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Saturday, July 30, 2005 

Dear S.O.S.

More than 200 recipes were handpicked by Rose Dosti from the files of "Culinary SOS", the popular recipe request column in the Los Angeles Times, and are highlighted in this fun little cookbook. This is the third volume of the Dear SOS series. I have one of the other ones, "Thirty Years of Recipe Requests", as well. I still don't have the third, "Dessert Recipe Requests" ...there's still room somewhere in my bookshelf for it though!

Many of Los Angeles' top rated restaurants, and those still reverberating on tastebud memories along local attractions and destinations have culinary selections in the book, Chicken Salad with Orange Souffle from Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills; Quiche a la Ma Maison, from long departed beloved Ma Maison, West Hollywood, Corned Beef from the Santa Anita Racetrack, Arcadia; Chicken Chilaquiles from the Border Grill, Santa Monica. The book also contains some requested recipes outside of Los Angeles and in a couple cases, way off the beaten path. But, good food is good food! Garlic Soup from Artz Rib House, Austin, TX; Buckwheat Cakes from the Wigwam Hotel, Holbrook, AZ; Skyline Chili from Skyline Chili, Cincinnati, OH.

These cookies are from Rock in Marina del Rey, that was owned by Hans Rockenwagner. And, for any serious chocoholic, these cookies are the ultimate drug to feed your addiction. Their consistency borders on that of a brownie. They are very dense and filled with patches of pure chocolate. They are terrific slightly chilled, but they are just as good fresh out the oven.

Espresso Macadamia Nut Cookies

Total Time: 1 hrs.
Baking Time: 10 min.
Preparation Time: 20 min.
Refrigeration Time: 30 min.

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate - coarsely chopped
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips - divided
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
50 macadamia nuts

In the top of a double broiler over gently simmering water, melt the
unsweetened chocolate, 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips, and the butter, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth and completely blended. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour,
baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla and beat together until the mixture holds a ribbon when the beater is lifted away. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining chocolate chips and the macadamia nuts. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes, covered in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 large baking sheets. Spoon about 2 tablespoons cookie batter at a time onto the prepared baking sheet. Place cookies at least 1 inch apart. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until puffy and shiny. Cool on a rack.

When I make the expresso-macadamia nut cookies, they always seem to crumble. Did anyone have the same problem and solve it somehow, like use less chocolate chips? Is the ribbon step critical that you get it right? Another source says its about 4 min. at medium speed. There is a ribbon but it just quickly drips down, it doesn't really "hold". Is that ok?

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