Category Archives: year in review

2010 Year in Review, Part II: The Non-Recipes

2010 nonrecipes collage

A Record of Sticking Places

In September, Lauren Berlant wrote the following description of writing on her blog, Supervalent Thought

Most of the writing we do is actually a performance of stuckness.  It is a record of where we got stuck on a question for long enough to do some research and write out the whole knot until the original passion and curiosity that made us want to try to say something about something got so detailed, buried, encrypted, and diluted that the energetic and risk-taking impulse became sealed and delivered in the form of a defense against thinking any more about it. Along the way, something might have happened to the scene the question stood for:  or not.

At first, I thought of that as something that applied only to “serious” writing—to articles or book chapters that unfold over months or years. But in retrospect, I think it’s actually one of the reasons I started this blog: to have a place to delve (even if only shallowly) into the kinds of questions that were distracting me from writing my dissertation and then seal them up so they’d stop cluttering my thought process. At some point in the process of writing most of the longer, essayish posts, I get sick of the topic and just want to be done with it. So I finish it, and even if I haven’t entirely resolved the question I started with, I feel released from thinking about it at least for a while.

However, the blog hasn’t quite had the intended effect of freeing me up to write the dissertation because, unsurprisingly, getting mentally “free” takes up a lot of the time and energy I ought to be spending on that other, more important “performance of stuckness.” And the whole idea of having a mentally “clean slate” before I deal with my dissertation was probably always a hopeless ambition.

So this part of the retrospective on the year is also a sort of penitent offering to anyone who’s come to appreciate or even maybe expect this kind of content. In the next six months, I need to finish and defend and submit my dissertation. Also, I’m getting married. Between the two, I’m probably not going to have the time to do a lot of longer posts on culture/history/politics. I’m toying with the idea of taking excerpts from the dissertation and editing them into blog-friendly essays on the weekends. But in case I don’t end up having the time to post much of anything substantial for at least the first half of 2011 and that makes you sad, maybe there will be something here that you missed or might be interested in revisiting.

Special Series

Image from Look at this Fucking HipsterHipsters on Food StampsA three-part look at the bogus “trend” piece published last March in Salon about college-educated people using food stamps to buy organic, ethnic, and otherwise non-subsistence-diet foods and what it says about food & social class in America:

Part I: The New Generation of Welfare Queens—A critique of the article that places it in the longer history of concern about how the poor eat

Part II: Who Deserves Public Assistance?—An analysis of the comments and some of the myths about social class and poverty in America they reflect

Part III: Damned If You Do-ritos and Damned If You Don’t—An attempt to explain the contradictory trends of patronizing vs. romanticizing the poor and how they eat and what kinds of contemporary anxieties the bogus trend of hipsters on food stamps might be a response to

Responses to Food, Inc.—Posts related to the film (and the broader agendas it gave voice to) and how they distort the picture of the American food system and confused their audience.

I never got around to going through the list of suggestions at the end of the film. Perhaps I'll get to it in 2011.Part I: No Bones in the Supermarket—An interrogation of the film’s premise that “looking” at the food system will lead everyone to the same conclusion

Part II: Is the Food More Dangerous?—The film suggests that industrial animal agriculture is responsible for the deadly strain of e coli that killed at least one innocent child, but it turns out that’s not true. Grass-fed cattle have less generic, harmless e coli but the same prevalence of 0157:H7.

Price, Sacrifice, and the Food Movement’s “Virtue” Problem—Why a food “movement” predicated on spending more or making sacrifices is necessarily limited to the privileged few.

The Myth of the Grass-Fed Pig—Why not every farm animal can or should be “grass fed,” and the ecological argument for vegetarianism.

The Myth of the Grass-Fed Pig, Part II: Cornphobia—On the epidemic of irrational fears about corn inspired by Michael Pollan’s books and the documentaries he has appeared in.

Don’t Drink the Agave-Sweetened Kool-AidWhy agave nectar Greenwashing alert.isn’t “natural,” healthy, or (probably) more delicious than other sweeteners.

Part I: Natural, My Foot—Agave nectar isn’t an “ancient sweetener” used by Native Americans, it was invented in the 1990s and involves a process almost identical to the one used to make High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Part II: What’s Wrong With Any High-Fructose Sweetener—Why agave nectar, with up to 90% fructose, isn’t a healthier substitute for sugar.

