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Leaving Modica, Sicily, May 31, 2014

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One year ago, today, we were boarding a plane in Catania to Rome. It was the end of two glorious weeks in Sicily at The Villa Modica. It was tough leaving.

Really tough.

We had more fun than six people should be allowed to have. We’ve thought of the place often since we returned and even called our host, George, for more of his olive oil back in December. Liquid gold, indeed.

It was seriously one of the most fun and relaxing times I’ve ever had.

To celebrate this most auspicious occasion, I decided to use up the last two chocolate bars we brought back. Modica is the chocolate capital of Sicily and we brought back several dozen bars to give as gifts and to nibble on when we needed a Sicily fix.

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The chocolate is totally unique to the area and made the same way as it has been since the Spaniards brought chocolate from Mexico way back when. It’s has a grainy texture and the flavor combinations they have come up with are great, from oranges to cinnamon to hot red pepper to vanilla to lemon and a score more flavors.

Pretty outstanding stuff.

I had been holding on to these two, but decided what I really need to do is use them up and then go get more.

Cookies seemed to be the right thing to make.

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I used my basic oatmeal chocolate chip recipe, but tweaked it a bit. I spaced out what I was doing and flattened the cookie balls which helped them to spread a bit too much, but what they lack in thickness they make up for in flavor. They work really well.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cubes butter (1 cup)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp Cinnamon liqueur
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 bars chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cream butter and sugars together until light and creamy.  Add eggs one at a time and mix well.  Add cinnamon liqueur and mix well.

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add slowly to butter mixture, mixing well.  Add oats and mix well.

Add chocolate and mix until blended.

Scoop onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake about 14 minutes.  (I use a #30 scoop – about 2 1/2 tbsp per cookie.)

Next year we’re planning another European adventure and we’re seriously thinking Sicily, again. We’d like to see more of the western and northern coasts this time and maybe stay somewhere between Trapani and San Vito Lo Capo.

With so much of the world we still haven’t seen, there’s a draw to Sicily that almost defies explanation.

I really could live there.

Really.

 

 

 

 

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