Recipe Source: Atkinson, Catherine et al. The Chocolate and Coffee Bible. Anness Publishing, London, 2007 p. 205
Having a baby is expensive. Oh, insurance will usually cover pre-natal care, labor and delivery and assorted child medical costs. (Usually. It depends on your plan.) It's the other stuff that costs money. The baby needs a place to sleep, things to sit in and on, et cetera. And clothes - I've seen baby clothes that cost as much or more than my clothes. And for what - something she'll wear for a month, maybe two, and make a whole lot of unholy messes in the whole time? Anyway, it seems like babies bring out a lot of the generosity in people as well. We've gotten the loan of a very nice bassinet, some other accouterments, and three whole sacks of baby clothes. (They're all boy clothes, but we have a lot of time for the Fearless Fetus to pick up our gender-related attitudes. She is unlikely to care if her onesie is blue or pink for quite some time.)
One of the baby accouterments that is particularly expensive is the car seat. You have to have them, unless you live walking distance from the hospital. Furthermore, safety regulations change so often with regards to these seats that most second-hand shops can't accept them, so once your little one outgrows her seat you're either stuck with the thing or have to put it into a landfill. Charities who would normally be all over the things also can't accept them, because the seat you bought last year no longer meets code. However, there are no rules about giving them away within your acquaintance.
Someone I've never met was bemoaning the car seat rules to a good friend of mine. Her one-year-old had just outgrown her infant seat, and she had all this paraphernalia that she no longer needed. My friend said, "I know someone who's about to need them..." and to make a long story slightly less long a complete stranger has just donated a very nice infant seat with two bases (to switch between cars), a stroller base and assorted accessories. I wanted to thank her, and the only thing I could think of was cookies. (See, the food came into play eventually. Your patience has been rewarded!) I made these chocolate marzipan cookies as a thank you to Eloise.
I didn't make a lot of changes. The only one I really made was in the size of the cookies. The original called for a 2" biscuit cutter. I don't have a 2" biscuit cutter, I have barware. And the only appropriate barware I could find was closer to 4", or maybe 4 1/2." As a result, I only got about 20 out of this batch instead of 36. The taste was still phenomenal, though. The original called for a white chocolate drizzle, but when I melted the white chocolate the results were less than fantastic. I decided to dust them with powdered sugar instead.
Chocolate Marzipan Cookies (makes about 20; approx. cost per serving would be inappropriate.)
7 ounces butter, softened
7 ounces light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
11 ounces flour
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
7 ounces marzipan paste
Confectioner's sugar for dusting
- Baking sheets
- Stand mixer
- Sifter or strainer
- Cooling rack
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutter or glass (4")
- Preheat your oven to 375. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
- Cream the butter and sugar in the mixer.
- Add the egg and beat well.
- Sift the flour and cocoa over the mixture. Mix well.
- Use the rolling pin, and work in batches, to roll out some of the dough. The original recipe called for a floured surface. I used granulated sugar instead, because it will not discolor the finished product.
- Cut out 40 circles of dough, re-rolling scraps if needed.
- Lay out 20 circles on the sheets.
- Carefully cut out 20 even pieces of marzipan. I found this easier if I quartered the log of marzipan, then cut each quarter into fifths.
- Lay one piece of marzipan on each circle.
- Top the circles with the remaining circles of dough and press to seal.
- Bake 10 - 12 minutes. Cool on the sheets 3 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve.