Martha on the Half-Shell!- Turtle Brownies! -153 eggs, 118 cups of sugar, 120 sticks of Butter, and 142 3/4 cups of flour used so far- 87 recipes to go!

December 20, 2010


Martha's Turtle Brownies

André's Turtle Brownies

Well folks, it’s official. I’m over half-way done baking my way through Martha Stewart’s Cookie Book. Yay me! I started this venture in March of this year which means I should be able to wrap this up around September of 2011. This is taking a bit longer than I expected but it’s been well worth it. So far the blog has had over 16,000 hits with over a hundred subscribers. I am very fortunate to have so many supportive people in my corner encouraging me to continue with this crazy cookie adventure.

Today’s “cookie” is a real treat. Turtle Brownies are an interpretation of a confectionary classic, the Turtle.

The turtle is a trademarked candy owned by DeMet’s Candy company after purchasing it from Nestlé in 2007. The turtle was invented by Bobbi and Louise Gordon Hooper who learned candy making from Mary See of See’s Candy fame.  After the success of the Turtle produced at See’s Candy, in 1932 the Hoopers started their own company, Hoopers Confectionary Company in Oakland, CA. After the Hoopers died in the early 1990s the company was sold off to several large companies including Nestlé.

A turtle was so named after the shape of the candy.  A mound of caramel was nestled atop four pecan halves and then covered in chocolate presenting the unmistakable shape of a small turtle.

Martha’s Turtle Brownies simply make use of the three main ingredients in a traditional turtle to give some added pizazz to a run-of-the-mill brownie. A regular brownie batter is topped with a caramel and pecan sauce and baked until set. The brownies are cooled and cut into gooey squares of rich, sweet chocolate and buttery caramel.  To distribute these I packed up a tin and headed to work. I told myself the first person I saw at work who I knew had contributed to my AIDS Walk fund would receive the treats. Sure enough the first person I ran into in my office’s café was Barb, a really bright and hip lady in our I.T. department. I handed her the tin and told her to enjoy. The next day she informed me that the brownies were awesome. To be precise, she said they were better than sex to which I replied “Well I guess that makes me a cookie pimp.”

It’s less than a week until Christmas and I’m ready for the season to be over. It’s not that I don’t like Christmas. I love the colored lights, the food, the carols, the cards, the sentiments of peace on earth and good will towards yadda-yadda. I, however, can’t stand the commerce of Christmas. Holiday shopping has become an economic force to be reckoned with and the media reports the daily sales figures as though the world’s economy would collapse if little Suzie doesn’t get her iPad and little Frankie doesn’t receive his Kindle. It’s just too much advertising and sales pressure for me to take in. Family, friends and joy have taken a backseat to the latest gizmo and credit incentive the holiday season has ushered in.

This is why I propose a  new philosophy. I’m calling it elfonomics. Elves, fictional or not, aren’t concerned with capital gains, profit-sharing or sales increases. They just want people to have a happy holiday season.

The seven rules of elfonomics (based on the not-so-fun seven rules of economics) are quite simple:

1) SCARCITY- Let’s face it. There’s not enough joy, jolly, comfort or good old-fashioned happy in the world. As a proponent of elfonomics one must commit to propelling the smile margin at least ten percent per year.

2) SUBJECTIVITY- Not everyone will see the value in the principals of elfonomics. In fact, you may encounter a few Scrooges that will call your joyful efforts humbug. Feel free to tell those individuals to go elf themselves.

3) INEQUALITY- No matter how hard you try, there will be those who won’t find their joy this holiday season. Keep these people in your heart.

4) COMPETITION- There are those who may try to out-elf you. They may bake more cookies, send more cards, give more hugs, or sing more songs than you ever thought possible. Don’t be undone by their elfishness. They are helping to increase the joy index. Isn’t that what elfonomics is all about?

5) IMPERFECTION- So what if you’re not an awesome cook? Who cares if you sing off key? What does it matter if you’re not exactly Martha Stewart? Joy, happiness and comfort are perfectly imperfect things. Let the cracks and blemishes of your efforts show. They let the world know that they were made by your caring and loving elf hands.

6) IGNORANCE- It’s okay to believe in magic for a few days out of the year. If it makes you feel stupid to do so, then congratulations, you’re doing it right.

7) COMPLEXITY- Some folks call it Christmas. Some call it Hanukkah. Some celebrate Kwanzaa and still others, the Winter’s Solstice. No one has a monopoly on the season. There is a reason for the season, but that reason is different for each person. It’s  not a season to be questioned or criticized. It’s to be celebrated. It’s a time to remember times past and all the family and friends the many years have claimed. It’s a time to celebrate our present gifts and hold those we love close to our hearts. It’s a time to look towards our shared future with hopeful eyes filled with the expectation of celebrations to come.

I know this is a bit precious and flowery, but hey, it’s the season for precious and flowery. So get out there and be the best elf you can be. Make an elf-conscious decision to be more elf-aware and increase the global happiness-quotient with a healthy dose of elfonomics.

Bake some cookies, mail some cards, drop some change in a bucket, wear a ridiculous sweater, sing a carol, drink some nog, give a hug, hang some holly, and have yourself the merriest little whatever you can.

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5 Responses to “Martha on the Half-Shell!- Turtle Brownies! -153 eggs, 118 cups of sugar, 120 sticks of Butter, and 142 3/4 cups of flour used so far- 87 recipes to go!”

  1. Carol Says:

    Well said, Andre!

  2. Jenny German Says:

    Dear Andre- Quickly, I hereby wish to apply for membership in the “elfonomics” club. I hope that by my timely response, I am able to enjoy charter membership priviledges. Oh Lord, make it January! Thank you for your continuing insights into a world I know very well ( the joys and sorrows and surprises offered by living in the deep south ) and of course my love of southern cookin’ and bakin’

  3. Tom Lancaster Says:

    Howdy, neighbor — so glad I remembered the URL long enough to find your site. I am now, officially, obsessed. Love, love, love the blog!


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