Archive for February, 2011

cookie bar 2.0

Monday, February 14th, 2011

You could say I’ve had cookies on my mind lately. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to meet baking idol Dorie Greenspan in person, and to actually try her cookies, so I couldn’t miss Cookie Bar’s second appearance in New York. As if that weren’t reason enough to trek into the City (well, just over the Hudson river for me), I happened to hear of a blogger meetup this past Friday, February 11, so it seemed like the perfect time to go.

Josh Greenspan, Sarabeth, and Dorie Greenspan

I sent my husband, who was in the area the day before, to scout out and purchase some cookies, just in case they happened to sell out by the time I got there. By Thursday mid-afternoon, they had indeed sold out of the more chocolate-y cookies and he brought home a blondie, espresso-chocolate sablé, a coconut-lime sablé, and a pear-pineapple jammer. I almost had a hard time opening the sealed package Dorie had apparently packaged herself. Almost.

I could not wait for my turn to procure these coveted cookies and meet Dorie in person. Dorie is as gracious, genuine and sweet in person as she seems and signed two books for me (Baking, From my Home to Yours, and Paris Sweets). I mentioned she had judged my entry for a bittersweet baking contest I participated in a few years back at thekitchn.com. It was a vegan cake because I was feeling experimental and ambitious at the time.  She replied that she was always interested in trying to create vegan desserts.

Fortunately, I was able to get some of the varieties I was especially keen on trying – the strawberry-raspberry jammer, world peace cookie, and chocolate chunker (she was selling out quickly during the blogger meeting and by early afternoon, was completely sold out!). While I enjoyed all the cookies, my personal favorites were the chocolate chunkers and jammers.

Dorie hands over the very last of her cookies from cookie bar 2.0 to one lucky guy!

Despite selling out in the early afternoon, Dorie would dutifully remain until 5pm to face the unenviable task of breaking the sorry news to  customers that all the cookies were gone. In the meantime, she chatted with us bloggers. One of the great things about doing this Cookiebar, according to her, was opportunity to meet “the people”. Dorie, we’re so glad to meet you too!

The other highlight of my little jaunt was the unexpected treat of meeting Sarabeth “Goddess of Bakedom” herself from Sarabeth’s Kitchen as well as some wonderful bloggers. Thanks to The Peche and One Tough Cookie for organizing the meetup!

Dorie and Me!

baby steps

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

As a relatively new parent, I’ve long since accepted the fact that my life has pretty much been turned upside down, that parenthood involves sacrificing much of my former life as I’ve known it. I look back on some of the more elaborate cakes I’ve made, the hours and days involved, and sometimes admittedly bemoan the loss of the luxury of time, a few uninterrupted hours to myself to just get into some sort creative zone.

But every little death of a piece of me yields the potential for something new or different.

Baking cookies felt exactly like the liberating paradigm shift I needed.

Humble, basic, rustic cookies.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters (Dorie Greenspan’s recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours)

Nothing new or novel, but…they just hit home.

World Peace Cookies (Dorie Greenspan’s recipe (click here for recipe), also from Baking: From My Home to Yours)

And felt perfect.