All posts by The Experimental Gourmand

Making Cassoulet at Jimmy’s No. 43

Cassoulet displaySome of the cassoulets we made

As I’d mentioned, last week and weekend, I spent some time in the kitchen at Jimmy’s No. 43 working with guest chef Annette Tomei on making large quantities of cassoulet.  Annette and I have worked on several culinary projects together in the past, so when she called me to ask if I’d be up for helping out on this one, I knew that we’d have a great time banging around the kitchen and that I would have a chance to learn a lot about techniques and execution from her.  I also knew that we’d eat very well.

Annette Tomei garnishing cassouletChef Annette Tomei garnishing dishes at the Cassoulet Cook-off

I’ve kind of always wanted to do a series of photos of what takes place to get ready for these kinds of events, as it is about producing food in very large volume.  I managed to capture some of the process for making the cassoulet while we were working and created this slideshow (click on the “show info” link on the top right for the captions).  We made enough of each type of cassoulet for the Cassoulet & Beer Pairing event on Saturday, the Cassoulet Cook-off on Sunday, and the Cassoulet & Wine Pairing dinner on Monday night.  It’s been a big week for cassoulet!

Buon appetito!

“Jimmy and the Bean Trough: 6th Annual Cassoulet Cookoff at Jimmy’s No. 43” from Edible Manhattan
(Article about my culinary events work at Jimmy’s No. 43 with VinEducation founder Chef Annette Tomei.)

Jimmy’s No. 43 Sixth Annual Cassoulet Cook-off

Cassoulet displayDisplay of Cassoulet at Jimmy’s No. 43

This past Sunday was the Sixth Annual Cassoulet Cook-off at Jimmy’s No. 43, an event where amateur and professional chefs go knife-to-knife to create one of France’s iconic and heart-warming dishes.  Jimmy had invited me to be a judge for this feast again this year, which I happily accepted to do, and joined Jackie Gordon from The Diva That Ate New York, Margaret Chen from Savory Sweet Living, Nancy Matsumoto, and Amy Zavatto and Ariel Lauren Wilson of Edible Manhattan in tasting and evaluating the various cassoulets.

Judges making their decisionsWorking out the winners

As in past years, the entrants demonstrated numerous variations on the bean-and-meat-stew format.  Six cooks created cassoulets which the attendees walked around and sampled.  Tickets to the event also included one beverage from the bar with which to wash down all that rich, hearty food.  This gathering raised over $2,000 to go to The Greenmarket‘s regional grains initiative.  Here’s a look at the dishes and their cooks:

Gilbert Clerget - bowl of cassouletCassoulet de Castelnaudary by Gilbert Clerget

Gilbert Clerget and his wife Rebecca made the trip north from Washington, DC to contribute their Cassoulet de Castelnaudary to the tastings.  His version, as he explained, reflected more the southwest of France in the Languedoc region.  The dish featured Stachowski Brand Charcuterie from Georgetown, including their Toulouse Sausage made with tarragon.

Patrick Clark - bowl of cassouletPatricia Clark‘s classic-style cassoulet

Studded with velvety, succulent chunks of duck confit, which she made, as well as duck bacon that she also made, pork, beans, and layers of flavors, returning contributor and caterer Patricia Clark‘s dedication to this dish was evident.  She told us that she’d spent the past year researching cassoulet in its many incarnations before coming up with her version, reviewing over 100 recipes for this dish before developing her own rendition.

Nourish Kitchen cassouletCassoulet with Kale by Nourish Kitchen + Table

The team from Nourish Kitchen + Table created a version of cassoulet that had pork butt, proscuitto, and housemade duck confit along with kale to give it a bit of a healthy kick.  They topped their selection with crunchy toasted breadcrumbs with pork cracklings to contrast the creamy beans.

Mighty Quinn's - Burnt Ends and BeansBeans and Burnt Ends by Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque

Neighborhood barbecue joint, Mighty Quinn’s chipped in some of their Beans and Burnt Ends.  With its smoky, meaty, porkiness, this is a more American take on the French classic.  As the judges noted in their round-up of the cook-off, this dish is available to try all year around at their store, not just in the cold winter months of peak cassoulet season.

