Coconut Key Lime Cupcakes

Coconut Key Lime Cupcakes

These coconut key lime cupcakes titillate your tastebuds with light, tropical flavors and look pretty dang party, too.

It’s hard for me to believe but it’s true; today is the 3-year anniversary of Nerds with Knives. I know we act immature, but we are, in fact, toddler-aged. *Throws a cupcake at your head and licks frosting off the floor*

Who would have thought that a blog whose scintillating early posts had titles like “My Kettle” and “In Case You’re Wondering If You Can Boil A Pre-Sliced Ham In Coca Cola. Answer; You Can’t,” would make it 3 whole years. We’re as shocked as you are but somehow we’ve managed to keep this sputtering, mildly out-of-control train on the tracks. Yeah, us!

But really all thanks go to you, our readers, who we love and adore. If it wasn’t for your positive feedback, I’m sure we would have given up ages ago and would most likely have picked up some other, less respectable hobby. Like knitting. Or taxidermy.

Key Lime Cupcakes

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Mini Phyllo Cups with Cappuccino Cream

Mini Phyllo Cups with Cappuccino Cream

Crunchy, buttery phyllo shells filled with rich, smooth cappuccino cream. Make lots of these bite-sized lovelies because they will go quickly (if they even make it out of the kitchen). 

I don’t know if it’s a weird inverted class thing, but I’m always hesitant to make and promote a recipe that sounds – let’s say a bit too fancy. I imagine serving it up to a family of simple Northern playwrights and gauging their reaction. Would my guests nibble appreciatively while explaining how the semiotic thickness of a performed text varies with the redundancy of auxiliary performance codes? Or would they prod at the food uncomprehendingly and declare that they remembered this town when it were all fields? It’s always in the back of my mind, that.

And then I found this recipe and thought, sod it, let’s do this.

Mini Phyllo Cups with Cappuccino Cream

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Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our recipe for chocolate chip cookies comes with a bit of history, a Cookie Monster / Tom Waits mashup, and our usual nerdy tips for the tastiest cookies.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies! Who DOESN’T love them? The churlish people, that’s who, you know the ones I mean. Those sour, pinch-lipped joykills with hearts of black, black stone. People who, for whatever reason, just don’t have a sweet tooth. People whose doctors have advised them to maintain a cookie-free lifestyle. People with gluten intolerance. Er. Look, I’ll come in again.

Cookies! Who DOES love them?

While you’re enjoying that, have a little bit of history of chocolate chip cookies. No extra charge.

It’s not always possible to identify the exact time and place a recipe was invented, or with whom it originated, but with the chocolate chip cookie, we can. Not only do we know exactly who invented it, when, and where, but we also know that, somewhat bizarrely, it was invented before the chocolate chip.

In 1938 Ruth Wakefield, proprietor of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, MA, made a small change in the recipe for her butterscotch cookies, substituting a chopped-up chocolate bar. And that’s how chocolate chip cookies were born. It became so popular and renowned that Nestlé not only permanently added the name of her restaurant to their baking chocolate bars, but also began to sell packets of ready-made chips specifically to be added to this recipe.

Sadly, the inn burned down in 1985, and now the Toll House sign at the Inn’s original location only welcomes you to a Walgreen’s parking lot.

Where the Toll House was. Don't worry, it's a big lot. nobody will hear your sobs.
Where the Toll House was. Don’t worry, it’s a big lot, nobody will hear your sobs.

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Sea Salt, Oatmeal and White Chocolate Cookies

Sea Salt, Oatmeal and White Chocolate CookiesI don’t remember having cookies when I was growing up in Britain in the 1970s. I don’t mean to say that they didn’t exist; in all probability they were around, but in the country’s crowded biscuit industry, with its Bourbons, its  Garibaldis, and Custard Creams, its Jammie Dodgers and digestives of both plain and chocolate variety, its Rich Teas, Penguins, and Jaffa Cakes, there seemed to be no great need for American imported options. Biscuits are great, though, you can have them all year round, they have absolutely no health benefits, and you’re allowed twice as many at Christmas, because of course that’s the time when everyone is a bit low on fat and carbs. 

There are plenty of sweet baked items you can make at home, of course, but nobody makes biscuits; there’d be no point. And you see, that’s my socialist English upbringing again; of course, in America, you dream, you aspire, and yes, you SHALL make cookies, and take them to the moon, too, dammit. But the same principles apply: they’re not in any way seasonal, and people like to make twice as many during the winter months. 

Good thing, then, that just before Spring leapt into the calendar and stole an hour from us, last week I decided to make cookies. To tell the truth, I believe the conversation in the house went something like this:

Me: Do we have any cookies in the house?

Emily: I don’t think so, but you could make some! And blog it.

Me: That seems like a lot of work!

Emily: But cookies.

Me: Can’t argue with that.

Emily: And blog it.

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Chocolate Truffles

Yes, these chocolate truffles are decadent and luxurious but they’re also simple to put together and they will wow a party or an intimate dinner for two.

Chocolate Truffles

FADE IN

INT. MATT AND EMILY’S LIVING ROOM. 2PM, VALENTINE’S DAY.

Fast-paced close-up montage of: Fastening crampons. Pulling on ski mask. Adjusting gloves. Snapping on protective goggles.

EMILY: This is madness! You’re never going to make it!

MATT: I’ve got to try! Don’t you see? (Looks out window at a wall of swirling white, a brutal blizzard)

MATT (CONT’D): (Quietly) I have to at least try.

EMILY: Okay. Be careful.

MATT: Wait, what? (Looks back out window as a chicken blows past, another victim)

MATT (CONT’D): Are you insane? It’s crazy out there! Isn’t there anything we can make with just chocolate, butter and eggs?

EMILY: (Also looks out window, into the middle distance) Yes. Yes there is.

                                                                            CUT TO:

HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES!

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