Recently, while visiting our friends in North Carolina, we were privileged to have dinner at Magnolia Grill, one of Gourmet magazine’s top restaurants of 2006. After appetizers, entrees, and desserts, we can now all enthusiastically attest to its goodness. As an added bonus, I was treated by our friends to a signed copy of one of their cookbooks, Sweet Stuff, all wrapped up in that night’s dessert menu. Karen Barker, the author of the book and co-owner of the restaurant, is a James Beard Award winning pastry chef, a well-deserving one in my opinion.
There are so many recipes in this book that I want to try that narrowing them down has been a lot of work. After much deliberation, my love of pecans prevailed, and I decided to make her Pecan Shortbreads.
One of my favorite things about Sweet Stuff is that with every recipe there are serving suggestions and variations. For these cookies, one of the options is to form the dough into a 1 & 1/2-inch diameter log for making slice-and-bake cookies. The suggestion I took was to garnish with melted semi-sweet chocolate. However, instead of dipping the cookies, I just rolled the outside edges in the chocolate.
I love these cookies. They are now on my short list of all-time favorite cookies. They are very delicate and almost wafer-like. I almost hesitate to say that they melt in your mouth because that has become such an over-used phrase. It is actually true, though, in this case.
As for the cookbook, I will certainly be revisiting it sooner rather than later. As for Magnolia Grill, I look forward to being back in the area to enjoy another fantastic dinner (but especially dessert).