Melt chocolate and butter. Stir in peanut butter, honey and some puffed rice cereal. Chill. Cut. Done.
No need for fancy cookies this holiday; we'll be making Chocolate Crunch (see the recipe), a ridiculously simple recipe from a pair of brothers who take chocolate very seriously.
Rick and Michael Mast, the Iowa-born, Brooklyn-based bros, practically invented the whole artisanal hipster "bean to bar" thing. His Exaltedness Thomas Keller is a fan. And the sibs have one-upped fair trade to work directly with farmers and collectives.
Their new Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook ($40) is earnest but not too self-serious.
"We wanted to create recipes that are written in a way that inspires readers to actually make them," Rick tells us. "We saw an opportunity to re-introduce chocolate recipes that were more ingredient-focused and had a simplicity and clarity in their execution."
That translates to thoughtful instructions for childhood favorites like chocolate milk (with syrup made from scratch, naturally) and interesting savory things like a cocoa nib salad.
Back to the holidays: The other treats we'd recommend making and gifting this season--or eating solo on the couch watching Love Actually on repeat--are the brothers' dark chocolate truffles rolled in toasted almonds (see the recipe). The technique is a touch more involved than the Crunch--it involves tempering--but isn't intimidating.
"Practice makes perfect," Rick says. "But the great thing about tempering chocolate is that you can always re-melt it and try again."
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