Part III: The Mint Julep Taste Test and Calorie Comparison—The results of a comparison between agave and simple syrup-sweetened mint juleps and some number crunching that shows you could theoretically cut a small number of calories by substituting agave for sugar, but not if you use the recommended amount, which is calorically identical.

Why Posting Calorie Counts Won’t WorkCalorie counts are already appearing on menus across the country, and will soon be required for most chains. This series explores why they won’t make Americans thinner or healthier. 

Another thing I didn't mention--many of the calorie counts are being posted as "ranges" that take into account all the forms of customization, which makes the numbers even less useful. What are you supposed to do with the knowledge that a burrito has somewhere between 400-1400 calories?Introduction—A brief run-down of the reasons I don’t think the policy will work as intended.

Part I: The Number Posted is Often Wrong—What you see on the label is not always what you get, and the difference isn’t entirely random. 

Part II: Most People Don’t Know How Many Calories They Burn—The problem of calorie ignorance isn’t one that can be fixed with an educational campaign—people don’t know how many calories they burn because they can’t know, because it changes, especially if they change their diets.

Part III: Calorie-restriction Dieting Doesn’t Work Long Term—A meta-literature review of three decades of research on calorie-restriction weight loss that shows again and again that by far the most common result of dieting is weight loss followed by regain. And an explanation of why the National Weight Loss Control Registry isn’t a representative sample.


Health

Probably my favorite post because writing it helped me get over/through that rough patch.When What I Want Isn’t What I Want: Temptation and Disordered Thinking/Eating—Not about nutrition, but about mental health and how easy it is to fall into into negative thought patterns about food and body image, even if you think you’re “beyond” all that

Salt Headlines That Make the Vein in My Forehead Throb—Irresponsible news media reporting about public health research, and especially comparisons between the relative merits of cutting salt  and quitting smoking, may be hazardous to my health

Stop Serving Assemblyman Felix Ortiz Salt in Any Form—A plea to the restaurateurs of New York to teach Mr. Ortiz a lesson handed down from fairytales about what it would be like to eat food without salt.Unless you are a rabbit or a chicken, cholesterol in your food does not automatically translate to cholesterol in your veins.

Things that Won’t Kill You Volume IV: Saturated Fat, Part II: Cholesterol Myths—No one, not even Ancel Keys, ever thought you should avoid dietary cholesterol. Volumes I: High Fructose Corn Syrup, II: Fruit Juice, III: MSG, and IV: Saturated Fat Part I went up in 2009.

Things That Might Kill You Volume I : Trans-fats—Why you might want to avoid trans fats, including things with “0 grams of trans fats per serving,” which still contain potentially non-trivial amounts.

HFCS Follow-up: What the Rats at Princeton Can and Can’t Tell US—A review of the study claiming rats consuming HFCS gained more weight than rats consuming table sugar

Food Policy & Politics

I'm still sometimes uneasy trying to choose between better-for-the-environment and better-for-animals and often end up buying Omega-3 enriched eggs because so far at least it seems like those eggs might be measurably different and healthier.You’re All Good Eggs: New research shows that specialty eggs aren’t any better for the environment or  more delicious—A review of the evidence for and against specialty eggs, concluding that they might be marginally more humane but come at an environmental cost.

Good Egg Update: Someone’s Keeping Score—Explaining the Cornucopia Institute’s guide to specialty eggs

A Food Policy & Politics Christmas Wish List—Seven things that might improve the U.S. food system

Robots

Who Says Robots Can’t Taste? On Cooking Robots and Electronic Noses—A survey of cooking robots and  anxieties about electronic incursions on the acts of cooking and eating

Ingredient Spotlight

The first three listed below were stand-alone posts without recipes. The others were also collected in the 2010 recipe retrospective, but I thought they might merit inclusion here, too, because they involved some research beyond just looking at a few recipes and cooking something.

I'm still not totally satisfied by what I was able to find--the active chemicals have been identified, but it's still a bit of a mystery how they work the way they do. The Sweet Science of Artichokes—Why they make things taste sweet after you eat them

Morel Time in Michigan—How to identify morels and tell them apart from vague look-a-likes.

Meet the Paw-Paw, aka the Michigan Banana—A tropical fruit for the American midwest, with its very own Johnny Appleseed. 

Two on the Tomato: The Official Verdict in the Fruit v. Vegetable Debate and The Case For Tomatoes as Dessert—On the Supreme Court case that ruled tomatoes a “vegetable,” and why there’s still a debate about them even though there are lots of other “vegetables” that are botanically fruits. And how to use them to substitute for sweeter fruits in dessert recipes.

