This may just qualify as Writin' Rations™ because while it's a bit fiddly to make, it's not all that difficult per se, and it doesn't cost too much, and one small piece will energize you for hours of productive wordwork.
CHILI CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD
2 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder (UNsweetened)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (NOT the flavored kind, the kind that's just straight dried, powdered chili peppers)
1 cup butter from the fridge (must be cold)
- Preheat the oven to about 350F/180C.
- Sift all the dry stuff together into a generously sized bowl (bigger than you think you'll need you will need room to express yourself).
- Cut the butter quickly and efficiently into small pieces (or use a pastry cutter).
- Dump the butter into the powdery stuff. Using your fingers, rub the powdery stuff through the butter pieces, smushing the powder-covered butter pieces between fingers and thumb with a sliding motion. Apparently it's important that you scoop them up with your palms UP, not down. Who am I to argue? Keep going until there are no large butter pieces left (teeny tiny ones are okay), but work quickly, because the butter must not get warm (apparently).
- Press the stuff firmly into a baking pan I use what looks to be about an 8x12", but if you want it thinner, use a bigger one. Pyrex works well, by the way.
- Run a sharp knife through the mix to define the final size of the pieces. A grid that makes pieces about 1x3" works okay.
- Chill for at least a half hour in the fridge; an hour is probably better.
- Bake until the ENTIRE HOUSE smells like chocolate. It's really, really hard to tell when shortbread is done, especially this stuff, as it all looks brown whether or not it's browned by the heat. Your guess is as good as mine.
- Cool for at least a half hour.
- Eat. Share. Gasp.