As I've mentioned here on this blog and to many friends before, my inspirations come often suddenly and from a variety of sources—many often not initially food-related.
So was the case a couple of nights as I was searching on Spotify for music I used to own a while back on CD and cassette tape. One of those albums was Ween's Chocolate and Cheese, a favorite of mine and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it for the first time in maybe a decade.
The album's is 20 years old, but it didn't really occur to be curious of the provenance of its title. I wasn't curious enough to check, but it did inspire me to come up with a dish that incorporated both ingredients.
So today I made a quick trip to the local fairway supermarket, bought some pre-packaged chocolate chip cookie dough, and a small wedge of parmesan. At home I emptied the cookie dough in a bowl, added some fresh finely grated parmesan cheese, a little brown sugar, and a little salt. I shaved some extra parmesan on top of the cookies and baked as instructed. And so the Parmesan Chocolate Chip Cookie was born (in my apartment, at least).
The chocolate's taste, we know now and as expected, was accentuated with a hint of salt. Parmesan has its own salt content, plus, being a dairy product, has a natural creaminess to it that expertly balances any sweet cookie. The additional layer of the richer brown sugar was balanced by the salt as well, and each bite, made even more aromatic by the cheese's inherent properties.
Hot out of the oven, the cookies were both familiar, comforting, homey, and uniquely elevated. A dually nostalgic and novel cookie experience—and one I look forward to repeating often.