Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Recipe, with chocolate (and little else)

Here's my entry in The EconoWhiner's Chocolate Recipe contest:

Keenly Nostalgic Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers

Sorry, I don't know how to make a good Graham Cracker, but Joe does. So the first ingredient is

A box of Trader Joe's Cinnamon Grahams (the good kind, in the clear plastic boxy package that you can use again after)

And the second, and last, ingredient is

A coupla cupsa semi-sweet chocolate chips (get the giant bag of Nestle's at Costco. The bag itself will be over budget, but you won't use it up all in one recipe. IRREGARDLESS, don't get cheap chips.)

Okay, that's it. Only two ingredients. So follow directions and get the good stuff.

Now, cover a large tray or baking sheet with waxed paper.

Put your chocolate chips in a Pyrex bowl and microwave on medium power for 40 seconds. Take them out and stir well. Easy now, don't beat them, just gently but decisively stir. It may not be a "them" anymore; and that's the idea, to make it an it -- a bowl of melted chocolate. If it's still a them, put the bowl back in the microwave on half power for 15 or 20 seconds. Once the chips get started melting, a lot more will melt just from stirring. So don't stop stirring prematurely. But don't keep stirring fruitlessly either for pity's sake, use your good judgment.

[Unnecessary details: Skip this paragraph if everything's going fine. If, however, your chocolate is a dried out looking paste, it got too hot. You may be able to let it cool, then try melting it again, this time at lower power. Or you may not. If not, just add a coupla tablespoons of cream, or even water, maybe a few drops of orange or rasberry extract and melt it till it's liquid and you've got yourself a lovely chocolate sauce for ice cream. But it won't work for the grahams because once you get even a leeetle drop of water in there, it won't return to it's non-melty state. That's why I don't recommend the whole melting-in-a-pot-over-a-pot-of-steaming-water double-boiler technique. That can lead to itty bitty drips of water in your chocolate. But go ahead and do it that way if you prefer. The worst that can happen, after all, is two delicious cups of ice cream sauce. Carry on.]

Where were we? Right, we've got our smooth, glossy melted chocolate here and our grahams here. Dip em! Then set them on the waxed paper, not too close together. Your fingers will get messy. Hint: use one hand to pick up the dry grahams and the other to dip and set down the chocolatey grahams. Continue until you've run out of crackers, chocolate, patience, space, or time or until some outside force acts upon you.

Put the trays in the fridge if it's warm in your kitchen and there's room in your fridge. Or leave em out overnight. Either way they'll harden. Then you can put them back into the box they came out of, only now they don't all fit, which is not a problem because they will be gone soon.

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