Oh. Mah. Gah.

To celebrate Gil‘s 38th birthday tomorrow, I thought I’d treat him to dinner this evening at a nearby restaurant with the excellent and unusual reputation of fine French dining in a casual strip mall atmosphere. Sadly, today’s snow closed the restaurant prematurely and we had to reschedule for next weekend, so I broke out the latest issue of Food & Wine to make him a birthday dessert that would take some of the sting out of his missed dinner.

“That must be some dessert!” you say. “Whatever could it be?” Oh, just a little something called Warm Chocolate Croissant-Bread Pudding.

As you know, I’m no stranger to the charms of bread pudding and I’ve often substituted croissants for bread when I’ve thrown caution (and calories) to the wind, but this is easily 10 steps beyond anything I’ve made. And it was so simple! Just a few ordinary ingredients, about an hour of my time, and Gil and I were stumbling around in a lovely chocolate- and carbohydrate-driven serotonin haze.

I probably should’ve made the full recipe instead of half, but with the snow, it was unlikely that an ambulance could reach us before we fell into diabetic comas. I’m already dreaming up variations and think that sautéed bananas and bittersweet chocolate would be excellent together here, but I’ll keep you updated.

recipe after the jump

Continue reading “Oh. Mah. Gah.”

’08 Advent Calendar, Day 1

Welcome to the 2nd annual Minimally Invasive Advent Calendar! Like last year, I’ll be bringing you a daily photo entry with related recipe until Christmas.

To start things off, we’ve got what might just be my new favorite cookie of the season — chocolate crinkles. I’ve seen them everywhere, but somehow managed to resist their charms until now. Rich and deeply chocolatey, they’re more like bite-sized brownies than cookies (especially when served warm from the oven), which earns them extra points in my book.

For the 2007 Advent Calendar, click here.

recipe after the jump

Continue reading “’08 Advent Calendar, Day 1”


I found this recipe through Tastespotting last week and immediately determined that grilled bananas with chocolate would be an essential part of our weekend. It’s the simplest dessert imaginable — bananas stuffed with chocolate, then grilled. Just slice the length of the banana down to, but not through, the bottom, load with chocolate, and grill until the peel darkens and the chocolate melts.

We had bittersweet chocolate chips on hand, so that’s what I used, but I’m sure any chocolate you love would be great in this. Perhaps even, dare I say it, Nutella?

If you look closely, you can see where the juices are still sizzling between banana and peel. I’m sure this would be amazing over ice cream, but we enjoyed them scooped straight from the peel.