Say your cat is deathly ill and you rush it to the vet. Several days, a surgery, and many procedures later, you find out that the bill is going to be to the tune of $1000 dollars. Oh, and it's coming out of your savings for that trip to Italy in 2010.
A. Smile, hand over your AMEX and remind yourself that pets are people too. Italy can wait. Like its wine, it only gets better with age.
B. Grind your teeth, curse all things furry under the sun (vets included), but pay the bill anyway.
C. Resort to childish tactics: crying, swearing, arguing, flirting, etc..., and hope that they will lower the bill. (They don't.)
D. Sign the credit card slip, walk out the door, straight into a drug store and fill a basket with chocolate. (Thank goodness it's Valentine's soon and the place is stocked!)
You can probably guess my coping strategy. Yep, "D" lots of chocolate. M & M's (the big bag), Lindt Extra Thins, Nestle chocolate eggs, you name it, I bought it.
Note that all of the numbers above include paying the inflated veterinary bill. Somehow there are no other options. Grrr. Don't get me wrong, we're happy to have our Cassis home again, but had we been a little better informed of certain common complications that can occur in neutered male cats, we may have saved ourselves the stress and money*.
Anyhow, that is the very short version of how I found myself looking for ways to use up lots of chocolate. Having just mixed up a batch of our family favorite chewy oatmeal-raisin cookies with Noah, and watching him top them with M&M's, I decided to melt a some of my Lindt Extra Thins on top as the cookies were cooling on the rack. The results were rather delicious:
The 70% cacao sliver of chocolate melted in the oatmeal cookie's warm hug and created the most tantalizing and perfectly square glaze on the round cookie. The few left on the cooling rack that did not get devoured hardened nicely again, which helped for stacking and storing.
It's fun to watch them melt...Now if you'll excuse me, I've got lots of chocolate to eat.
Cinnamon-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Glaze
makes 3 dozen large
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut
3 cups oatmeal (not quick or instant)
1 cup raisins
36 Lindt thins, 70% Cacao
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Combine and add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in coconut, oatmeal and raisins and stir just to combine.
Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes until edges start to brown slightly. Tops will still be slightly raw. (I like to under-bake my oatmeal cookies so they are chewy as opposed to crispy.)
Let cool on pan for a minute or so and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Place a Lindt Thin on the top of each cookie and watch them melt.
Allow cookies to cool completely and wait for the chocolate to harden before transferring cookies to a tin.
Monday, February 09, 2009
* * **UPDATE: Attention cat owners! For a detailed look at what happened to Cassis the Cat and, more importantly, how to easily prevent it from happening to your cat, visit my sisters' blog My Mini Zoo. Miranda is well schooled in this area and gives a complete rundown on what every cat owner should know --and what vets don't necessarily want you to know. Seriously, don't go through what we did; educate yourself now!