David Navarro - Jimmy's No 43 House CassouletSausage & Beans with Chicharrones by David Navarro

Jimmy’s No. 43 house chef David Navarro contributed a batch of cassoulet with a more Latin twist to it.  He made a batch of Sausage and Beans topped with chicharrones, or crispy fried pork skins, creating a contrast between the hearty beans, smoky meat, and crunchiness of the topping.

American-style cassoulet plateAmerican-style Cassoulet by Annette Tomei

Beer-braised pork shoulder cassoulet plateBeer-braised Pork Shoulder and Beans by Annette Tomei

Plate of Vegetarian CassouletVegetarian Cassoulet by Annette Tomei

[By way of full disclosure, I assisted her with the prep for this and several of the dishes that folks sampled on Sunday.]

Annette Tomei, owner of VinEducation and one of my former instructors at the International Culinary Center, was the featured chef for Jimmy’s No. 43‘s Cassoulet & Beer and Cassoulet & Wine events during the past few days.  She whipped up several different styles of cassoulet for guests to nibble on on Sunday, including an American-style version using pinto beans mixed with shredded confit chicken, braised turkey wings, spicy sausage, and bacon ends topped with a panko-sage crumble, a Beans with Beer-braised Pork Shoulder, and even a Vegetarian Cassoulet with beans mixed in with roasted brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and butternut squash.  This latter version was a favorite of several of the attendees.

Jimmy Carbone thanking attendeesJimmy Carbone thanking cooks and guests

After guests had sampled the cassoulets and had taken some time to digest and to decide on their favorites, Jimmy Carbone took to the stage in the back room to thank everyone for coming to this event and to garner a round of applause for all the cooks.  Then, he turned it over to the judges to reveal the results of the cook-off.  Jackie Gordon started off by recognizing the honorable mentions, including Annette Tomei’s “Best Vegetarian Cassoulet for Carnivores” and David Navarro’s “Best Use of Chicharrones in a Cassoulet.”  Then, the prizes were handed out.

Nourish Kitchen - pot of cassouletThird Place Winner: Nourish Kitchen

Patricia Clark - cassoulet displaySecond Place Winner: Patricia Clark

Gilbert & Rebecca ClergetFirst Place Winner: Gilbert Clerget with his wife Patricia

This year’s winner of the Cassoulet Cook-off is Gilbert Clerget with his Cassoulet de Castelnaudary.  It seems fitting that a Frenchman took the crown for 2014.  His cassoulet was also the winner of the People’s Choice Award at the cook-off, so the people and the judges were unanimous in their culinary decisions this year.  Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone who cooked for us this Sunday!

Buon appetito!

“Jimmy and the Bean Trough: 6th Annual Cassoulet Cookoff at Jimmy’s No. 43” from Edible Manhattan
(Article about my culinary events work at Jimmy’s No. 43 with VinEducation founder Chef Annette Tomei.)

#Snowday Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate-chip cookies with Sea SaltSea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I heard that today was the first official snow day of 2014, I decided that it should also be the first SnowBakeDay of the new year.  Fortunately, I had just enough supplies on hand to make a batch of Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies.  These should probably be called “Kim E’s Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies,” because I first developed this recipe for a former co-worker of mine, as chocolate chip cookies are his favorites.  He loves the taste of the deep dark chocolate combined with the crisp, toffee-flavored edges and that pop that the sea salt gives to the cookies, as it dances on the tongue, highlighting even more of the richness of the chocolate along with the soft, buttery interior.

Chopped chocolateChopped Chocolate

They were well-received when I brought them to an appointment I had this afternoon at the International Culinary Center. The staff had trudged in through the snow and the frigid temperatures to get things up and running for the students.  It was a bit of a risk to serve them to folks who work at a culinary school, but as I wasn’t a pastry grad, I thought I could take that chance!  These are a wonderful treat to make anytime, not just on snow days, so they are a great addition to your catalogue of cookie recipes.

IngredientsIngredients

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep time:  about an hour, including baking time

Serving size:  yields 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 c. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter (I used Kerrygold), softened

1/4 c., plus 1 Tbsp. White Sugar

1/4 c., plus 1 Tbsp. Light Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar

1 Large Egg

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 c. All-purpose Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt

1.5 oz. 70% Cocoa Solids Chocolate Bar, chopped

Sea Salt (like Maldon) for finishing

Assembly:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine butter and sugars in mixing bowl until smooth.  I am very low-tech about making cookies, preferring to mix everything by hand, using a wooden spoon.  Then, mix in one egg and the vanilla extract and stir until the batter is light and fluffy.

