Hi! My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the September, 2003
edition of “For Chocolate Lovers Only”. Every month,
you’ll find recipes, tips, and recommendations on great chocolate
specialties. This month: chocolate cake for the time-challenged,
the first in a two-part series that looks at the advantages and
disadvantages of mixes.
Chocolate Recommendation of the Month: Here is a true story:
Earlier this year, I ordered several kinds of chocolate chip cookies
to try (I’ll do this periodically with different chocolate
items to find out if I ought to tell you about them; of course,
now, when I order them, I don’t tell people I write about
chocolate!). One brand of cookies, from TheBestCookie.com,
arrived in a nice tin. The cookies were large, of a size I think
would appeal to a lot of people, but I wasn’t too impressed
with the taste; they were too salty and didn’t contain enough
chips. Naturally, I was disappointed, but I thought no more about
it until I received an unexpected call from the business owner,
one Marcia Flanigan, who asked me how I liked the cookies (remember,
she didn’t know then that I have a chocolate column). I explained
as gently as possible that, while the tin was attractive and the
cookies had been fresh and were handsomely large, I hadn’t
been crazy about them overall. Almost before I could finish the
sentence, Ms. Flanigan apologized profusely for the cookies, explaining
that she’d taken a rare day off and that her specifications
for the cookies hadn’t been followed by the person she’d
left in charge. Instead of my having to tell her that the cookies
were too salty and didn’t have enough chips, she told me!
Then, she asked if she could send me another tin, free of charge.
When those cookies arrived, I noted with pleasure that the overly-salty
taste was gone, and they contained what seemed to be to be two or
three times as many chips (my estimate was correct; they contained
2-1/2 times as many chips).
To my way of thinking, TheBestCookie.com is just what a
small food business should be like. There is an intense devotion
to the cookies (I wish you could hear Ms. Flanigan talk about her
products!). Good-quality ingredients are used (organic flour and
eggs, imported butter and chocolate chips, and, of course, no preservatives),
and if I’m any example, customer service is of paramount importance.
If you don’t care for large cookies, you can order a tin of
minis, and cookies are available with or without walnuts. These
cookies also freeze beautifully, and they are lovely when dunked
into milk or coffee. This edition of “For Chocolate Lovers
Only” is devoted to the time-challenged among us, and I’m
attempting to demonstrate that convenience foods need not be of
lesser quality or filled with chemicals. These cookies are eminently
edible proof of that philosophy! Check out the website at: www.TheBestCookie.com
or call them (toll-free) at 1-800-278-8960 or 1-304-725-3533 (don’t
be alarmed if someone answers the phone by saying, “Honey’s”;
it’s the bakery/catering business to which TheBestCookie.com
Upcoming Chocolate Event: Wahoooo! The Sixth Annual Chocolate
Show is coming to New York City! After last year’s incredible
attendance (25,000 people in three days of bad weather), the organizers
have added a fourth day this year. Save the dates on your calendar
now: Thursday, 13 November through Sunday, 16 November. As usual,
you’ll see chocolate fashions and sculptures and showpieces;
there’ll be chocolate samples and chocolate holiday gifts
everywhere you turn. Demonstrations by top pastry chefs are par
for the course at this celebration of all things chocolate. This
year there will be no fewer than three demonstration kitchen-theaters,
so get ready to be amazed by chocolate artistry in many forms. The
demonstrations are great fun and very popular; you get a good sense
of the skill and creativity of the chefs in an informal setting,
and everyone’s in a good mood because they’re around
so much chocolate.
The Sixth Annual Chocolate Show will open daily at 10 am
(closing hours vary by day) and will once again be held at The Metropolitan
Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. Admission
price is $20.00 per adult, with discounts for senior citizens 65
and over, ID-card-bearing students, and children ages 6 to 14 (kids
under 6 get in free). Tickets will be available at the door or in
advance at www.StarChefs.com
or www.chocolateshow.com. Don’t miss it!
Do you have a comment, question, or suggestion?
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please specify in the subject line of your e-mail that you're writing
about chocolate. Thank you!