M and I had the most wonderful time last weekend upstate with our friends. Jackie, Margaret, and I have been talking about a cooking weekend for a while—we finally did it, and it was a blast. Those of you who followed me on Twitter and Instagram would have seen the food-filled photos.
With high expectations, we planned all cooking ahead of the weekend. By Saturday afternoon, we were satiated and simply needed a break from the constant feeding and sampling. Even the lingering scents of food in the kitchen made it feel like just breathing caused caloric intake.
So, off we went to the movies.
As if we, I meant me, really took a break from eating, I brought along dessert snacks for the theater. The ladies insisted that we see Magic Mike, a movie that is sure to rival the fierceness of Showgirls for bad-cult-movie status. Instead of topless showgirls with really bad dialogue, it’s top AND bottomless male strippers with equally sad script. M, Jackie’s boyfriend, and I were the handful of males in the audience. At first it felt like we were crashing a bachelorette party, but 20 minutes and the roomful of ladies became demure. The thrill was definitely gone.
The movie was unnecessarily long. Thank goodness I had my German Chocolate Sandwich Cookie to help endure the bump & grind. I’m sure the cookies would have better with coffee or tea that afternoon, but everything happened organically throughout the weekend, including a first try at Scrabble, Food edition.
German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (gluten-free)
yield: thirteen 3-inch sandwich cookies
Gluten-free Chocolate Pecan Cookies
adapted from Everyday Food
yield: twenty six 3-inch cookies
3 cups (12 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup (3 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325℉. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, espresso, and cinnamon; stir in chopped chocolate, coconut and pecans. Add egg whites; stir with silicon spatula until just incorporated. Mixture will be thick.
2. Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough, approximately 3 inches apart, onto 2 silpat or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time until cookie are set, about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks; let cookies cool completely.
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
2 large egg yolks
6 ounces evaporated milk (1/2 can)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3-1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cups sweetened shredded coconut, (about 3-1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans (3 ounces), toasted
1. Whisk yolks in medium saucepan; gradually whisk in evaporated milk. Add sugars, butter, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is boiling, frothy, and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
2. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla, then stir in coconut. Transfer mixture to bowl and cool until just warm. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. (Pecans are stirred in just before cake assembly.)
1.Using an offset spatula, spread about 2 tablespoons of filling onto the bottom of a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.