Monday, October 28, 2013

How to keep vampires away from your chocolate chip cookies

Ever since I first saw Susan Sarandon, David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger (1983), I've been a fan of the vampire legend.  If you haven't seen this moody, seductive thriller, definitely one of the cult classics, put it on your bucket list.  Catherine Deneuve is first on the list of The 20 Hottest Vampires, a list that also includes the sulky-sexy Alexander Skarsgard of HBO's True Blood and of course, Brad Pitt of Interview with the Vampire.

Catherine Deneuve as Miriam, a centuries-old Egyptian vampire in The Hunger
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Let's face it: vampires are sexy. 

But it wasn't always this way.  Vampires of folklore  were ghoulish, ruthless bloodsuckers (sort of like your old boyfriend) who didn't so much seduce as overpower their victims.  The myths surrounding them seem more a way of making sense of unexplained events, expressing fear of the unknown and especially fear of contagion.  How timely and appropriate is Richard Matheson's 1954 story "I Am Legend," written near the start of the Cold War?

Modern vampires, seductive, suave and oh-so-smooth are an outgrowth of the popularity of 19th c. European vampire literature and modern American media.  But the eroticism of vampires and vampire legends is undeniably powerful.  What teenage girl (or adult woman) has not swooned over (or at least is not familiar with) The Twilight Saga's lovestruck Edward Cullen? 

More importantly, would Bella have shared her chocolate chip cookies with Edward?  In Vindaloo's house, it's doubtful that chocolate of any kind would be shared, even with someone as beautiful and mysterious as Edward.  Even if someone did offer to bite my neck.

So just what would you do if you wanted to keep a vampire--even one you're hopelessly in love with--away from your chocolate? 

Why, garlic, silly.

I recently made Garlic Chocolate Chip Cookies for a garlic-themed dinner party.  I had heard of these cookies before and only gave them a cursory nod.  I love garlic but couldn't imagine what it would be like in cookies.  And even though I like to think of myself as adventurous, I can be pretty narrow-minded at times.  Who would want to ruin a perfectly good batch of chocolate chip cookies with garlic, I mused.  Then I realized that this recipe would be quite useful for keeping away vampires, pesky night-crawling creatures (and likely, other squeamish folks).

These cookies are buttery, rich and nutty-tasting; some people even think they have coconut in them (which they don't, but I suppose you could add some and still get great results).  I followed the directions closely, except for the length of time I steeped the garlic in the maple syrup.  My steeping time turned out to be about twice as long as the recipe recommended--and I don't think it hurt the cookies a bit.

So why don't you whip up a batch this week?  You've no time to waste.  Long about Thursday, vampires will be everywhere.

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