Chocolate Chip Cookies, two recipes

I have had a request for chocolate chip cookies. You may be anticipating a somewhat archaic recipe, however the fact is chocolate chips are fairly recent. And so you will simply be getting a classic recipe. However as usual I will be accompanying it with a gluten-free recipe, for as you know one of my humans has a severe gluten intolerance. It upsets me that so often gluten intolerant or celiacs our own mid from all of the delicious treats that are so ubiquitous this time of year.

For the following two recipes, assume that these tools are necessary:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking sheet
  • A small bowl or cup
  • Mixer
  • A good silicone spatula or spoon for scraping the sides of the mixer

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 3 c all purpose flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 c 1 sugar
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 c softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp hot water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water, inside your small bowl
  3. In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add one egg at a time. Add the vanilla. Add the baking soda mixture and salt. Incorporate the flour slowly. Finally added the chips.
  4. Form into balls using a spoon and space on the cookie sheet a couple inches apart
  5. Bakes for about ten minutes.

To make these into “chocolate chocolate chip cookies, you would simply reduce the flour by a cup and add about 3/4 cup cocoa powder to the mix at the same time you add the flour. I personally like to make a chocolate cookie with chopped up mint chocolate as the chips, but that is because I much prefer a chunky cookie.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose gluten free flour (avoid blends that are mostly rice flour or that contain bean flours. These can become quite grainy)
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (or 1 1/2 tsp of the chia seed blend we learned to make for our sugar cookies)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ounces cream cheese (allow this to sit out until it comes to room temperature)
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter

Instructions:

  1. Mix the flour, baking soda, xantham or chia, and salt in your bowl
  2. Cream the cheese, butter, and sugar together in your mixer. Incorporate the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla. Add the flour a little at a time. Add the chips.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a few hours. This will help the dough set up, so that the cookies are moist and chewy
  4. Preheat the oven to 375F
  5. Spoon the dough out onto the sheet (you may need to let it soften a bit) and bake for about 12 minutes, though you want to remove the cookies when the edges begin to crisp. The centers will seem soft, but as they sit on the sheet, they will set. Leave them for a few minutes before removing them.

Egg Nog, a history in several recipes

Eggnog is far older than most suspect.  It wasn’t invented recently. It has many forms, and many, many names. Historians and Etymologists bandy back and forth about the name, wondering if it originates from one of about ten different sources from Germany to Scotland, to the colonies. The simple truth is, that it is all and none. “Noggin” or “nugge” is a very old word, and it refers to the glass in which hot drinks were served, a “mug”. You may listen to men of science, debating when the exact word “eggnog” must have come about, but that would be silly, in my opinion, because it came about through constant reintroduction of old memories, old ways, and old languages, then was jumbled up again and again in the slang culture of the early Americas.

Warm eggs and alcohol have been a standard since antiquity. They were drunk in the colder months for obvious reasons. Their types range from drinks made with wine, to biersuppe, a German warm soup made from beer, to very loose custards, to curled concoctions that are strange to the modern eye. Here, I will give you a long history of my favorites. You will see the spices shift as the spice trade with he east died and then was reforged with sea power, you will see the introduction of fine white sugar and rum from the Americas. You may wish to make them all, and watch the progress of time through one single food.

Please assume that for all the following recipes, you will need the following:

  • a mixer (hand held works fine in this case)
  • a saucepan
  • egg separator
  • fine grater
  • a whisk

Caudell, a recipe

Very few cook books have survived the eras to mark the existence of the great variety of dishes and their countless preparations, and so no source exists for this recipe. You will have to take my word that it was a drink of choice, particularly for the ill. Saffron was seen to have mystical qualities to the Medieval mind, and it was used in almost everything. Keep in mind that this saffron was not the sort you see today in your grocer’s spice aisle. This was the saffron that now costs hundreds of dollar per ounce — true saffron— and we worked it by the handful.

I recommend eating this with the notion that it is a semi-savory soup. It might assist the modern palette to adjust.