Wet Ingredients Mixed TogetherWet ingredients mixed together

Mix together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and stir to combine them thoroughly.  Stir in the chocolate chunks.

Chocolate chips mixed inWet and dry ingredients mixed with chocolate chunks

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray.  Scoop teaspoonfuls of cookie dough onto the baking sheet.  I actually purchased a small ice cream scoop to try to keep the amount of dough I was baking per cookie consistent.  When I made the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peppermint and White Chocolate Drizzle for the NYC food bloggers holiday cookie swap, I found that it helped me to create fairly uniformly-sized cookies. 

Scooping cookies on trayScooping out cookie dough

Then, sprinkle the sea salt on top of the cookies, after they are on the tray.  I actually crumble the sea salt a bit, so that there aren’t large chunks of salt on the finished cookies.  Bake them for 5 minutes, turn the tray around and bake them for 5 minutes more, until they are, as we would say in the prep kitchen, “GBD” (Golden Brown and Delicious).  Remove them from the baking sheet to a cooling rack.  Try to keep from eating too many of these, as you decide with whom you are going to share them.

Cooling cookiesCooling cookies (spatula courtesy Kim E & Rich)

Buon appetito!

Southern-style Holiday Dinner: Old Bay Deviled Eggs

The Dinner TableThe holiday dinner table

Every family has its own holiday traditions.  Ours revolves around a group meal and present exchange.  Here’s how it rolled out this year.  We actually managed to lock down the date and time for our celebration in near record time.  Then, negotiations started over what would be prepared for said holiday meal.  When I explained this two-step process to a few folks at work and some friends, I got a some odd looks (from those with smaller families) and some knowing nods of recognition (from those who are part of larger broods).  My youngest sister very proactively sent out this proposed very Southern-style holiday menu via email a few weeks out:

Holidays are coming fast!  For those of you dining at the Blake household, how does Ham, potato salad, green bean casserole, and biscuits sound?

Then, I responded with a few points of feedback, based upon what I knew to be of some of the guests’ preferences (including those of one notoriously-fussy nephew) and a few of my own.  Here was her response:

Well it is up to you. I was going to pick up ham from honey baked, potato salad from red hot blue, make green bean casserole and biscuits plus I asked R and M to bring appetizer or side dish. If you want to do something different and want to spearhead dinner, I will gladly pass the torch. You just let me know.

Dinner PlateMy dinner plate

I wasn’t even pulling rank as a working chef on her.  It was more just that I know that green bean casserole is a dish that repulses my youngest brother and that his children (in the main not vegetable-eaters) would also not touch it.  Believe it or not, I’m not much of a fan of a huge hunk of ham as part of a meal.  My mother used to fix mustard and brown sugar-glazed ham, boiled potatoes, and corn as a holiday dinner, as one of my sisters liked it.  It is one of my culinary nightmares, still.  After a few more emails, and a suggestion from me that we order Chinese food from our local favorite haunt, I received carte blanche to proceed with re-organizing the menu:

Then we will leave it in your capable hands. Just let R and M know if there is something other than a side dish or appetizer you want them to bring.

Old Bay Deviled EggsOld Bay® Deviled Eggs

So, I took the original food list and revamped it a bit, still keeping it Southern-style and letting everyone contribute a bit to the meal.  Feathers were smoothed back into place, and my father did not have to make good on his threat that if he didn’t like what we fixed, he could just run out to McDonald’s and grab a hamburger.  (I did point out to him that that comment just tore right into my soul as a culinary professional, which he somehow found amusing.)  One of the things that I added to the list was Old Bay® Deviled Eggs.  I mean, what typifies a Southern celebratory meal anyway like a big ol’ plate of deviled eggs, with gleaming whites and smooth, creamy yolks.  Judging by the fact that I was asked to set aside the last remaining two halves for one of the guests, I’d say that they were a hit on our holiday dinner table.  Hopefully, they’ll find a spot on yours as well.

