Back again for another week, just squeaking in under a deadline:
(In the US? Can't see the video? View or download here.)
Is it considered bad form to make the cookies of one of the people putting on the blogging challenge you're entering? Nah. Anyhow, I made these cookies of my own volition, not filming them, a few weeks back and they turned out great. In the afterglow of successful cookie-baking, I tweeted out a few photos, by way of a humble brag. I got many appreciative comments, including one from Ms Ros, the more than occasionally baker, stating that I could enter these into Alphabakes, due to "White Chocolate" fulfilling the W quota. Suddenly the race was on to finish this batch & make more so I could show the making of them. Such was my rush that I brought some to work with me, and I discovered that "Brown Butter Espresso White Chocolate Cookies" doesn't roll off the tongue, because people keep stopping you to ask about bits of the title. And then you end up showing off, hence the new name, and the Dolph-Ziggler-looking cartoon on the record. Me and my big mouth, right (though said big mouth comes in handy for eating cookies)? Also, between this and me bringing in some remix bread, several folk at my workplace have dubbed me "a feeder". Hmph.
On the recipe itself, the size of the cookies is key. Too small, and the butter inside will convert them into little rocks after a week in the tin. Too big, and the insides won't cook through properly. Make a few different sizes and trust your judgment. When in doubt, make 3 different sizes, and bake one of each for a sample. Done right, the butter will be chewy goodness inside each biscuit.
Shonen Knife - "Top of the World", from "If I Were A Carpenter", 1994
The 184.108.40.206's - "Hanky Panky", from "Japanese Groupsound!", 2003
So my musical choices did not start this way. On a whim, while buying a New Pornographers album, I spotted a 6" single in the Sale! bin. It was by a group called the Go-Devils (not to be confused with the American psychobilly group of same name) out of Osaka, Japan. The A-Side was "I'm In Pittburgh And It's Raining", originally a jangling garage rock hit for The Outcasts in 1966 (who, ironically, have been hailed in hind site as proto-punk psychedelia forerunners). I looked at the back and saw three Japanese girls named Momo, Ritsuko & Mao Mao doing their very best tough-girl faces. My attention was got. I bought the single and had a listen. Ass-kicking rock and roll, with the wonderfully distinctive accent singing over top. Sadly, the Go-Devils haven't been active online at all (none of their stuff is available for download, so this 1996 release is my only link. And as I don't have a USB turntable to rip the vinyl, you guys get two of my other favourite Japanese rock and roll girl groups. Shonen Knife, and the 220.127.116.11's.
Shonen Knife, of course, are 30-year (!) veterans of Japanese rock and opened for Nirvana of all people, even bringing Kurt and the gang back to Japan for a tour. And on their 30th anniversary as a group, they (what else?) released an album of Ramones covers, which is winging it's way to me now.
The 18.104.22.168's have been around nearly as long, but really jumped to everyone's notice from their spot in Kill Bill in 2003. They were in the House of Blue Leaves izakaya playing while Uma Thurman is scoping out the Crazy 88. They also played continuously through the One Big Take: The steadicam follows The Bride in the building, through into the bathroom, then turns and follows a book up the stairs into the dining room, they order, then follows Sofie back down the stairs, past the band, and into the bathroom. Full band playing, dozens of extras, one take. Seems that Mr Tarantino heard the band's music playing in a clothing store a few hours before he left Tokyo, and had to offer the clerk double the retail value of the CD to walk away with it. But he got it.
White Chocolate Show-Offs
makes 9-12 big cookies
114g unsalted butter
1 tbsp ground coffee
250 plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
pinch of salt
150 dark brown sugar
85g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
180g white chocolate chips.
- Preheat oven to 185.
- Get the butter into a little pot on medium heat & heat it, stirring now & again to stop it burning. When it turns all golden-like, take it off the heat, dump in the coffee & give it a stir.
- Put the flour in a big bowl. Add the bicarb of soda and salt & mix it up.
- Get a littler bowl, and pour in your ButterCoffee SuperFluid. Add the brown sugar, then the caster sugar, then the vanilla extract. Mix to combine, but don't use a whisk. The mix is so sticky it'll just become a bat & it'll be a mess to clean out.
- Once combined, crack in the egg and beat until smooth.
- Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff and mix it together carefully. It's going to be dryer than you expect. Don't be afraid to mix with your hands, as you don't want any flour stuck to the bottom.
- Pour in the chocolate chips and stir again.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof, and grab a handful of dough, Use your hands to smooth it into a little globe (see above note on size) & onto the paper it goes.
- Bake for 14 minutes or so until the middles are firm but not darkened.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack before you seize and consume!