Who doesn’t love cookies?!
With so many varieties, flavors and versions, even savory fiends have a favorite. Today’s class was all about the cookies, from traditional chocolate chip to fancy tuiles.
The recipes were divided by lottery, and I was lucky to get chosen second! I picked the chocolate cherry pecan bars, a decadent combination of chocolate chips, chopped pecans, dried cherries and a thick, sweet crust.
Though there were several vegan and gluten-free recipes, these were neither. There was butter in the base, as well as eggs in the filling. The primary “healthy” substitution was to use date sugar and maple crystals, and I liked that the taste of those two flavors didn’t jump out in the finished product like they tend to do.
They were amazing. Incredibly rich and dense, with lots of gooey chocolate morsels.
Chef Elliot recommended I cut them into tiny chunks, which ended up being a good call. I could have eaten a whole one, but my stomach wouldn’t have been too happy with me.
Because my first recipe didn’t take too long, I also got to work with another classmate on some chocolate-pistachio biscotti edged in toasted pistachios.
I’d always assumed making biscotti was difficult, but these were fun to create! We just rolled the super-sticky dough into logs, rolled it in the pistachios and baked it before slicing it and popping it back into the oven for a few more minutes. The batter for these was incredibly rich and chocolatey, and the finished product was delicious, as well- though nothing beats really good cookie dough.
While the bars and biscotti were baking away, I also walked around the room to check out what everyone else was doing.
Pretty cool stuff! These pecan tuiles were particularly fun to watch shape up. They were molded around metal cylinders immediately after coming out of the oven…
Then left to set for a few minutes…
And finally dipped in dark chocolate and edged with coconut or filled with cashew cream.
Contrary to the presentation, they actually taste quite simple- like pecan pie filling.
These rolled fig cookies were really beautiful, too:
But surprisingly straightforward to make. They required a little time to freeze before cutting, but are way less labor-intensive than they look.
They tasted like fresher fig newtons- all the goodness of the prepackaged stuff, but with a fruitier, less stale taste to the filling.
I had so many bites of dough and pieces of broken cookies that I wasn’t even hungry by presentation time. Still, I couldn’t quite turn down this display:
There were sesame anise biscotti that were far spicier and more exotic-tasting than your usual store-bought ones:
Vegan jam dot cookies, filled with raspberry preserves and chocolate:
(These are one of the school’s “signatures.” I actually had one when I came to an open house back in March.)
Coconut macaroons, both piped and balled:
I liked how the coconut in these was pulsed, so it only left a nice texture and coconut flavor instead of the shredded coconut strands many macaroons contain.
Walnut tea crescents, modified into different shapes:
Shaped like bun-buns (I’m five) and dipped into chocolate! These were pretty and delicate, and with the chocolate addition reminded me of Pepperidge Farm Milanos.
Peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips:
These were a modification on the vegan original, and as a result were a bit dry. I had half of one fresh from the oven though, and it was absolutely fantastic and chewy.
Checkerboard cookies, which always remind me of a friend from high school who makes perfect ones (I know you’re reading and you know who you are):
That being said, I’m not crazy about this variety in general. They look impressive, though, and these were still pretty good.
Raspberry shortbread linzer cookies, which, again, remind me of the same high school friend.People say they’re easy to make, but I’m still intimidated by the stained-glass appearance!
I love these, though. They just scream Christmas to me, especially when filled with raspberry and dusted with powdered sugar.
Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, and probably the best GF cookie I’ve had, at that. I’ve noticed that alternative flours often lend a weird texture, but these were chewy and just about everything I’d expect from a regular chocolate chip cookie.
And last but certainly not least, gluten-free ginger crisp cookies:
These were simple and delicate, and biting into one made me want a cup of tea. Very dainty.
In addition, we also all sampled a triple-berry crisp that Chef Elliot made. He thought the berries were a bit too tart, but I absolutely loved it, which is saying something since usually I like my desserts sickeningly sweet. The crisp part on top was hands-down my favorite, though
This is the first Friday night I’ve been in the city and haven’t had a Friday night dinner to serve since July. Looking forward to a relaxing weekend, and the same to you!
What’s your favorite cookie? I know there are tons of varieties, but can you narrow it down to just one?!