Sherri Elf is a Canadian beauty and a 2-time Elf Olympic curling champion. She is the Skip of the North Pole team and responsible for calling the play and directing the strategy. Her decisiveness got her the job of skip and, ironically, got me the job as head of the North Pole Kitchens and Bake Shoppe. Let me explain.
In last year’s Olympics there was an exciting semi-final match between the team from the North Pole and the fierce competitors from Nova Scotia. Sherri was particularly invested in this match because she used to share a training camp with this team when she lived in Canada. These were some ruthless curlers whose brooms were swift and mighty. Sherri wasn’t going down without a fight.
In this Olympic match the players were on their 10th and final end. The championship was at stake and the victor was soon to be waving flowers and crying during their anthem. Team North Pole had just slid their seventh rock and it made an impressive stop near the button. And then disaster struck. Danni, one of the sweepers for the North Pole, picked up the last and final stone, the hammer stone, to give it a quick look.
“Put it down!” Sherri cried out, but it was too late.
CRACK! The heavy stone crashed to the floor and was now scattered in pieces on the ice. The startled competitors looked around the arena. Their gaze was met with equally stunned looks from the fans. The Nova Scotia team, however was elated. They had one last stone to slide and it was resting safely on the pebbly ice. You could faintly hear them humming their anthem in anticipation.
Then, Sherri had a brilliant idea. While Nova Scotia was delivering their last stone, Sherri ran to the refreshment table in the training room and returned with a chocolate marble bundt cake. At that time I was not the head of the North Pole Kitchens and the baker in charge, Grindle Elf, was not particularly skilled with an oven. He was better at stews and soups and had been on the job so long that no one was quite sure how he got the job in the first place. He was a prickly old elf and didn’t take criticism well, constructive or otherwise.
The chocolate marble bundt cake, hard and heavy as a curling stone, was perfect for claiming the victory in the Elf Olympics. It smacked right into the Nova Scotia’s guard rock and landed squarely on the button. The crowd erupted in cheers and the sweepers began a reverse sweep to clean up the crumbs.
Old Grindle Elf stomped his little green booted foot and huffed, “I quit!”
Alas, the search began for a new head elf for the kitchen and I was selected after a grueling baking demonstration and tryout. Santa placed Sherri on the interview committee and requested that she slide each baker’s bundt cake down the ice. If it made it to the end in one piece, that baker was eliminated from the interview process. To this day, Sherri is a kitchen consultant. She loves all things chocolate and has personally tested each and every recipe for taste and for use as sporting equipment. Sherri has declared these cookies, Chocolate Nut Chews, a winner in both categories. They taste great and cannot be used as hockey pucks. Thanks, I think.Chewy Chocolate Cookies
1 1/4 cup butter (2 and 1/2 sticks butter)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar; add eggs and vanilla. In a small bowl mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture. Stir in pecans. Drop by mounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookies sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks. Dust with powdered sugar. Yield: 4 dozen.