Cheddar-Garlic Biscuits: In Defense of Garlic Powder—Why garlic powder is so maligned, and a culinary defense.

The saffron crocus--each bloom produces 3 pistils, which must be harvested by hand during the brief window when they bloom, before sunrise because the flowers wilt in the sun. Jonathan Franzen and Joël Robuchon-inpspired Rutabaga Purée—On the root vegetable’s biggest fans (some of whom use it as a curling rock), its many detractors, and its supporting role in Jonathan Franzen’s novel The Corrections.

Now in Season: Sour Cherry Pie—What makes sour cherries different from normal pie cherries, and the science of flaky pie crusts.

Deviled Eggs with Saffron Aioli—On the history of deviled eggs and why saffron is so expensive.

Pork Chops with Cider Reduction and Greens—A review of several theories on why pork is so often prepared or paired with apples.

Recipes with History

These were all in the recipe round-up, but again, they have something to offer aside from cooking instruction. New annotations to explain what else you might learn there.

Benedictines and Pimento Cheese Sandwiches for Derby Day—On Miss Jennie Carter Benedict of Louisville,  Kentucky and the shaping of an “American” cuisine for the emerging middle classI'm still tickled by the idea that a reality television show can have a soul.

Jook (Chicken and Rice Porridge)—On the cross-cultural phenomenon of prescribing bone broths and particularly chicken broth-based soups as a healing or restorative food.

Lemon and Herb Chicken Drumsticks—On the history of Labor Day and the relationship between food and holidays

Sourdough-risen Whole Wheat Bagels and the Sweetness of the Old World—On the fetishization of a humble roll with a hole, its origins in the Jewish diaspora and why you don’t have to use “malt extract” to make it authentic (but why some people think you do).

Introducing Ezekiel and How and Why to Make a Sourdough Starter—A brief history of sourdough starters and why so many of them are named “Herman.”

Buckeyes, Shmuckeyes, or if you prefer, Peanut Butter Bon-Bons—How buckeyes became Ohioan and Not, I suspect, bluffin' with her muffin. Ohioans became buckeyes, starring General Ebenzer Sproat and President William Henry Harrison.

Sourdough English Muffins: Of nooks and crannies and double-entendres—Muffin nationalism explained, and also how muffin became a slang term for women and various parts of their anatomy.

American Pumpernickel—Devil’s Fart Bread! The history of Old World and New World rye breads.

Baguettes, regular or whole wheat—On the history and Frenchification of long, skinny, crusty loaves of bread.

A Sourdough-risen Challah Trinity: Braid, Loaf, Knot—The history of challah from tithing to the temple to European decorative braided breads. 

Homemade Peeps and Chocolate-covered Marshmallow Eggs—On this history of the candy, from the therapeutic uses of the mallow flower to the contemporary, mallow-less confection.

2010 Year in Review, Part I: Top Ten Recipes of 2010

Clockwise from the top right: buckwheat crepes, tofu clafoutis with spiced plums, green bean casserole, challah, tomato soup, whole steamed artichoke, flourless chocolate-orange cake, rutabaga, peeps

The Year is Dead, Long Live the Year

Is it just me, or does it seems like it’s been ages since the last winter Olympics? Trying to remember watching the U.S. curling team choke until they finally benched Shuster is like trying to remember a dream. But at the same time, it feels like only yesterday that I was trying to figure out why artichokes make everything else taste sweet or cursing the marshmallow fluff I was trying to shape into Peeps before it turned into one big marshmallow in the shape of a piping bag. How can we possibly be knocking on 2011’s door? 

There should be a word for this sense of time simultaneously collapsing and expanding and the slightly dizzy feeling of trying to look backwards and forwards at the same time. The first time I remember feeling it was about a week before my family went to Disney World when I was seven or eight. I was sitting in the passenger seat of our sedan and watching the minutes tick by as I waited for my mom to finish an errand or something. I was itchy with anticipation about the trip and amazed at how slowly time could pass, but I also had this sort of flash of realization that in almost no time at all, we’d be packing and getting on the plane and that everything would be a warm, colorful, exciting blur, and then we’d be home again. That while the minutes now seemed endless, in what would seem like the blink of an eye, I’d be back in that car, watching time crawl again as my memories of Disney World began to fade away.

