Now it's my turn to teach pastry class at the Centre Vercingétorix in the 14th arrondissement. There are 12 students. They simply want to learn more about making pastries, desserts and sweets things. It's nothing high strung - nothing requiring students to be perfectionists....it's a community center offering classes to residents of the city. Key words here include conviviality...fun...and pastry. I like those words!
For last week's class, I opted for a simple & manageable idea: cookies. We are, after all, still getting acclimated to the kitchen, its limited amenities & to each other! The class was divided into three groups, each with a different recipe in hand (two American & one French). See if you can pick out the French cookie (!) - the choices are: chocolate chip, sablé chocolat, and Road Trip Cookies. Gee I wonder...
Adapted from the Cookbook: Death by Chocolate - Cookies
Author: Marcel Desaulniers (Despite the rather french sounding name, he is an American chef and part-owner of The Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia).
Ingredients - for 55 small cookieschocolate bar, (64% cocoa minimum) 170 g
flour (2 ½ cups) 340 g
baking soda (1 tsp) 6 g
salt ( ½ tsp) 6 g
granulated sugar (¾ cup) 160 g
dark brown sugar (¾ cup) 160 g
butter, room temp (¼ lb) 115 g
eggs (jumbo) 2
vanilla extract (2 tsp) 15 g
Peanut M&Ms* 200 g
1st step. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie**. Set aside.
2nd step. Weigh out the flour, baking soda & salt. Sift them & set aside.
3rd step. Weigh the sugars (granulated & brown) and the butter in a big bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add the vanill & the melted chocolate & stir to incorporate.
4th step. Add the dry ingredients (from the 2nd step) to the wet ingredients (of the 3rd step) and stir with a wooden spoon. Form the dough into balls and let rest in the fridge at least 30 minutes.
5th step. Cook the cookies in a pre-heated oven at 175°C for 11 - 13 minutes on prepared cookie sheets (with parchment paper, Silpat or greased). Remove to cooling rack.
* the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup of peanut M&Ms. I used only a cup, or about 200g. I thought it was plenty of peanut, but feel free to add more than my suggested amount!
** bain marie = pan of simmering water over which you place a bowl for melting the chocolate. The water should not boil. The choclate melts faster when broken into pieces first.