A 'sweet' afternoon with chef Valerie Gordon

12:36 PM, Nov 2, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Chef Valerie Gordon, of Valerie Confections in Los Angeles, has a new cookbook featuring lots of delectable treats.

Sweet is Valerie's newest cookbook and features award-winning sweets and baked goods including petits fours, cakes, truffles, and cookies. She will also be offering a special one-day class at Cooks of Crocus Hill Saturday November 2.

A "Sweet" Afternoon with Valerie Gordon will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Crocus Hill where she will be teaching participants how to whip up special treats including fig, pear, and port jam served over brie crostini, lemon tea cakes with pomegranate glaze, and even her famous Durango cookie (recipe below).

Cost of the class is $60.

Durango cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons (11 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 13/4 cups (10.5 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (1 pound) large milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (4.4 ounces) roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) cocoa nibs
  • Durango smoked salt for sprinkling

Directions:

1.  Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl. Set aside.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

3.  Using a fork or small whisk, beat the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and eggs and continue beating until the batter is smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and beat for an additional minute. Add the chocolate chips 1 cup at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition. Add the almonds and cocoa nibs and beat until combined, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the batter to a large bowl (if it's not already in a mixing bowl), cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper, and chill for 1 hour.

4.  Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line two large heavy baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

5. Using a 21/2-inch ice cream scoop (or a 1/3-cup measure), scoop the dough onto the lined baking sheets, spacing the cookies 3 inches apart (the cookies will spread considerably while baking). Sprinkle each ball with Durango salt. Bake for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden on the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets on cooling racks for 10 minutes.

6.  Using an offset spatula, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Storing: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days or transferred to Ziploc freezer bags and frozen for up to 2 months.

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