End of year retrospectives always seem like a futile attempt to hold on to what will not stay. Or maybe they’re a way of paring an unwieldy mass down to something that can be cupped in one hand. But I thought in lieu of a better indexing system, this might serve as a reference for anyone who wants to revisit an old post or who started reading regularly midway through the year and might be curious about what they missed.

I’ve divided the Year in Review into two parts: recipes and non-recipes. I apparently posted 69 recipes in the last year, although many of them were clustered two or three to a post. I’ve unclustered them, shoved them into some typical cookbook categories, and briefly annotated them below. Also, since 69 is kind of a lot, I singled out the ones I liked best—these are recipes I make habitually, the ones I know by heart, the ones I can’t wait to make again next year:

Choosing was harder than I thought it would be; also I've made a note to start posting more of the things I make all the time but rarely think to feature because "main dishes" are way overrepresented here and it turns out I'm not super excited about the cookies and candy that get disproprtionate blog space.

#10 Spiced Nuts, #9 Buttermilk Biscuits and Vegetarian Gravy, #8 Crusty Multigrain Bread, #7 Sour Cherry Pie, #6 Turkey & Leek Risotto with Homemade Turkey Stock, #5 Taffy Apple Cream Dip, #4 Lemon and Herb Chicken Drumsticks, #3 Whole-wheat Bagels, #2 Alain’s Winter Squash Soup with Homemade Croutons 

And the #1 Recipe of 2010 is….

This makes me long for spring to come again  #1 Morel "Risotto" with Israeli Couscous

2010 Recipes: The Complete Index

Basically a pie crust with cheese in place of some of the butter, spiked with cayenne and paprika. Appetizers & Snacks

Spicy Cheese Straws—Fancypants homemade cheez-its. 

Spiced Nuts (#10 favorite of 2010)—I made these last Christmas to put in gift baskets and serve at our annual New Year’s Eve party. I hadn’t planned on making them this year because no one seemed especially excited about them, but then Brian came home with 4 lbs of nuts and started following me around the house making pathetic faces and whimpering sounds. Then, I forgot to pack them so we had to buy another pound of nuts when we got to his mother’s house because apparently without them, it just wouldn’t be Christmas. In addition to nibbling, they’re great on salads with pear, blue cheese, and a mustard vinaigrette.

Artichoke & Roasted Garlic Chick Pea Dip—A delicious hummus with artichokes, rosemary, and cayenne.

Whole artichokes with butter—How to prep, cook, and eat the inimitable artichoke.

Popcorn chickpeasCrustless Benedictines and Pimento Cheese sandwiches, the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea or mint juleps. Almost as fun to eat as they are to watch fly around the kitchen.

Benedictines—Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches based on a recipe from the classic Louisville  restaurant Benedict’s. 

Pimento Cheese—A fantastic sandwich spread or vegetable dip made with homemade mayonnaise, cheese, and pimentos.

Kale Chips (or Chard or Kohlrabi Tops)—Bitter greens baked to a crisp, salty, addictive snack. Best coated with a little nutritional yeast and chili powder, too.

Curried Squash FrittersDeep-friedSee how yellow? zucchini shreds in a spiced chickpea batter. 

Deviled Eggs with Saffron Aioli—Not clear that the saffron made any difference, except perhaps enhancing the yellowness of the yolk mixture. Still good, just not that different from normal deviled eggs.

Taffy Apple Cream Dip (#5 favorite of 2010)—A brown-sugar and cream cheese dip lightened with whipped cream stabilized with corn starch. It’s airy enough for berries but substantial enough for slices of tart apple.

Soups This would also work with more easily-accessible greens, like spinach

Alain’s Winter Squash Soup (#2 favorite of 2010)—A simple, silky pumpkin or butternut squash soup—probably the recipe I use  most often. Vegan-optional.

Cream of Nettle Soup—A classic roux-based cream soup full of nourishing spring weeds.

Fresh Tomato Soup—Classic or creamy, trounces Campbells even though I’m a fan of the can. Vegan-optional. 

Jook (Chicken and Rice Porridge)—A savory, healing A fusion of Chinese & Euro-American chicken soup traditionsporridge made with rice cooked in bone broth until it begins to fall apart and an examination of the science behind cross-cultural beliefs about the healing power of chicken soup. 

Breakfast

Polenta with Cinnamon-Orange Prune CompoteA comforting porridge with a citrusy dried fruit topping. Vegan.

Buckwheat Crepes—I filled some of them with fresh ricotta & cinnamon-apples and the rest with soft-scrambled eggs and cheese.