Old Bay® Deviled Eggs

Prep time: 30-45 minutes or so

Serving size:  Allow one whole egg per adult, at least (my nephew eats only the whites)

Ingredients: There’s no specific proportions or measurements that I use for this recipe.  I make these by taste and feel and depending upon the quantity of eggs I’m fixing.

Eggs

Salt

Water

Mayonnaise

Dijon Mustard

Old Bay® Seasoning

Black Pepper

Assembly:

Place a saucepan of water full enough to cover the eggs on the stove and bring it to a boil without the eggs in it.  Then, when the water has boiled, pour a bunch of salt in the bottom of the pan.  You probably need a couple of tablespoons of it at least.  I used a very sad-looking container of good-quality sea salt for these, but any table or kosher salt will do.  Gently lower the eggs into the pan, bring the water back to the boil, and let the eggs cook for 10 minutes in the boiling water.  Remove the eggs from the pan and immediately either dunk them into an ice bath or into a bowl of cold water.

Preparing eggsPreparing the eggs

The eggs I made at my folks’ house this past week, using this cooking method, gave me the easiest-to-peel, hard boiled eggs of my life.  Once cooled, the shells just slipped right off of the eggs.  Cut them in half and pop out the yellow yolks, keeping whites and yolks in separate bowls.

Mixing fillingMixing filling

Mash up the egg yolks with a fork until they are in fine, fluffy pieces.  For this batch I made 8 eggs for 9 adults, which turned out to be just right.  I started off with about 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of mustard along with 1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay® Seasoning, a sprinkle of salt, and a couple of grinds of black pepper.  Mix this all together and then taste it.  It should be nicely creamy with no one flavor of mayonnaise or mustard or seasoning competing with each other or standing out too much overall.  Keep adding a bit of each ingredient until you get the right proportion and taste.  The consistency should be kind of similar to that of mashed potatoes.

Ready to fill eggsReady to fill eggs

I made the eggs a few hours prior to serving them, so I stored the whites in the refrigerator on their serving plate, and put the filling mixture into a piping bag to put into the egg whites at the last minute.  I’ve served deviled eggs a few times at catered events and learned early on that using a piping bag speeds up the process of getting filling into whites, and it makes them look prettier and more consistent as well.  After filling them, I sprinkled a bit more of the Old Bay® Seasoning on top of the eggs to give them an extra pop of flavor.

Deviled Eggs with Old Bay

Buon appetito!

Kitchen Witch Tip:

I know there’s some differences of opinion about adding salt to the water in which the eggs are cooked, but this is the method I learned in culinary school as well as in the catering prep kitchen, where we did lots and lots of deviled eggs.  This way seems to work when I’ve had to produce batches of them myself.  Also, another tip is to use “old eggs,” ones that are a few days old and are not right off of the farm, as they are easier to peel.

A Holiday Gift List: Chef Version

Rock Center TreeThe Rockefeller Center holiday tree – photo taken after getting off a a gig working a tree lighting party

For the past several years, I’ve combed the markets, trekking to most of the holiday ones in the city to look for unique food-themed gifts to suggest to folks for their loved ones for the season. This year, I’ve worked my first busy season as a chef, balancing daytime shifts as a prep cook in a catering kitchen and evenings working as an events chef for large and small parties and dinners. I’ve been spending lots of hours on my feet, in front of stoves and convection ovens (some of them portable ones), and many hours playing everyone’s favorite games: “can I fit just one more sheet tray on the already-packed speedrack in the walk-in” and “how can I crawl into the back of the walk-in to get the 1/2 dozen eggs that I need without breaking any of them or having something fall on my head.” Yeah, it’s been crazy lately, but I’m actually loving (almost) every minute of it (getting a nice, big, new sheet tray burn on my arm last week wasn’t so much fun).

Burn on armBurns – the not-fun part of kitchen work

I have been getting home just in time to clean out my uniforms and chef’s jackets from one day’s gigs and swapping them out with clean ones for the next day, pass out, get up, make and drink coffee #1 of the morning, shower, and head out for another 16- (or so) hour day. It’s a different kind of energy in the kitchen from when I worked in banking. Then, I could barely muster enough strength to make it to Midtown for 7:00 a.m. conference calls once a month. Now, I am in the kitchen at 7:00 a.m. almost every day, checking in with the lead chef on  the day’s prep list and what my tasks are on it, and moving through everything as quickly as I can. I know the bus schedule by heart and can time the MTA drivers’ arrival (M96, you’re almost bang on time every day, almost, except for when you really screw up.).

