|photo by ana traina|
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Being a Cloud Gazer again!
Yesterday, I decided to take a long needed break from my desk and went on a hike. I chose Ooms Conservation area at Sutherland Pond, because it is close to my house and I love its scenic pastoral landscape, the open grassland and the aquatic flora. I was secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of the spectacular Blue Heron I had seen there once before by the pond. As I was taking in the panoramic views of rollicking countryside, uncovering unusual animal tracks, and noticing the lush wildflowers in bloom, a flock of noisy geese flew over my head. I looked up and all at once was struck by the beauty of the passing clouds and their airy escapades. A smile shadowed my whole being. I was reminded of those thrilling heydays, when there was nothing more delightful then lying back on the cool grass and taking in a full, uninterrupted view of a cloud-dotted sky. Spying snaggletoothed bunnies, tiptoeing through rosy cloud gardens and dreaming of swashbuckling duels with magical beings on the puffy, white clouds above. Yes, it was good to be a Cloud Gazer back then, but perhaps it is even a little bit better, now! To inspire cloud gazing tendencies, try this enchanted recipe for --
CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW CLOUDS
serves 40 and only takes 8 minutes to make --
3 cups flour, 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 cups miniature chocolate chips, 8 ounces miniature marshmallows, frozen.
Preheat oven to 400. Until you are ready to assemble the cookies just prior to baking, keep the marshmallows in the freezer - otherwise they will thaw too rapidly. In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking soda. Set aside. Combine sugars in a large bowl. Using mixer, blend in butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and beat at med. speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips, and blend at low speed until combined. Batter will be very stiff. Gather 4-5 frozen marshmallows in the palm of your hand and cover them with a heaping tablespoonful of dough. Wrap the dough around the marshmallows, complete encasing them and forming a 2" diameter dough ball. Place balls on ungreased baking sheets, 2" apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool on pan 2 minutes, then transfer to a cool, flat surface.