Baked Eggs in Tomato SauceI routinely forget about this porridge for months on end, and then get really excited when I remember it again.A true anytime dish: savory and satisfying enough for dinner, but quick and easy enough for breakfast.

Buttermilk Biscuits and Vegetarian Gravy (#9 favorite of 2010)—Milk gravy flavored with crumbled shallots, vegetable bouillon, black pepper, and nutritional yeast with cracker crumbs for texture. Honestly, I prefer it to meat gravies.

Main Dishes

Morel "Risotto" with Israeli Couscous (#1 favorite of 2010)—A rich showcase for morels with shallots and parmeggiano reggiano (#  above)

Lemon and Herb Chicken Drumsticks (#4 favorite of 2010)—This was the only entree that didn't make the top ten, and it was definitely a close runner-upBest on the grill, but also good in the oven, though you might want to use a rack to help keep the skin crisp. I have it on good report that this also works well with chicken thighs. Think classic roast chicken, but quicker and something you can scale up and make for a crowd.

Pork Chops with Cider Reduction and Greens—Because pork loves apples. Turns out the mustard-cider reduction also makes a good salad dressing, combined with a little mayonnaise, cider vinegar, and neutral oil.

Turkey and Leek Risotto (#6 favorite of 2010)—Homemade turkey stock from the leftover Thanksgiving bird shines in this simple, but amazingly rich and savory risotto. The bones and meat on a leftover roast chicken would probably be almost as good.

Yeast Breads (all  work with sourdough starter or active dry yeast)A hot oven and pizza stone will give you big, fat bubbles

Crusty Multigrain Loaves (#8 favorite of 2010)—An adaptation of the Jim Leahy/New York Times no-knead  bread recipe using sourdough starter if you have it (active dry yeast if you don’t) and a pizza stone + water for steam instead of a covered baking dish. That allows you to make the loaves any shape you want and slash them for more even rising rather than being confined to the rustic, round boule.

No-knead pizza dough—An effortless dough with a hint of olive oil flavor, no kneading required—make in advance and have pizza for dinner with less than 20 min. of active cooking timeThese are possibly the most fun bread to make because you get to watch them rise right in front of your eyes, and then flip them and watch the classic browned circles form

Whole-wheat Bagels (#3 favorite of 2010)—Boiling makes them chewy. Malt extract makes them “authentic.” Topping them with things like fried shallots and coarse salt makes them delicious.

Challah—A soft, sweet, decadent loaf of bread that makes a beautiful braided loaf, a perfectly soft sandwich bread and great burger or sausage buns.

English MuffinsGriddled buns that pull apart to reveal lots of nooks & crannies.

Baguettes, regular or whole wheat—The classic long, skinny,Classic rubens: American rye, corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, Russian or Thousand Island dressing (mayo + ketchup + sweet pickle relish) crusty loaf originally from Austria, but popularized by France. 

American Pumpernickel—Classic deli rye with a laundry list of ingredients including cocoa powder, caraway, instant coffee, and molasses to create an almost-black bread.

Sandwich Bread—A reliable basic recipe for a standard loaf with a soft crust and even crumb. I like it with honey and oats and about half whole wheat flour.

Soft Pull-Apart Wheat Rolls—A buttery, slightly-sweet dough similar to challah, scaled up to produce 30 perfect dinner rolls. The rolls are risen and baked in two 9×13 pans so they form two continuous sheets. The reduced surface area means you can make them up to three days in advance and they’ll still stay soft and fresh—just pull them apart right before serving, or let people pull them apart at the table.

Quick Breads

Cheddar-Garlic Biscuits—Very buttery and awfully similar to ones you get at Red Lobster. Still my favorite use of garlic powderAs my friend Kevin discovered—these do not work well with whole wheat flour.

Neglected Pear Bread—A pear & almond quick bread, ideal for bruised, overripe pears

see also: Biscuits & Gravy under “Main Dishes”

Vegetables & Sides

Rutabaga Purée—A whole stick of butter made this more like a condiment than a side dish. Since then, I’ve cut the butter by half, so it’s still decadent but a little less Would also be good without the kohlrabioverwhelming.

Kohlrabi and Summer Squash with Almonds—A simple sautéed vegetable side—the almonds make the dish.

Swiss Chard Gratin—Swiss chard, stems and all, baked in a cheesy sauce with bread crumbs on top. Decadent.

