Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The taste of friendship


My truest friends are spread out all over the world.  Sometimes it makes for a bit of a lonesome day-to-day existence, because I may not see many of them for years on end.  But the bond is so strong that it sustains me just knowing they are out there somewhere, living their lives on the same planet as me.


If there is anything on my list of life goals, it's to gather all my friends from around the globe and cook them a feast one day.  There will be food in multiple courses, wine and laughter.  There will be music and stories that compete with the clinking of silverware and glasses.  There will be an abundance of chocolate desserts. 


The taste of friendship is like a rice pudding or a cup of earl grey tea with milk and honey.  It's being able to appreciate someones talents and successes without the bitterness of envy.  It's being able to have a coffee or a meal together and catch up on 10 or 20 years gone by and somehow feel like you were right there through it all. 

It bothers me to know that my friends go through tough times and joyful ones, and because of my physical distance I don't experience it with them. So I baked a batch of cookies for all of them.  It's what I would do if I lived close enough to bring a plate by, unannounced. With love.

Chocolate chubbies
These come from my mother's cookbook, The Continuing Feast. They are the richest, most addictive cookie I know of. We make them with both pecans and walnuts but I think it would be fun to add salted peanuts and pistachios.  Try it, and let me know!

Makes 3 dozen large cookies

6 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
scant 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
8 ounces (or more) semisweet chocolate chips
8 ounces (or more) broken pecans
8 ounces (or more) broken walnuts
3 eggs
scant cup sugar

Break up the semisweet and unsweetened chocolate (not the chips) and cut the butter into small pieces.  Melt them together in a bain-marie over hot water. Remove from the heat and cool the mixture to tepid.  Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  

In a separate bowl, combine the chocolate chips and the nuts.  

When the chocolate has cooled, combine the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until thick.  Slowly add the chocolate-butter mixture, beating constantly.  (If the mixture is too hot, the eggs will cook!)  Add the flour mixture, stirring only to combine.  With a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.  

Grease two baking sheets well or line with parchment paper.  Using a tablespoon, drop the batter onto the sheets, leaving play of room between cookies.  Bake in a 325 degree preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.  


  1. Another post that really resonated, as someone who has moved around a lot even in the US (not even counting places I've lived abroad). Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. On Thanksgiving Eve... I am grateful to be reminded that a true neighbor is a true neighbor, no matter what window she's looking out of nor whether she's seeing snowflakes, Beech trees, brick buildings, or the lit-up city sky. xoxo

  3. Ma précieuse Nicole, je partage bien plus que la même planète et la même vue sur la lune que toi. Je partage ton bon sens, ton goût de la vie et de l'amitié, l'amour de la famille et celui d'un bon repas préparé avec les fameux ingrédients magiques qui font les meilleurs souvenirs.
    Je t'aime

  4. I understand exactly how you feel Nicole. My closest friends live in another country and I seldom see them. I too wish I could cook for them or drop by their homes with a box of homemade cookies.
    Yours look very pretty.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    ps I didn't know your mother had written a cookbook!

  5. I can relate as I have been far from family and friends for so long, I don't even notice how it has affected me anymore. these cookies look wonderful. Did you say your mother's cookbook? Did she write it or does she own a cookbook?

  6. Nicole: touche'...again. I have some faraway friends that I would like to see more often and/or gather too. Thank goodness for skype, facebook, email...and hopefully -who knows- soon teletransportation! I believe friendship is an amazing gift, and it needs watering, care, patience and tendering. I am thankful for having so many strong, independent, different, soul-full friends: their mere existence, knowing they are there, no matter how far, sustains me.

  7. Some of my closest friends live far away and I miss them terribly at times. We are lucky to live in the era of emails and skype, that allows us to stay in contact and watch our families growing much more than would have ever been possible just a few decades ago. I mean, here we are making virtual friends in the blogosphere. It certainly makes the world a nicer place to know they are out there somewhere.

  8. Again another post that echoes my feelings exactly, thank you for posting this.

  9. ooo they sound addictive for sure

  10. Your feast for all friends scattered throughout this world is a beautiful idea.


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