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Making it through the winter

January 10, 2010

It is the first weekend in recent memory where the sun came out. After nine days of snow and freezing rain, the sun was damned welcome. We spent yesterday snowshoeing, skiing, and playing around with our cameras, and I thought I’d share some photos. Several of these are part of my 365 series on Flickr

Much of the time when it was snowing, I was considering chocolate. (Come on, who wouldn’t? I said it was nine days of snow and freezing rain, remember?) And  I am pretty sure I need to hand in my chef credentials (er, well, figuratively – I don’t actually have any). I, apparently, cannot manage to melt chocolate successfully. I even have an actual double boiler. I know I just need to look this up, and probably stop using chocolate chips, and well, just look it up. But instead, I was stomping around my kitchen, getting progressively more frustrated, as my chocolate in its fancy All-clad double boiler just turned into paste. Damnit. Why does this happen? Someone who is savvier than I am in the kitchen, please explain. I have done this before and it works out just fine sometimes, and not well at all other times. Sigh.

Anyway, what I’m really here to tell you is that I have been making this lovely little chocolate treat for a while and I thought it might be nice to share. It’s hardly a recipe. It’s not really anything special. Except that it uses lovely ingredients- dark chocolate, nuts, citrus zest… can’t go wrong, right? Well, unless you have the aforementioned chocolate problem.


Yes, I know, this is January. The month of vegetables and tofu and vows to make friends with the elliptical trainer. And I am, I swear. I have a new gym membership that I’m semi-serious about. And I have a charming new mid-day ritual involving my husband’s new XC skis and the groomed trails at my office, plus trails outside my back door. But, well, dark chocolate is good for you, I hear. So feel free to exercise your own will power. But know that this is a stellar grown-up nibble for that mid-afternoon lull.

Chocolate Candy Goodness 

I’m leaving it up to you to work out the chocolate melting thing. I can’t be held responsible for how it goes in your kitchen. But do try this out. It’s super easy and a nice little after dinner treat. I also pretty much throw any kind of nuts, fruit, and citrus I have into this. Experiment with different flavors. I think the only thing I wouldn’t do without is the salt. That makes it perfect.

8 oz. chocolate, finely chopped
splash of Cointreau
handful of walnuts, chopped
zest from one grapefruit
freshly grated nutmeg
coarse salt

Melt chocolate (ahem). When smooth and glossy (unlike mine), fold in Cointreau, walnuts, and grapefruit zest. Working quickly, spread chocolate out on parchment paper and spread to 1/4″ thickness. Grate fresh nutmeg lightly over chocolate and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let the chocolate cool then break into bite-size pieces.

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