Yoghurt & chocolate are definitely compatible…

Yoghurt (our 6kg pint sized whippet who was usually 9kg) was strange in many ways… Personally I feel her strangest addiction was to smother your mouth with her neck when arriving home from work… I thought it was because she loved raspberries (the blowing raspberries on your belly kind, not the red bumpy fruit kind)… My partner by law has indicated that it was because Yoghurt was number 2 and I was number 3 so she wanted me out of the pack – suffocation was a means to an end… He also told me she used to wipe her bum on my pillow when I went to work each day.

Anyhow, as usual I digress.  Yoghurt was strange in many ways.  She was always a dog who didn’t appreciate food. It was impossible to train her as she would look at a dog treat and go back to bed with total disinterest. Even if you played fetch she would pick up the ball and take it back to her bed so you had to sit beside her bed to play any games.  Thankfully this oddity was short lived and so was her lack of fondness for food.

When she was barely grown up she was diagnosed with meningitis and put on a cocktail of drugs to manage it, including steroids.  Prednisolone is a drug which I wouldn’t go on for a million dollars (its a people drug too).  It makes you hungry and thirsty no matter how much you’ve had to eat or drink.  In fact at one stage Yoghurt was wetting the bed because she’d drink so much she couldn’t hold her bladder.  She went from refusing food to my dad saying “She’d eat your bloody leg if you spilt a drop of gravy on it”. Not only would she eat anything and everything, but if possible, she’d swallow hit whole. Chewing was for losers.

I have no doubt that many, many people will tell you that their dogs love chocolate.  It is all that can explain so, so many the puppies getting their stomachs pumped over easter after stealing the kids choc eggs.  But let me tell you… Yoghurt. LOVED. CHOCOLATE.  I know this because Yoghurt would chew an M&M like Violet Beauregarde could chew a piece of gum.  If she could avoid swallowing, she would.  She’d savour it. Appreciate it. Then with all the longing in the world, ask you for more.  This of course excludes the time she was left alone with an open big bucket of blue M&M’s from the state of origin and after eating over half commenced regurgitating what one could only describe as a chocolate sausage in a blue jus – on Mum’s couch.  In fairness, she shredded the screen door trying to get out before she realised no one was coming home…

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Yoghurt lost her battle with her challenged immune system a year ago but I remember her strangeness on a daily basis.  I know that if she were here when we made these cookies, she would have flipped her lid.  The “desirableness” of a treat was usually measurable by how close she got to you while you were eating it… I’d suggest she’d be sitting in your lap with a foot on your chest while waiting for her portion of this one…

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Chocolate Marshmallow Melts (original recipe by Pip & Ebby)

Makes 30

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1. In a medium saucepan, melt together:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 340 chopped semisweet chocolate (bars)

2. Stir frequently over medium heat until smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

4. Using an electric mixer, beat together:

  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

5. Beat on low speed until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.

6. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a teaspoon, scoop the dough and roll between your palms to form 1cm balls. Arrange about 30 balls 1 inches apart on each cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, around 7 – 10 minutes.

NB.  The original recipe and the pictures above were made with 1 inch balls but we found the marshmallows (normal size, not mini, not enormous) were not big enough.  It also meant the amount of chocolate you needed to melt on top later in the recipe was ridiculous.

7. Meanwhile, break a block of chocolate into the standard squares (around 1cm). We made the recipe with dairy milk, but would recommend trying dark chocolate. Snip 8 marshmallows in half crosswise and stick 1 square of chocolate onto each of the cut sides.

8. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and gently press a marshmallow half, chocolate side down, into each cookie. Bake until the marshmallows are just softened, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 5 minutes.

9. Grate some chocolate if left over on top of the cookies. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, marshmallows and chocolate. Bake each batch on a clean sheet of parchment paper.

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