Leckerlee gift containerThe only holiday gift I’ve bought this season

This year, I haven’t made it to any holiday markets except for the Columbus Circle one, which I stopped by on the way home after working a 12.5-hour, triple shift day (prep plus two events), and I just happened to be in the neighborhood. I passed by the stand for Leckerlee and Sandy Lee’s fantastic, seasonal (really), Lebkuchen. She’s super terrific and her product just captures all the warmth and flavors and feel of European holiday markets, which I really miss (mostly because walking around with a crêpe in one hand and mulled wine in another has got to be one of the best things in the world to do at this time of year). She also now has these lovely holiday tins and makes her creations in a mini-version, which would make the perfect hostess gift. Add in some (spiked) eggnog, and you would kick off the celebrations on a very good note.

Tree on sidewalkHoliday tree seen on my way home from work one day

So, with this crazy, hectic time of the year in mind, here’s my real holiday gift list for my fellow food industry professionals and busy-season culinary elves:

1.  Sleep

Everyone is running a little short of this these days.  (Even though this conflicts somewhat with accomplishing #6.)

2.  A chance to sit down at some point during the day

I snarfed family meal standing up one day and didn’t even get anything on another couple of days. There are also days when I get on the bus or subway to go home and realize that I haven’t really sat down in 12 or so hours.

3.  A walk-in that actually holds all of my prep work so that I can see it all in one place and find things

See above. I’m not joking about this. The freezer is even more packed. Drives me crazy when I know I made a couple of hundred mini crabcakes and then someone comes to me during the hectic few minutes we are packing everything out to go to an event and says that they can’t find them.

4.  Ample prep space for everyone to work

I was putting together mini-burgers on sheet trays balanced on the top of hot boxes last week, as we’d maxed out on our prep space.

5.  New music for the prep kitchen.

After hearing the same playlists day-in, day-out for the past several months, it is getting really old. How come no one lets me put my iPod in the speakers?  (although I’m not sure that the guys will get into Dee-lite’s “Groove is in the Heart” or the B-52s or The Clash or The Jam as much as I would.)

6.  Adequate power source to prepare food for service

Another no joking item. I worked a gig in the past couple of weeks where I blew out the fuses as the organizer hadn’t figured the power set-up out for us to set up the equipment to get the food heated in time to serve it. At another gig, I had to plug in ovens on opposite sides of the room to avoid blowing the power.  Please figure this out before you ask me to cook someplace; it’s not fair to the chef or, more importantly, to the client and their guests who just want to have some food.

7.  My own personal knife sharpener

No, really, I want someone who can expertly sharpen my knives on call when I need them done, which seems to be just about every other day lately. Oh, and said person has to be able to work between midnight and 5:00 a.m., which is when I’m sleeping, and to return them to me in time for me to work the next day.  Or maybe what I need is a Knife Kit Genie who can sharpen my knives, clean out my knife kit, and organize everything in its proper place for the next time I need it.

8.  New kitchen clogs

O.K., this might be just for me, but I really need new clogs at this point, as I realized only after standing for so many hours back-to-back recently to return home with aching knees. My old ones are completely shot at this point. Maybe I could use them as gardening clogs if I had a garden or was more adept at trying to keep even houseplants alive.

9.  A way that I can be in two places at the same time 

I’ve been pulling extra prep kitchen shifts while fielding calls to pick up gigs as an events chef, which I’ve had to turn down, as I was already booked. I still haven’t figured out how to clone myself to take on all that extra work. It really hurts to pass that up, especially as it will slow down after this month.

10.  A couple of days off to spend time with my friends

I feel like all of my relationships are on life support these days, and heaven knows when I’m supposed to get holiday cards and shopping done this year. I don’t even have time to do my fallback of making cookies or toffee. The number of times that I’ve cancelled on folks because I am too tired to be coherent is reaching a new record. Make a few days off back-to-back, and I might even be able to file all of my paperwork and get my recipe notes organized.

