After consulting the syllabus and in spite of the fact that you didn’t ask for it, here’s a list of some reviews I’ve written for baking recipes for this coming season. I don’t know why I did it… I just really think it enhances my understanding of the material we’ve covered over the past few weeks. I’ve also read 17 in-depth articles on the topic, the links to which I’ve posted in a discussion thread on Blackboard.

Spiced Cookie Butter Truffles

I came upon this recipe while browsing Fox News’ Home and Lifestyle section. Oh, you didn’t know they had one? Well, they do, and it’s never let me down. What I really like about this recipe is how it spreads over many genres of food—or maybe “genres” isn’t the right word… types? Classes? Hm… “classes” implies a rank to these tastes, which I wouldn’t want to—

Oh right, sorry. Sometimes I get carried away with semantics. My English teacher in high school once described my writing as “dense.” Anyways, this recipe manages to bring together spiciness, butteriness and the earthiness of chocolate all into one. Although I don’t always love this cooking style, I can certainly respect from an academic standpoint.

This recipe requires as many ounces of semi-sweet dark chocolate as questions I’ve answered on Piazza in the last 15 minutes—8 (but never anonymously!). You’ll also want 2 cups of Speculoos cookie butter and 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, or as I like to call it, butter. (Isn’t butter naturally unsalted? Why do we feel the need to classify it as the “other” compared to salted butter? That’s something I’d like to discuss next class.)

That’s about as far as my knowledge of preparation goes. My mom usually makes these for me, and I can provide her contact information if you’re interested. Don’t email her unless you’re interested, though. She’s told me so many times to stop giving out her email address!

Peppermint Bark from William & Sonoma

I don’t know if you know this, but William & Sonoma doesn’t only sell cooking utensils. Don’t feel bad, it’s a common mistake. What I really like about the William & Sonoma peppermint bark is its power to evoke Venetian-style color layering from the High Renaissance era, something I just reviewed in my introductory Art History class. Actually, we haven’t gotten to the Renaissance yet, but I just find myself ahead in the readings sometimes!

The red peppermint layered above the white chocolate, layered yet again above the dark chocolate makes me think about village settlements in ancient Sumer (that was a civilization in Ancient Mesopotamia, by the way), which is interesting. It calls into question the baker’s intent in incorporating historical allegory into her work. (I am not entirely sure which gender this baker is but just in case I tend to stay away from ambiguously gendered sentences).

What makes this bark truly transcendent is its remarkable taste and its no-frills presentation. It’s not trying to be anything other than what it really is, something that plagues so many deserts of the holiday variety. I brought in exactly 12 copies of an article I wrote about just this topic in case anyone is interested. I’ll leave them by the door.

Gingerbread Bûche de Noël

I’ve never actually had this, but the accent marks over the “u” and the “e” make me think it has to be good. European delicacies are just superior to those of the American tradition. Don’t shoot the messenger! Anyways, this recipe is featured on the NY Times baking list, which means that you probably wouldn’t have heard about it since journalism is a dying art. My mom tells me I’m to only one who still subscribes to the NY Times! So I tell her “Mom, I can’t read anything online. I need to hold the news in my hands to believe it’s true.” Also I like to use old copies as wrapping paper when I give my last year’s Canada Goose jacket to the Salvation Army every Easter.

Anyways, in order to make this, you’re going to need about 120 pecan (pronounced peh • KAHN) halves, so get cracking right now! You can also just get the mixed nut medley from the UStore and grind the nuts by hitting them repeatedly with your “used” textbooks. (I mean, really, how can you buy used textbooks? Doesn’t knowledge mean anything to you?)

I don’t actually know how to make this one either, but the stock photo looks astounding. I’ll put a link in the GroupMe I made specifically for this class. (By the way, you guys should really unmute the conversation. I’ve been sending some fascinating drunk texts!)

That’s about all I have time for. I’m currently working on a bullet list of thesis topics. You’re right. I am a freshman. But, I don’t think it’s too early to at least start the percolation process. If there’s one thing I hate more than the liberal media, it’s procrastination. What can I say, I’m really into budgeting absolutely every second of my time. I haven’t watched television since 2004. Anyways, have a good one! I’ll see you next week, and I promise not to show up 20 minutes early and force a janitor to unlock the seminar room for me so I can organize my notes. That was a one-time thing.