This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Annual Women Chef and Restaurateurs Conference in Pasadena. My mother has been a member of this group for just about 10 years and it’s such an incredibly creative, warm, welcoming, helpful environment of wonderful women chefs. It’s so inspiring to be around women who have cooked their whole lives, opened restaurants, started their own companies, and been in the business for years. I stuck close to my mom as this was all new to me and I am NOT a chef. But yesterday afternoon I decided to try a break out session on my own… Cookies. I expected a cookie decorating class/putting frosting on or a lecture on cookies. Boy was I wrong. The Cordon Bleu teacher handed out recipes and told every team (yes we were broken into teams) to recreate the recipe given (it was from the 1940s). Well everyone went their separate ways picking new ingredients and rewriting recipes. I sat staring at how to get my mixer attached to my kitchenaid (Chef Linda helped)
Then I made the mistake of not “creaming” my sugar and shortening. A word I had never heard of before. I also added pumpkin here (what I thought would be my GREAT addition). Linda came by in a panic. She looked at the recipe, looked in my bowl, looked at the recipe, looked in the bowl. She asked me where I was in the recipe and when I pointed she said, No that’s not possible and I said yes, yes this is where I am. She had my restart my recipe from the beginning. A little disheartening as my peers were adding curry powder and chopping mexican chocolate, I was struggling with adding flour to eggs and milk.
But with Linda’s help, I persevered and got a good cookie dough out. I slapped it on a tray, made a ganash (milk, powdered sugar and cocoa powder) and had cookies!
The best part was trying everyone else’s cookies at the end! What an inspiring and amazing weekend, more to come!