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Better than a postcard

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When I travel, I collect matchboxes, photos, and (like many cooks) recipes. Sometimes it’s an easy matter of recreating from memory a dish I ate in a restaurant (I still make the smoked trout, sliced almond, and mozzarella pizza that wowed me at a brewpub in Bozeman, Montana, years ago). Other times, a recipe is required to clone a favorite eating experience.

Such was the case on a recent trip to Las Vegas, after I experienced the chocolate nirvana that is the Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies made by Francois Payard. I had heard about this cookie for years (we chocoholics have our own network) and despite living a short train ride from Payard’s Manhattan store, it was only when walking by his boutique in Ceasar’s Palace casino that I finally was able to indulge.

On returning home, it didn’t take much searching online to find a copy of Payard’s fudgy, decadent cookies. Sunday morning, when most people were probably whipping up omelets or pancakes (or just trying to get through the paper), I decided it was time for a batch. The batter came together easily; after just 14 minutes in the oven, I had a recreation of the crisp-outside, gooey-inside cookies I had last enjoyed in the heat of the Vegas desert. Besides flourless, they are also butterless, using only egg whites, which gives them a macaroon-like exterior.

Have you had luck recreating a dish you loved at a restaurant? Tell me about it!


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  • User avater
    Pielove | 05/05/2009

    Great topic and those cookies look amazing-- I am ready to lick my monitor! Interesting recipe too-- I wonder if it would work with natural cocoa powder.

    As for re-creating a restaurant dish, my husband still talks about the beef and Guinness stew we had on our honeymoon at this lovely B&B in the Midlands of Ireland. Unfortunately, that was 8 years ago-- so my advice is to recreate the dish while the taste memory is still fresh!

  • GeorgeCooks | 05/05/2009

    I wish I could recreate the biscuits by Scott Peacock at Watershed. Light as air and so tasty.

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