In order to be a consistent week in and week out blogger, it takes tremendous effort. And, it’s all done in the dark so to speak, in faith that someone out there somewhere will visit and be touched. Most of the “touching” happens with people we never meet or know about, which is why we especially love the comments our readers are kind enough to leave. When we find ourself making real friendships through this passion, it is like finding a kindred spirit. It seems the theme running through here lately is much about friendship. Friends are fleeting all too often in life, because relationships are difficult, messy, and complicated.
That was the case with Shanna from Food Loves Writing. We met on line long before she moved from Chicago to Nashville. Through a series of “connecting” events, she and her fiance ended up at my dinner table, but not empty handed. She brought a bottle of unrefined organic olive oil (a great gift for a foodie) and her popular “hot” chocolate cookies and by hot she means “cayenne” hot. How fortunate that choice was because I made a blackberry sorbet for dessert and it needed a little something to go with it. The container of that “little something” was empty at the end of the night because as my husband said, “these are like crack.”
Now, of course I had to make them, following her recipe from her blog, but in my usual haste to make multiple dishes at once, I skimmed the recipe using baking powder instead of baking soda. I got a softer cookie instead of a crispy one, but still good, just not as good.
Although Shanna’s original recipe does not have crystalized ginger, the ones she brought did and that was the secret ingredient. Also, I made the first batch with coconut oil and didn’t like that coconut taste that I thought robbed these cookies of their true nature, so I made a second batch using only butter and liked those much better.
Now as far as the most amazing blackberry sorbet, it truly was a taste as you go kind of thing. Blackberries are notoriously in need of sugar, so you must make sure the taste is sweet enough, but then not to sweet as to ruin a good sorbet. The hardest part was pressing the berries through a sieve. This painful route was worth this effort because it turned out very smooth and refreshing.
4 cups blackberries, frozen
2 cup water
1 cup sugar or more if needed
juice of one lemon
1 or 2 tablespoons vodka
Make simple syrup: My method was a bit unusual. To make the simple syrup, I placed two cups water, sugar and lemon juice in large pot and brought to simmer with the blackberries. As the blackberries defrosted, I removed them from the pot, allowing the juice to boil down a bit. Place blackberries over large colander and allow them to drain. Then press the rest through a sieve, add to the simple syrup. Chill completely. Proceed in ice cream maker. At the end add in vodka. Freeze for several hours before serving.
Note: It’s important to taste the sorbet before chilling to make sure it has the desired sweetness.