Flower-y Doodles & Dark Chocolate Cookies

 

My drawings “in progress” are still in progress, so this week I’m posting some doodles. I’ve always liked to make pattern-like doodles which I can then colour in, much like the adult colouring books that have become popular. Here are a few samples of my mostly flower-y doodles.

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This week’s dessert is dark chocolate cookies. The original recipe (from Martha Stewart’s Cookies) is for milk chocolate cookies, but for some time now I’ve wanted to try it with my family’s favourite dark chocolate:

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Every time my parents visit from Montreal they make sure to bring us a stock pile of Munz chocolate because we can’t seem to find it anywhere in Ottawa. It is by far the yummiest dark chocolate available at regular grocery stores, and it also has less sugar than other dark chocolate bars. (The photo above is of the bar with hazelnuts, but I used a plain dark chocolate bar to make the cookies.)

Dark Chocolate Cookies

1 cup flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon coarse salt
8 ounces Munz dark chocolate (4 oz coarsely chopped, 4 oz cut into ¼ inch chunks)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar (I used only 1 cup of brown sugar)
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Melt 4 ounces coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter—the recipe says to do this in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water, but really! Who has time for that? I just used the microwave!! Mix the chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixture on medium speed. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Drop 1 ½ inch scoops of the dough onto parchment lined baking sheets, and space them roughly 2 inches apart. Bake at 325 F for about 15 minutes—the cookies should be flat and the surfaces cracked, but they should also be soft.

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So good!!

Strange Bird & Easy Brownies

I’m back!

It’s unfortunately been 3 months since I’ve posted anything. I’ve still been so busy with our new house that I haven’t made any time for my art. But no more! I’m going to make a concerted effort to sit down and draw for at least 2 hours a week if not, hopefully, more. During the holidays I had a chance to set up my studio—yes! We have an extra room that I have claimed for myself! 🙂 So now that I have an actual place to work (other than the kitchen table) I’m optimistic that I will more easily find time to draw.

Here’s a snapshot of my new studio:

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It’s still not 100% complete since this is the room where we are storing the hardwood that is eventually going to be installed in our bedroom:

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But it’s a wonderful start; I am so happy to have a space to work again!

That being said I haven’t been able to complete any of my “in progress” drawings yet. The past few nights I’ve been so tired that I opted to sketch in bed instead of in my studio. So for this week’s posting I decided to share an old drawing that I made while still in University (I think–unfortunately I never dated it). I came across it while organizing my new studio. I gave the original to my father years ago, but I kept a colour photocopy for myself.

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It’s by no means a perfect drawing. The bird isn’t realistic at all and the “water” leaves much to be desired, but this many years later I’m still quite happy with it for whatever reason. Maybe because it’s just a weird image. So I framed it and hung it in my studio:

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I may not have had time to draw for the past few months, but I haven’t stopped baking. I have no excuse for why I haven’t been posting my desserts other than I’ve been lazy! But now I have a nice backlog of yummy desserts, so for the next little while I’ll be sharing a drawing and a recipe in each post.

This week’s dessert comes straight from the back of the Baker’s brand (owned by Kraft) unsweetened chocolate box. It’s the best brownie recipe I’ve ever come across, so it’s usually the one I make. It’s also incredibly easy and fast, which is always nice!

Brownies:

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
¾ cup butter
2 cups sugar (I use only 1.5 cups)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

Microwave the chocolate and butter until melted. Stir in sugar until well blended, then mix in eggs and vanilla. Finally stir in the flour. Pour into 8 inch greased (buttered) baking pan and bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes (or until cake tester/knife inserted into centre comes out mostly clean—with a few crumbs but not wet). You can also easily add nuts or chocolate chips to the recipe.

I used a slightly bigger pan than normal this time so the brownies turned out a little too thin, but they still tasted absolutely divine.

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