Chocolate and Toffee Pecan Pinwheel Cookies

I’m not smart. But here’s what I do know and can pass along. Puff pastry pretty much makes everything better.. Yeah…puff pastry is gonna be the new bacon. You heard it here first. It is totally underrated, so I’m on a mission to wrap it, roll it and use it in as many ways as possible. I mean you saw what it did to brownies — heavenly.

So I decided to repeat that puff pastry styling and flip the traditional pinwheel cookie into a puff pastry cookie. Then I pumped it up with some toffee, chocolate chips and pecans all rolled in brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon. It’s wickedly good and since I used salted pecan, this treat also has that  lovely sweet and salty combo.

Chocolate and Toffee Pecan Pinwheel Cookies

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Whiskey, Caramel, Marshmallow and Bacon Bark

Yeah, so it’s a mouthful to say, but we’re betting you won’t mind once you find your hand-to-mouth addiction with this week’s bark.

In keeping with the theme of making the bark recipes as easy as possible, we bypassed making homemade marshmallows. Instead we used a bag of store-bought mini marshmallows and melted them ever so slightly on the stovetop, then spiked it with whiskey and poured that whiskey marshmallow layer over the chocolate.

If you’re wondering why not spike the caramel filling as well — good point — and we tried that. But it takes a lot of whiskey to edge out the strong flavor of caramel.  In doing so, the caramel filling became too liquidity for a bark. So while that was a no-go for the bark, we’ll be bringing that whiskey-spiked caramel back for an upcoming recipe.

And since it seems we are never satisfied, we decided to go one step further and finish our whiskeycara-mallow with a spiced bacon crumble. Yes, spiced — that’s spiced with cayenne and black pepper.

There you have it—an ES style bark that’s equally sweet and spicy and a whole lot punchy, with all kinds of goodness.

On a tangential note, we used this Beka Bain Marie to keep the chocolate melted, warm and ready to go. Mighty handy for this series – thank you, Beka!

Whiskey, Caramel, Marshmallow and Bacon Bark

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A Half Baked Idea: Sous Vide Cookie Dough

cookie dough

You crazy ESers asked for it, and you got it. After playing around with my SousVide Supreme and being rather underwhelmed cooking just meat and veggies, I asked you for some crazier ideas. My partner in crime gansie had a stroke of genius:

What about cookie dough? But don’t cook it long enough where it actually turns into a cookie, just so it heats through and kills any harmful crap. so it could be one gooey, warm, doughy, chocolaty, gushy thing. (Confession – i used to heat up purchased cookie dough in the microwave).

Hmmm…what about cookie dough? Honestly, I can never resist the temptation to lick the bowl, salmonella or not, but it does always scare me a little bit, and I know I really shouldn’t be doing it. So could we use the SousVide to cook the dough to just high enough temperatures where it would be safe to eat but still gooey and delicious? Well, we could certainly try…

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ES Local: What’s Eating DC

Our weekly local roundup of the best eating and drinking events going down in Washington, DC

Event of the Week: There are way too many Mother’s Day events happening this weekend so I wont mention any one in particular, instead I recommend checking out Lotus Poses at Zola Wine & Kitchen for yoga, chocolate and food!
View ES Local: What’s Eating DC in a larger map

Remember, you can check out the constantly updated map any day of the week.

If you represent a restaurant or bar and wish to have your event listed on the ES Local: What’s Eating DC map, please write to me at britannia(at)endlesssimmer(dot)com

Checking in with the Cheftestants: Alex’s Chocolate Bread Pudding


We don’t care if they’re not a champ or a Padma — if they’ve been on Top Chef, ES is down for stalking them. Today, Kat from Good Bite checks in with nice guy/also-ran Alex Eusebio from season five.

I’ve always wondered what happens to the contestants who get voted off the shows like Top Chef and Next Food Network Star. My guess is they either open a restaurant, go back to working in a kitchen, or go back to their day job, the best of these three outcomes is transforming that 15 minutes of fame into an actually self-owned eatery. And that is exactly what has happened for Top Chef season five contestant Alex Eusebio who recently opened the adorable Sweetsalt Food Shop with his wife in Toluca Lake, California. At Sweetsalt guests can stock up on both sweets and savories like Coffee-Braised Short Rib Roll, Champagne Chicken Salad, and the Pack Your Knives Crème Brulee.

Today, chef Alex shares his recipe for a rich and creamy bread pudding, the ultimate comfort dessert, enjoy!

Recipe: Sweetsalt’s Chocolate Bread Pudding