6 November 2012.
The world (or I suspect, a good part of it) is watching the US presidential elections. I am not an American myself, but I am following the race to the White House, watching the number of votes allotted for each candidate add up, with observed peaks of suspense once states like Florida or Ohio are mentionned. It is late on a Tuesday night, around 11PM or so, and the verdict drops, finally. Obama has been re-elected, 44th president of the United States of America.
Many are happy, some are sad and a few might had been surprised. Me? I had been a spectator all along, but of course- like everyone else- have my own opinion. For the sake of keeping things clean, I prefer not to discuss my political beliefs on this blog. Swirl & Scramble is first and foremost a recollection of my kitchen musings, and not a political platform.
But exceptionally, and truly exceptionally, maybe once every four years, politics and food can mix. It happened to be, that shortly after the elections, I was inspired to make an Obama cookie. Not a sugar cookie with Obama's face drawn in, but one with a taste that, I felt, captured the president's profile.
If Obama were a cookie, what would he be made of? After much flavour combination brainstorming, I finally had it nailed down. And some of the ingredients are thanks to genius suggestions from friends. Putting them all together however was a responsibility I wanted to assume. The base would be a quintessential American chocolate chip cookie but hinting to places like Hawaii and Kenya. It would be sweet yet earthy. It would be simultaneously crunchy and smooth. It would be complex yet ever so comforting, familiar and simple. And so it became clear that my flavour palette would be: cashews, rum soaked raisins, brown sugar, coconut, cinnamon, coffee and chocolate. A chewy generous cookie that would be difficult to resist.
Obama cookies- in the making...
Ten minutes later, they are ready...
And mighty delicious!
And if I can confess, slightly addictive too!
Recipe for Obama Cookies
Makes 25-30 cookies
1 cup (=2 sticks) butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup sugar (icing sugar if possible)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons concentrated coffee*
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup rum soaked raisins*
3/4 cup chopped unsalted cashews (not raw cashews)
(Adjust chocolate chips, raisins, cashews quantity to personal preference)
In a bowl, mix the butter, eggs, sugars, coffee and cinnamon. Once mixed, follow with the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until smooth dough obtained. Gently fold in the coconut, chocolate chips, raisins and cashews. Mix all together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place dough in fridge for 2-5 hours.
Preheat oven to 375F. Once oven is preheated, place cookie dough balls on a baking tray and bake for 9-10 minutes. Remove, allow cookies to rest on tray for 2 minutes and then transfer to cool on a cookie rack.
*To make concentrated coffee: prepare your coffee as usual, but increase coffee by tripling the usual quantity.
*To prepare rum soaked raisins: in a small pot, heat some rum and throw in the raisins. Keep on medium heat for approx 5 minutes, remove and transfer to a heat-resistant bowl. Cover and let rest overnight.
NOTE: I have absolutely no affiliation whatsoever with Barack Obama- or anyone in politics as a matter of fact. This was a purely personal creative culinary endeavour with no further intention.