And, most of all, a very prosperous, safe, accidental fire-free, burn-free, and delicious 2014 for everyone!

Disclaimer: I wrote this in about 15 minutes after pulling another 60-70 hour week and the day after working a second double in about as many days and going in on my day off to work in the prep kitchen, so it might sound a bit loopy and disjointed.  I’d finally managed to get a full night’s sleep last night for the first time in two weeks.  I plan to sleep a lot when I’m at my parents’ house over Christmas, that is if my two little nephews let me do that.

Buon appetito!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peppermint and White Chocolate Drizzle

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with White Chocolate & PeppermintChocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peppermint and White Chocolate Drizzle

This past Saturday, I took a few hours out of the craziness that is the holiday season working catering dinners and parties in the evening and helping out in a prep kitchen during the daytime to join fellow bakers at Cookie Swap NYC, put together by the wonderful Lillian Huang of Sweets by Sillianah. The proceeds from the event tickets went to City Harvest, so we were able to enjoy our sweets and to feed others as well.  As in past years, bloggers and bakers gathered together to exchange season’s greetings and to sample each others’ culinary creations.  I’ve brought Millionaire’s Shortbread and White Chocolate-Cranberry-Macadamia Nut Cookies to share.  This year, I decided to take a crack at making a chocolate-peppermint combination.

Candy Cane dustCandy cane dust

I took a recipe that I’ve been fiddling around with for chocolate-chocolate chip cookies with white chocolate chunks and converted it to include a more seasonal flavor profile.  The tricky part was that I wanted to get just enough peppermint infusion to come through without going overboard and having it become too overwhelming.  A couple of months ago in the prep kitchen, the pastry chef was working on some holiday peppermint meringues.  The aroma that permeated the kitchen as they were baking was almost suffocating.  I think we were on the fence as to whether we felt like we were in a toothpaste commercial or drowning in essence of breathmint.

Sprinkling candy cane dustSprinkling on candy cane dust

So, when I was mulling over how to avoid that same overly-aromatic fate for my Cookie Swap contribution, I asked the pastry chef what she thought.  Her advice was to take the chocolate chunks, melt them down, add peppermint extract to them, re-harden the chocolate, and then break it up and add the peppermint-infused chocolate pieces to the cookie dough.  I opted for the easy route and decided to add peppermint extract to the dough and to top it with crushed candy cane, hoping that I’d get enough of the mint flavor for the cookies to be festive but also keep the deep, rich chocolatey component.  I think this recipe succeeds in doing just that, especially given the fact that when I dropped off the leftovers with the guys at the front desk in my building, they actually called me to tell me how much they liked them (which they had never done before).

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peppermint and White Chocolate Drizzle

Serving size: Makes 4 dozen 2- to 3-inch diameter cookies
Prep time: about 1 1/2 hours, including baking and cooling time

Ingredients:

12 T Unsalted Butter, softened
1/4 c. Unrefined Cane Sugar
1/4 c. Light Brown Sugar
1/4 c. Dark Brown Sugar
1 large Egg
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Peppermint Extract
1 c. Flour
1/2 c. Droste Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 c. Semi-sweet Chocolate pieces
1 c. White Chocolate pieces
Crushed peppermint candy canes (about 2 whole candy canes’ worth)

Assembly:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix butter and sugars together until they are completely combined. Add the egg and extracts and stir to incorporate.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter, egg, sugar mixture. Stir until there are no traces of the dry ingredients. Mix in the semi-sweet chocolate pieces.

Chocolate chunks mixed into batterDough all mixed together

Bake the cookies for 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and cook them for 5 minutes more. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack.  While the cookies are cooling, crush the candy canes by running them through a food processor until they become a fine red and white dust (see photo above).

White chocolate drizzleWhite chocolate drizzled on cookies

Melt white chocolate pieces over a double boiler until smooth. Place the melted chocolate in a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag and make a cut at the corner of the bag to create a small opening. Drizzle the chocolate in random patterns over the baked cookies.  Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the chocolate cookies. Allow the white chocolate to harden before serving them, if you can resist the temptation to bite into one right away!

Cookies finished w candy caneCookies finished with candy cane dust

Buon appetito!