Cooking

In the Round

Classic cookies with a chef's touch

Rebecca LaMalfa has serious culinary credibility.

Formerly the sous chef of Le Cirque in Las Vegas, she recently moved to Chicago and accepted the same position at Trenchermen in Wicker Park. In her off-hours, she channels her skills into a surprising vocation: cookies.

And what cookies they are. These thick, chewy, not-too-sweet versions of the classics ($25 per dozen) are now available via her just-launched company, Cookie Atelier.

Double-chocolate cookies are made with dark chocolate and Valrhona cocoa powder. They’re hybrids--half-cookie, half-brownie--and they’re fiercely delicious.

Chocolate chip cookies are packed with oatmeal, but in an unexpected form. LaMalfa grinds the oats into flour, which lends a gently nutty flavor and hefty body to the finished product, allowing the Nestl√© Toll House milk chocolate chips “to stay meltier longer,” she says (get the recipe).

She adds oat flour to snickerdoodles, too, for an extra-chewy version of the classic cinnamon-sugar cookie. Her cranberry-orange-pecan cookie is inspired by biscotti and packed with orange zest.

The common denominator for all the varieties is the fat: “I use the best butter I can get my hands on,” she says.

Keep an eye on Trenchermen’s bar menu, where her cookies have been known to make an appearance for dessert.

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