Ingredients:

  • 12 egg yolks
  • 2 cups of ale or sack (white wine) I recommend ale for authenticity. The poor could
  • often not afford sack
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • i leaf of mace
  • several tablespoons of sugar to taste

Instructions

  1. Beat the yolks into the ale, and then put the pot over medium heat, whisking constantly. The mixture will thicken and become frothy.
  2. Once this comes to a boil immediately drop the heat to low and beat in the other ingredients, adjusting to taste

Serve in an open, bowl-like mug

Posset, a recipe

Possets were a kind of custard, sometimes loose enough to be drunk in a mug. In my day they were used primarily as medicine for the sick, or as fortifying drinks for travelers or for the clergy.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • cinnamon
  • several blades of mace
  • Fresh nutmeg
  • 18 egg yolks, plus 8 egg whites
  • 1 pint of sack (white wine)
  • 1 1/2 c sugar

Instructions

  1. Put the milk into a pot and add some cinnamon and mace, and bring to a simmer
  2. While the milk is heating through, in another pot beat the eggs thoroughly. add the wine, a grated nutmeg, more fresh cinnamon, and the sugar
  3. Heat the eggs through and then incorporate the cream once that comes to a boil
  4. Cover and allow to simmer for a time on the lowest heat, stirring occasionally

Serve in a mug with a little sugar on top

Eierpunsch, a recipe

This was a holiday favorite all through the Holy Roman Empire, when I was living in Strasburg

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of white wine (keep in mind that Germany has an excellent tradition of sweet white wines like reisling)
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 5 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 c strongly brewed tea
  • 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Brew the tea and let it cool
  2. Whisk the eggs and add in the sugar and some of the white wine until it begins to get frothy
  3. Add the rest of the wine, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon juice
  4. Put in a pot and allow to heat through, but remove immediately before boiling
  5. Fish out the cloves

Serve in a mug with a little fresh whipped cream

Milk Punch, a recipe

From the early 1700’s the British and French had forged a somewhat calm trade relationship, despite all their bickering, making sherry and brandy fairly common and accessible. This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz. brandy
  • 4 tsp cream
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground clove

Instructions

  1. Whisk the ingredients together until foamy
  2. Spice to taste, while whisking

Serve at room temperature, or turn it into something of a cocktail in these modern times by shaking over ice.

American Nog, a recipe

Trade between the colonies was largely one way for a very long time, that is to say, it was largely a circular endeavor. The British shipped goods to the entire western world, stole slaves from Africa, brought them to the Americas, and then took products from us for sale in Britain and the rest of Europe. This system was entirely focused on the wealth and excesses of England, and cared very little about the colonists. As such, it was tedious getting any items directly from Europe, which meant there was hardly ever brandy to be had. And so, the egg beverages commenced to be cut with rum from the Caribbean.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. brandy
  • 1/2 c. dark spiced rum
  • 1/2 c. sherry
  • 1/2 c. whiskey
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 qt heavy cream
  • 1 qt milk
  • a dozen eggs
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Mix the alcohols. Separate your eggs, setting the whites aside
  2. Put the yolks into your mixer and beat until the the yolks are foamy. Slowly incorporate the sugar and spices.
  3. Add the alcohol slowly
  4. Add the milk and cream
  5. Pour this mixture into a separate bowl. With a clean bowl and whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the alcohol mixture

You may serve immediately at room temperature, or warm it through as needed and top with a little whipped cream. If storing it in the refrigerator, be sure to mix it regularly so that it doesn’t separate.

Modern Eggnog, a recipe

Modern humans are terrified of raw eggs, even when pasteurized. Now they buy rubbish in a carton and microwave it, throw in a shot of bourbon and call it finished, but to me this is a crime. So, allow me to help you out a bit. Here is a modern eggnog cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 12 egg yolks
  • 4 c. whole milk
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. baker’s sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c. Amaretto or Grand Marnier (I prefer Grand Marnier, as it gives a nice sweetness)
  • 1 1/2 c. brandy (I use Remy Martin VSOP as it is inexpensive, but meshes well)

Instructions

  1. Whip the egg yolks in the standing mixer, then incorporate the sugar. Then the milk and cream until the mixture is frothy and pale.
  2. Slowly incorporate the alcohol

Serve warm or shaken over ice. I would top the warm version with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg, and the cold version with a twist of candied lemon rind.

I very much hope this brief history of eggnog has pleased you. I hope you can track the similarities, and admire the variety. Perhaps you even have ideas of how to craft a new recipe that borrows from history.

If you do try any of them, please do send me a picture. I post all images of my recipes sent in by readers, as a general rule.