Summer Squash Fritters—Shredded zucchini bound with a little egg and flour—easy and delicious. Also works as a vegetarian main dish or sandwich filling.

Fried Green Tomatoes—Egg to bind, cornmeal for crunch.  

Fresh Green Bean Casserole—Steamed fresh green beans baked in a thick, homemade mushroom cream soup with crunchy fried shallots on top.

See also: the Whole Steamed Artichokes under “Appetizers”

Dressings, Garnishes, & Building Blocks

Sourdough Starter—Flour + water + time = a yeast creature you can call your ownI tried chopsticks & toothpicks and found that the toothpicks worked better

Homemade Croutons (#2 favorite of 2010)—A great way to use up stale bread, also way better than store-bought

Homemade “Ricotta"Fresh cheese, starting with milk instead of whey

Candied Orange Zest—Extra pretty when twisted around toothpicks to dry

Candied Basil—Whole basil leaves, crystallized with a simple syrup and more sugar to coat.

Ranch “Raita”—A buttermilk crema flavored with onion, dill, and msg or nutritional yeast.

Spiced Tomato Jam—Sweet-savory refrigerator jam. Great with a strong cheese like an aged cheddar or gouda. Turkey stock and/or aspic.

Chili-yogurt sauce—A spicy, tangy yogurt dressing with only four ingredients.

American Buttercream—Less sugar, and more butter is the key to making a simple, uncooked buttercream that isn’t overly sweet.

Turkey Stock—A bone broth so rich it sets up solid in the fridge, slow-simmered in the oven for up to 18 hours.

Pouring Custard—Basically, unfrozen ice cream, also known as “crème anglaise.”

A lemony, nutmeg-spiked cognac & sherry punch. Not too sweet. Very alcoholic. Drinks

Admiral’s Punch—Like a bowl full of sidecar, but with cognac, not brandy

Jell-O Jiggler Shots—A little more booze and a little more gelatin = cocktail-strength shots you can hold in your hand. Bonus, instructions on how to make crazy layered designs.

Fresh Tomato Juice—Intense tomato flavor fresh from the garden.

Mulled Wine or Cider Pouches—Whole spices and brown sugar wrapped up in cheese cloth for single-servings or whole jugs of mulled wine or cider.

Desserts I served the crumble with pouring custard, which makes almost any dessert even better.

Apple-Berry Crumble—A little lemon juice and some dried mixed berries perk up even non-baking apples. 

Tofu Clafoutis with Spiced Plums—A thick, custardy pancake studded with spiced, roasted plums. Vegan.

Flourless Chocolate-Orange Cake—Rich, dark chocolate paired with sunny citrus, best the day after it’s made.

Sour Cherry Pie (#7 favorite of 2010)—Tart cherries make a pie filling entirely unlike the canned version—the perfect foil for a buttery crust and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Cookies & BarsRaspberry, peach, and blueberry shortbread bars in one pan--the recipe makes a huge amount

Austrian Shortbread FingersButtery dough, frozen and grated into the pan around a layer of fruit  preserves, any flavor you like, or make multiple flavors in one pan

Tomato Shortbread Squares—Just like lemon bars, but with tomato instead. Shockingly good

Green Tomato Mincemeat Bars—A vegetarian mincemeat-filled bar cookie. Rich and boozy, not for everyone.

Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Sugar Cookies—Thick, puffy, not-too-sweet cookies, perfect for A tray full of matzoh toffee--just as buttery-rich as normal toffee, with the added crunch of a matzoh crackerChristmas decorating.

The Momofuku Compost Cookie—A cookie with sweet and salty snacks in the style of the New York Times “perfect chocolate chip cookie.”

Candy

Matzoh Toffee—The cracker base makes these super easy even without a candy thermometer

Peppermint Bark—A layer of rich peppermint-flavored dark chocolate ganache sandwiched between two layers of tempered white chocolate topped with crushed peppermint

Homemade Peeps and Chocolate-covered Marshmallow EggsShaped marshmallows, flavored with traditional vanilla, or cinnamon, almond, and/or orange. Mutant rabbit-chick- snail-beasts dusted in colored sugar and vaguely oblong lumps dipped in chocolate.Chocolate and peanut butter, bearing an uncanny resemblance to both the tree nut and the deer eye

Buckeyes, aka Peanut Butter Bon-Bons—A confection with a political history.

Chocolate-covered buttercreams—I made non-traditional flavors, aside from some classic peppermint patties, but any thing you can infuse, extract, concentrate, or preserve will work.