Monday, May 18, 2009

Adult Diversions

The word "adult" is a curious word. Logically, it should mean the opposite of childish. Being an adult should mean that you've put away childish things and are ready to buckle down to tackling the weightier issues of life. But put the word "adult" in front of the words "bookstore" or "theater" and you've got a whole different meaning.

Wouldn't you think that an adult bookstore would be one that carries the collected works of Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, and Thomas Paine? And perhaps volumes of the New York Times crossword puzzles. And an adult theater might specialize in documentaries, retrospectives, and lecture series about the issues facing mankind.

Instead, adult bookstores and theaters are all about porn, smut, and leather. So sad.

The cookbook Deep Dark Chocolate describes these cookies as adult cookies. I think they're going with the ideal definition of adult - sophisticated, for the discerning palate, and not to be wasted on unappreciative children. But if you wanted to put on a French maid costume to serve them to your sweetie, that's your call.

XXX Cookies
- adapted from Deep Dark Chocolate

3 oz premium dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp premium unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
2-1/2 tsp chili powder or your favorite pepper blend, divided
1/2 tsp ground mace
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (Mexican is preferable)
3 Tbsp premium cacao nibs, chopped into small bits
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar

1- Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl and set over a pan of hot water. Set aside for 5 minutes, sitrring 4 or 5 times, and let the chocolate melt completely. Stir occasionally until the mixture is smooth and cools slightly.

2- In another medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, 1-1/2 tsp of the chili powder, the mace, and salt until well blended. Set aside.

3- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until pale, 2 to 3 minutes. Alternately blend the dry ingredients and the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture in increments. Stir in the nibs. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

4- Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F, with racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5- Sift the powdered sugar into a shallow bowl and whisk into it the remaining 1 tsp chili powder. Shape the chilled dough into 1-1/2-inch balls and roll in the powdered sugar mixture, forming a thick coat on the ball. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until set, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Makes about 30 cookies.


Elyse said...

Now this is how I like to see the word "adult" used. These cookies look right up my alley. Dark and deliciously chocolatey. Man oh man, I could go for a few right now. Great job! (By the way, after studying the First Amendment and obscenity in my Constitutional Law class this semester, I feel all too acquainted with the use of "adult" before theater and bookstore. Oh, and did you know, that adult theaters usually spell theater "theatre," as if doing so makes the establishment classier or something.)

Sarah said...

Adult book store= poison gas!

I liked these cookies a lot. I don't think they are nearly as sophisticated as some of your other cookies you've made. I snorked these up in no time and loved 'em.

Michelle said...


Karen Baking Soda said...

Oh yum, I'm afraid the boys in the house will inhale them regardless of age (oh, that's not equal to adulthood is it?)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

You always know how to twist things in just the best ways! Ahem . . . I think I need a cookie!

Laurie said...

These cookies look very sophisticated. And the photo's are picture perfect!

Peabody said...

XXX oh my. Of course you realize that because of that title lots of interesting links will try and come to your site. ;)
They look XXX though.
Hey, did I ever get back to you about Cafe Ladro? In my mind I did but now I am thinking I did not.

eatme_delicious said...

These look perfect!

Madam Chow said...

No French maid costume, but I DO have a lot of chocolate on hand!

NKP said...

Mmm, spicy! Now... where to get one of those costumes....

Debbie said...

OOOOhhh they look good. Love the addition of chili powder...I cannot resist a chocolate cookie.

grace said...

terrific post, lynn. i laughed, i drooled, and i wondered to myself where i could pick up both a maid costume and some premium dark chocolate in the same place... :)

Lien said...

You have such a funny way with words, I love your stories. I'd love a whole bag of these, but please no costumes for me, I look ridiculous enough by myself.
Though I might hold a whip... just to keep the hands away from my cookiebag.

Aimée said...

So yum! I'm happy to be a grown-up when these are concerned!

Unknown said...

These cookies look great. Finally theres something with the word adult in it that one doesnt need to be apprehensive about sharing.

The Blonde Duck said...

I am afraid I fit in the unappreciative child category. I'm the one with macaroni and cheese in my hair!

Abby said...

I giggled when you said leather. I guess I'm not ready to be called an adult?

And oh, I love the addition of pepper! VERY adult-like.

Diane said...

I have been waiting for this post. They were so yummy when you let me try one of yours. I remember distinctly that the tip of my tongue was doing jete's of joy!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Do you think they'd taste better if I dressed up in a frech maid outfit?? ;-)

Melinda said...

The only maid's outfit around this house is scruffy jeans and a tea shirt and hair pulled back to a pony tail. Yes, I could still love those in my maid's outfit.
Very naughty.

Shanbanan said...

I think these would be right up my alley. And I'm an adult--at least according to my physiological age.

The palate does become more sophisticated, and I've definitely come around to the chocolate and spice flavor combo. I made some MS choc ginger cookies and absolutely loved them, but my 3 and 5 year old nephews brought them back to me and said they were "Too Hot". And my hot chocolate recipe (from Alton Brown) has cayenne pepper in it. Love it.