A Nutty Fruitcake, a recipe

You may have heard the phrase “nuttier than a fruit cake”. This comes from the days when fruit cakes actually contained a large portion of nuts. This recipe is something of a hybrid and adaptation of several of my favorite. I’ve made them many ways, but this one came out the best.

Tools:

  • 10″ loaf pan
  • Microplane or fine cheese grater
  • Medium saucepan

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. golden raisins
  • 1 c. dried apricots
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. dried blueberries
  • 1/2 c. dried cherries
  • 1/2 c. dried fruit of your choice  (I prefer either dates or pineapple) chopped
  • 1/4 c. candied ginger
  • Zests of a whole orange and a lemon
  • 1 c. rum or brandy
  • 1 cup cider or cran-apple juice
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 whole cloves, ground
  • 6 allspice berries, ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 c chopped pecans
  • 1/4 c chopped pistachios
  • A bottle of your favorite alcohol for feeding the cake. I would choose either a rum, a brandy, or a bourbon that has strong notes of caramel.

Instructions:

  1. Chop or break up the dried fruits and ginger so that they can absorb liquid. Soak these and zest in the cup of rum/Brandy for several hours if not overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325.
  3. In a pot, combine this fruit mixture,spices,  sugar, butter, and juice, and bring to a simmer for about 8 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Combine all the dry ingredients and slowly incorporate these into the cooled fruit mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the chopped nuts.
  6. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for an hour, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow loaf to cool completely before taking out of the pan, but be sure to pour a Tbsp of liquor over the top as it is cooking.
  8. This cake should age for about a fortnight before being eaten. Keep it wrapped in parchment and foil, or housed in an airtight container. Or both. It does not need to be kept in the refrigerator, so long as you feed it every day. This is done by carefully ensuring that every inch of the thing has been doused in alcohol. We don’t want the cake to dissolve, so either do this a tiny teaspoon at a time, or use a basting brush. Some people use spray bottles, but I find this unsatisfying, and also am annoyed that the alcohol evaporates from the bottle. It’s meant to evaporate inside the cake itself. So if you do use the spritz of method, use a small travel sized bottle and refill it each time you feed the cake.

To serve, slice like abnormal cake. If not all eaten at once, be sure to feed the open end before wrapping up and storing.

This is by no means the only sort of fruitcake recipe. I hope to put up another very soon. This is simply my favorite.

Reader’s Tales, Episode 1

As may seem obvious, many of you come to me because you have experienced things in your past that were frightening or utterly bizarre. You see parallels in my confessions. I receive many messages and stories to this effect, but now it has reached the point at which I really feel that you need to see what I have seen.

I think, that if you perceived the continuity to which I have been privy, it would give you great comfort.

There are things that go bump in the night. To that end, I invite you to submit your stories to me. I will post them on my blog, if you consent. If you have encountered something you believe to be a member of my species, do please email your story to me at

Lonecreature@gmail

With instructions of what you want to accompany your story (a name, an image, et cetera). Please understand, I am not asking for fan fiction or fiction of any kind. I am asking for your unvarnished experiences.

Thank you.

Eat or Be Eaten

Often in conversation with my readers I invariably end up taking on something of a parental role, probably due to age. Ha. In any case, I have a soecific reader who constantly forgets to eat, or who fights me upon the topic. This is what it has come to:


Thank you, Tumblr user @localnonbinarydeer for this charming depiction of our friendship.

To commission them, you may go to their website. 

Merry Christmas you filthy animals

Christmas is a holiday rife with ironies. While its hopeful prayer that mankind can be better than it has been may be the candle on a cold winter night to many, I am less impressed and maintain my aloof skepticism. I’m of a mind to find a way to commandeer this sacred consumerism for my own purposes.

To that end, I have petitioned Tapas, the patient benefactor of my experiment in human behavior, to allow me to give you a Christmas gift: more recipes for human flesh! That is to say, they have allowed me to grant 500 coins to all those gentle readers who have bookmarked my three humble volumes.

These coins will be given to you on December 14. Don’t mistake this for generosity on my part; It is a nefarious plot to enlist you in piracy of Santa’s sleigh. You see, you may assist me in spreading word of my experiment to your family and friends, all while appearing generous! Anyone who has bookmarked any of my books by that date, will automatically receive the 500 coins, so do please drag your friends to this holiday table, and let me lay the feast.


Seasons Greetings, and please don’t arrive to dinner wearing complementary colors. It is an appalling fashion crime, not a rite.