Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bon appetit ma cherie. Je t'aime beaucoup

It's official; it's Valentine's Day!

The annual celebration of love, and the only day of the year that it's acceptable to wear red & pink TOGETHER. I do love this day.

Though many previous celebrations of the big V-day have been less than exciting, what with last year spending it on my couch after a nasty fall down the stairs resulting in my fantastic plans to learn snowboarding with some girlfriends being cancelled and replaced with wallowing in pain [physical] with chocolate and chick flicks, I do still love and look forward to the day of love, romance, heart shaped chocolates and flowers.

A romantic dinner of hearty (pun intended!) lasagne with meat layered between tender noodles, cottage cheese and crushed tomatoes, topped and baked with Parmigiano-Reggiano to accompany a spinach & arugula salad with pancetta crisps will pair nicely with a big ol' bottle of red and a decadent dessert. A must have mix of Nora Jones and John Mayer will provide a romantic atmosphere, perfect for any Valentine's meal, be it alone or with the one you love.

Nothing says love better than the aphrodisiac of chocolate, and luckily, I have a friend who makes the best cookies for a day that needs a sexy and delicious treat. Miss Stephanie Gorchynski is a wonderful creator of baked goods, and from her blog, I have adopted her recipe for chocolate-chili cookies. 

The recipe has been modified a bit to suit my lack of certain ingredients (see the blog link for the original) and the addition of mini cinnamon hearts are perfect finish to the treats that are sure to kick start a fire and melt your cold, cold heart.

Makes 24 cookies
1 cup minus 2tbsp all-purpose whole wheat flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup margarine
3/4 tsp chili flakes
4 tsp maple syrup
1 cup dark chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl or a food processor, add flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and brown sugar. Mix well, add butter and chili flakes – and using your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture and break it up until the mixture have a sandy texture. Stir in agave with a wooden spoon then form the dough into a ball. Add dark chocolate. Shape into 2 logs, cut each in 12 slices and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes. If you can, let stand for 2 min before cooling on a rack.

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