I recently joined a group for those who, like myself, are passionate potluck people. It's my new professional organization.
I was going to make mandel bread, but on a whim decided to make mandel bread without the mandel. Instead of slivered almonds, I substituted cocoa, poppy seeds, and crystallized ginger. Instead of three cups of flour, I used two, and then I subtracted an egg from the recipe. I also used agave syrup, in lieu of granulated white sugar. Aside from those minor details, things remained the same: canola oil-check, almond and vanilla extracts--check check, double acting baking powder-check.
I stirred everything together.
It was a stirring experience.
I refrigerated the dough for several hours. In the evening I shouted, "Batter up!"
I oiled my baking sheet and attempted to form loaves with the dough, but it crumbled, so I laid it flat across the sheet, patting it down in one long rectangle. It looked as though it were sleeping. I put it in the oven at 350*.
Five minutes later, I jumped up. I pulled it out, worried about its lying down position. I oiled a 9x13 pan and scooped up the batter, packing it into the new pan. It was almost like brownies (almost being key).
I baked it for twenty minutes, then enlisted my best buds for quality control testing. My best buds are my taste buds. "Dry," they proclaimed. I put it back in the oven for five more minutes. "Drier," my honest best buds said.
I wanted to make a good impression at the potluck and wondered what I could do. Then I thought of pudding cake, which always saves the day.
I got out a saucepan and almond milk, uncapping it. Then, forgetting I had uncapped it, I shook it up.
As almond milk splattered onto the stove, I wailed, "My almond milk." Then I stopped, since there's no use crying over spilled almond milk.
I poured the remainder into the saucepan. Gathering up the cookie-brownies, I dunked them into the liquid, smooshing, mushing, and mashing. I mixed everything up. After being cookies, then brownies, and then pudding cake, they were very mixed up.
I still felt worried about the end result. I still fretted. I hadn't used almonds. I had used cocoa. My cookies had morphed into brownies, transformed into pudding cake, and changed into chocolate ginger pudding, though when I tasted it, it was the most chocolaty chocolate.
No big deal, I told myself.
Don't have a cacao.
Causes Eva Schlesinger Supports
Center For Young Women's Development
Alameda County Library Foundation