My favorite characteristic of Quentin Tarantino’s writing is his concentration on detail. The dialogue of his characters may seem at times trivial and unnecessary to the plot, but it’s all laid out with thoughtful purpose. He can create a scene wrought with tension and suspense while having the characters only discuss a cheeseburger. A tasty burger, that is. Mr. Tarantino has taught me a lot about character development. Sometimes it’s not about what’s being said, but maybe why it’s being said or what’s not being said at all. His craft of laying the tone is precise every time. Whether you like the tone or not is a matter of opinion, but you definitely feel it.
Pulp Fiction won several awards the year it premiered, but ultimately lost the Best Picture Oscar to a chocolate running fool in love with Jenny. Actually, that year was a pretty tough category and still contested by movie buffs to this day. But another year is more bitterly recalled in my apartment. Sigh. Let’s just not get into it for everyone’s sake.
Pulp Fiction is a story dripping with violence but is also about redemption. All of the story lines contain surprises and take you on unexpected journeys, including the screenplay format. It’s always fun to see how Mr. Tarantino will weave his characters together. And Pulp Fiction may be his best.
And maybe his tastiest (sorry)!
Let’s bake a movie…
Big Kahuna Burger Cookies
Vanilla cake cookie “buns” stacked with chocolate brownie “patties”, Starburst “cheese”, and strawberry jam “ketchup”
The most classic scene from the movie begins with a bite of a burger and ends with “divine intervention”. I can’t tell you if a miracle stopped those bullets, but I can say that this is a tasty burger cookie. There is so much texture and flavor flowing over your tongue and into your belly. Each component would be delicious on its own but squished together as a sandwich equals taste buds/mind blown.
Before I created the burger, I went to the internets to see if anything similar had been created by others. I saw several fun examples, but I was pretty disappointed to see that they all used prepackaged foods. I knew I could make this less semi-homemade and more delicious. I wanted a cookie for the bun that would be just as fluffy as the real thing. I immediately thought of a MoonPie. Yum! But, what kind of cookie could look like meat? Doesn’t sound all that appealing, but brownies sort of crackle on top and resemble cooked ground beef (please don’t think about this while eating). Brownie cookie! And then the cheese and ketchup trick I had previously learned from the creative people at Hello Cupcake. Done. Burger cookie.
For the “Pattie”:
2 2/3 cups (16 oz) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
For the “Bun”:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ cup milk, room temperature
For the “Cheese”:
12 orange or lemon Starbursts
For the “Ketchup”:
Very red Strawberry or raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
1) For the “patties”, place a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the butter and chopped bittersweet chocolate in the bowl until completely melted and smooth. Sift the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar and eggs until combined. Add the vanilla. Slowly pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture and stir till combined. Incorporate the dry ingredients by carefully folding them into the batter. Once all the flour is incorporated stir in the mini chocolate chips. Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon place 1 ½ tbsp of dough onto baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating trays halfway through. When cookies are firm on the outside remove from the oven and leave on sheets to cool completely.
2) For the “buns”, increase over to 375° F. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy (2 minutes). Add eggs one at a time until each are completely incorporated. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition until just incorporated. Transfer half the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a wide round tip. To create the bottom bun, pipe batter in a flat circle large enough to support the brownie patty onto a baking sheet. For the top bun, use a small cookie scooper to scoop 2 tbsp. of batter onto baking sheet. To smooth the tops of the cookies dip a spoon in water and run the back along the “bun” eliminating the creases and lumps. Bake for 8-10 minutes (watching carefully so as not to brown the buns). Transfer to a wire rake to cool completely. Repeat with any leftover batter.
3) For the “cheese”, unwrap Starburst candy. Heat in the microwave for 5 seconds, until just softened but not melted. Flatten candy with either a rolling pin or the back of a spoon. I found it easiest to work with one candy at a time.
4) For the “ketchup”, strain the jam through a fine mesh strainer, using a spatula to work it through and collect in a small bowl.
5) Assembly: Drop a small dab of jam ketchup onto the center of a flat bun and then place the brownie patty directly over. Lay flattened Starburst on top of patty and a larger dollop of jam ketchup. Top with the round bun.