Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Naughty or nice

 I want to be naughty!  But, really what does it serve? I doubt the women in front of me at the market will find her wallet any faster, oblivious to the fact that line winds down aisle 8, as I give her the evil-eye. The un-orchestrated flow of pedestrians and motorists looping across a shopping mall parking lot is a flip-of-the-bird and merry Christmas from both parties. Then the dreaded dinner you have to attend, as the obligatory plus one that your are, when really all you wanted to do is stay home and watch the Survivor Finale.

There are moments in this frenzied time of year when you are given pause. How touched you are by a handful of change that is getting passed along from customer to customer. Not that anyone was in need; a kind recognition that the strangers around us are not so strange.  And the most warming spot this time of year is the post office. A queue that on first impression guarantees to be over an hour and a muffled, shit, slips from your mouth, but everyone’s arms are hugging envelopes and boxes stuffed with words and expressions of appreciation and love.

It just really seems impossible to be naughty no matter how much I just want to order in Chinese, binge on Orange Is The New Black and not answer a single text. Nothing about this time of year resonates for me on a spiritual or religious level – we were absolutely forbidden to have a Hanukkah bush.  However, message of joy has a way of seeping in and you just have to smile at the madness. Eateries and homes sing with clanking silverware and a cacophony of conversations fill the room. Finally, Christmas morning stillness when all is eerily quite and peaceful, until the next day when everyone is wound up returning gifts.

Naughty Nut Squares – yields 30 pieces
4-ounces unsalted butter – melted
1¼-cup ground almonds
1-tablespoon all-purpose flour
1⅓-cup unsweetened shredded coconut
6-ounces white chocolate – roughly chopped
½-cup chopped macadamia nuts
½-cup chopped pistachio nuts
1-can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Pre-heat the oven to 350-degrees.

Pour the butter into an 8-1/2 inch by 8-1/2 inch pan.

Mix the ground almond and flour together, and then sprinkle over the butter.
Then distribute the coconut over the almond mixture. Then scatter the nuts and white chocolate over the coconut. Finally drizzle the sweetened condensed over the nuts. Do not mix the concoction.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack, and cool completely.

 Cut into approx. ½-inch squares.


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