Tim Tam Slam

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A little while ago my mentor at work found a new job and left us. She’s from PEI, Canada’s weirdest, smallest province, where they get way too much snow, grow way too many potatoes, and you can drive across it way too quickly (because it’s so small). And she’s famous for something that I only knew around the offices as “the Tim Tam Slam.” And on her last day we all gathered around in the kitchen and she showed us exactly what that phrase means. And now I’m going to show you. This is so not a summer beverage (I don’t even know if it’s a PEI thing), but it doesn’t matter. You need to know this if you don’t already, and you’re going to thank me for putting it on the internet for everyone to see. If you DO know this, you’re going to thank me for putting it on the internet for everyone to see.

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First, you need to grab yourself some Tim Tams, which are Australian chocolate cookies. So if you’re not in Australia you can get them in the imported cookie section of your regular giant grocery store, or in one of those fancy shops that sells imported food. Then you’re going to want to chuck them in your freezer for a while. This isn’t necessary but it makes the whole experiment work better.

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Then you make yourself some of your favourite hot chocolate. This stuff has marshmallows in it.

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Don’t be a heathen. Mix it with cream (or non-dairy whatever) first to form a paste so you don’t get lumps.

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Is your hot chocolate ready to drink? Okay. Grab the Tim Tams out of the freezer.

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Take a cookie and bite off just a tiny bit of one corner. Just a wee bit so that the middle filling is just exposed.

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Then take another wee bit off the opposite corner. I always take too much off one corner, but it’s not a huge deal. Just don’t go crazy and bite off a huge piece. It’s hard to resist, but you can do it.

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Then take your cookie, and pretend it’s a straw. Yup, a straw. Dip the cookie so that one of your bitten corners is submerged in the hot chocolate. Then put your mouth over the other bitten end and suck it like a straw. It will take a few pulls for the hot chocolate to make it through.

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Now you only have a few sips of chocolate through the cookie before the heat of the hot chocolate melts the whole bottom of the Tim Tam.

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When this happens, shove as much of the cookie in your mouth as possible. It is amazing and dissolve-y and definitely worth repeating. That is the Tim Tam Slam. Aren’t you glad you know?

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Eggless Chocolate Egg Cookies

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Necessity is the mother of invention. These cookies were a necessity. They were made under less-than-happy circumstances. We’d just come to the realization that Indy was no longer safe living in our house and we had to take him back to the breeder as soon as possible in order to avoid compromising his physical and mental health and to start the hard road of Gren’s anti-anxiety conditioning right away. To say we were abjectly miserable would be a gross understatement.

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So I made these cookies as a bit of cold comfort for the situation. I’d already braved the supermarket with sunglasses and a hat to hide my red eyes in order to take advantage of half-price Cadbury Mini Eggs, but when I got back I discovered I was completely out of eggs, and I just didn’t have it in me to go back. So I simply went without. And here’s the recipe for it.

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In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, and 1 teaspoon baking soda.

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In another, larger bowl, cream together 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar.

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You can do this with a mixer but I did it by hand so as not to wake up my sleeping dogs. We were all having a spectacularly bad day.

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Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup milk or cream.

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Now gradually add in your flour mixture and stir until everything is uniform.

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Grab about 1 cup chocolate eggs (Cadbury’s are the best) and smash them up a bit (or don’t smash them, that’s up to you). Chuck them into the dough and mix it around. Now I don’t usually have the patience to chill dough but this stuff is much easier to manipulate if you chuck it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

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When you’re ready to bake, set your oven to 325°F and line some baking sheets with parchment paper.

Form the dough into little balls and press them onto the baking sheets. These don’t expand very much so you can make them whatever size you want.

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Bake for about 10-12 minutes and remove from the oven to let cool completely on the sheet, on a rack. I don’t recommend moving these until they’re more or less cool as they’re a little unstable when hot.

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Mocha-maca-mel Monsters

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The first job I ever had that I got without the aid of nepotism was as a Subway Sandwich Artist at the local mall. Now, this was way back in the day, and by back in the day I mean so long ago that we only had two kinds of bread, one type of cheese, and we still cut the loaves in U-shapes (which, I maintain to this day, is still the better way to do it). My favourite Subway cookie was (and still is) the double chocolate macadamia nut, with a cocoa base, white chocolate chips, and a handful of crushed macadamia nuts.  So good.  And I don’t even like macadamia nuts. I don’t know how they were made (they came in little frozen dough pucks) but this recipe is an homage to my memory of burning myself on ovens for minimum wage. Enjoy!

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Preheat your oven to 375°F and line some baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1/4 cup instant espresso (for the mocha- part).

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I tried to line this up all cool and edgy but my kitchen door was open and kept blowing the flour around and the grains of instant coffee were too coarse to stay still. Turns out I suck at being cool. And at planning ahead.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together 1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1 cup granulated sugar until super fluffy and glorious.  I know some of you don’t use refined sugars but you simply cannot beat the smell of butter and sugar getting to know each other.

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Add in 2 large eggs, beating them up individually – just like any kung fu movie involving one hero and multiple opponents.

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Slowly tip in your flour mixture and mix until totally combined (I used the shield, sorry Eli).

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Then smash up some macadamia nuts (for the -maca- part).

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I have no idea how many I have here, but I think I ended up with just over 2 cups after I smashed them with the end of my rolling pin.  Good times.

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I also added in about 2 cups butterscotch chips.  For the -mel (caramel) part.

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Drop in heaping tablespoons onto your baking sheet and bake, rotating halfway through for 8-10 minutes.

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Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes on the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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So tasty with a cold glass of milk.

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