This morning I wanted to write about something fun for a change, but I wasn’t coming up with anything that spoke to me. Then I opened today’s e-mail and stumbled upon something that has my head spinning.
Dorie Greenspan and her son Joshua are doing a five-day pop-up cookie bar in New York City, from February 7th through the 11th! If you are fortunate enough to live in (or are visiting) Manhattan, go to Mizu Salon at 505 5th Avenue between 58th and 59th from 10:00 a.m until only cookie crumbs remain. The cookie choices sound spectacular!
For those of you unfamiliar with Dorie, she divides her life between France, New York and Connecticut and has written some great cookbooks, including her latest book, Around My French Table.
I learned about the excitement via the San Francisco Baker’s Dozen Yahoo group this morning — this after they had a dessert orgy yesterday where everyone brought something that they either didn’t have time to make over the holidays or that they made and adored. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend — better for my waistline I suppose though I hated missing out on a bakery’s worth of samples of cookies, cakes and pies.
I absolutely love the idea of pop-up cookie bars, food trucks like Chunk ‘n Chip Cookies that announce destination sites and times via social media, and clandestine one-night restaurants in the homes of chefs and amateur cooks. Like a great joke, where the unexpected punchline catches you by surprise, the idea of a brief window of opportunity to enjoy something delicious knocks my socks off.
The truth is I fantasize about doing something like a pop-up cookie bar or having a roaming dessert truck. Years ago I had a cookie business when I lived in the countryside. I named my business Cat’s Print Cookies after one of my cats leaped from the rafters onto a couch and landed in a box of individually wrapped cookies. Amazingly, none broke!
My daughter and I would hit the summer music festivals in our area and hawk cookies. Even then I dreamed of a mobile truck where I could have cookies and pies coming out of the oven and serve coffee, tea, milk and hot chocolate. As the California Coastal fog comes in around 6:00 or 7:00 in the evening, we would have made a killing if we’d had a truck parked at the festivals !
Obviously I can’t live out my fantasy right away, so instead, I will share a couple of recipes with you. The first is an adaptation Dorie’s Master Sable recipe, a buttery French cookie that she uses as the base for her newest creation, Jammers, a sable base topped with nut-filled streusel and a layer of artisanal jam. Click here for Sables.
A second e-mail came in to the Yahoo group with a listing of the cookies. They include two kinds of Jammers: Raspberry-Strawberry and Lemon Pear Pineapple, traditional sables, Coconut Lime Sables, and Espresso Bittersweet Chocolate Sables. And she will have her popular Peace Cookies as well as Browndies! Say what? Dorrie explains Browndies:
“This is the first time I’m doing this: Chewy chunky blondies in the rounds. When you bake them in rings everything changes. The texture around the edge gets firmer. It’s like a cookie, but with that cake-like texture.”
While I would love to take the time right this minute to make a version of Jammers, I’m going to have to wait until a day when I have more time. However, I couldn’t wait to try using my favorite Blondie recipe in a round.
Unfortunately, the results weren’t stellar. I used a 9-inch cake pan when I should have used a 10-inch springform pan as the recipe was too big to work well in the smaller pan. The blondie recipe I use, which I have to say is spectacular, creates a meringue-like surface, which cracks easily, so this added to the problem. My suggestion is to bake it in a regular baking pan — 10″ x 10″ x 1″ if you have a pan that size, or go with an 8″ x 13″ x 2″ which will be fine. Here’s the World’s Best Blondies. If you’re located in the Midwest or East Coast areas, this will definitely lift your spirits as you slog through this year’s winter storms!