmother was transformed; she lifted a spoon with profound determination and dove in with all her might. My whole family attacked at once and the dessert before us vanished in 0.33343 seconds. This proves something I’ve suspected for a long time: nobody can resist a brownie sundae.

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Fun with Toasted Almonds (Toasted Almond Gelato & Toasted Almond Raspberry Blondies)

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Hi everyone, my name is Toasted Almonds. You might not think much of me–I know nuts aren’t the most beloved of foods, and toasting? It sounds like a waste of time, right?–but I’m here to convince you that I’m a worthy addition to your cooking repertoire.

My brother, Plain Almonds, is a nice guy and all, but between you and me? He’s a little boring. For example, he underlines words that he doesn’t know when he reads, then he makes flash cards and studies them later. That’s Plain Almonds for ya. But me? I’m a wild man. When I read, I doodle inappropriate pictures in the margins of the book. Like last week I drew pictures of toasted, skinless hazelnuts in the margins of “Crime & Punishment” and Plain Almonds got so mad! He told me I was trail mix the next time I tried a stunt like that.

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