Chefs. We love chefs. We especially love our super generous chef partners who approach us willing to teach kids their unique skills. They supply the recipe and their talent, we supply the kids and a trained ATS educator to offer a little support. It’s a win-win for everyone, builds awesome community, and offers our students a unique experience to cook in a real restaurant, tour a working kitchen and learn from trained masters in their field. It also gives our students a local chef friend to visit now and then, say hello, and eat their delicious food.
Our most recent partnership was with George McKirdy, Chef/ Owner of Astor Bake Shop in Astoria Queens. Chef George may have initially approached us offering his restaurant space for Allergic to Salad to host cooking classes. This alone is amazingly generous. We may have convinced him to host his own class. He may have been crazy enough to accept the challenge.
While it would have most definitely been my style to assemble 15 kids in a bakery only to reveal we would be baking bread (ha!), Chef George does not share my sadistic personality and decided on a sweet Valentine treat. Obviously he is now every attendees best friend. Our students were head over heels excited — hello! Cooking in a bakery? AWESOME. Making COOKIES in a bakery?! SUPER AWESOME. Making cookies with Chef George in a bakery?! We may have hit kid nirvana.
Needless to say the class was a mega hit. Our students loved getting dirty with the super cocoa-y dough, they loved rolling it out, cutting out shapes, touring the kitchen, and taking home their very own rolling pin to practice the recipe again and again at home.
Chef George enjoyed the class so much we are in the works for the next one. Be sure to check the calendar (or follow the link to register below). In the meantime, get your baking caps on and enjoy these awesome chocolate sandwich cookies by Chef George. Essentially real food oreo cookies.
Are you a chef looking to build community? Contact us about our unique partnership.
Astor Bake Shop’s Chocolate Shortbread Sandwich Cookies
3 ounces soft butter
1.5 ounces granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt (1/8th of a teaspoon)
3 ounces all-purpose flour
1 ounce (unsweetened) dark cocoa powder
1) Cream butter and sugar with a mixer or fork. Add egg yolk and vanilla and incorporate well. Add the remaining dry ingredients and incorporate until a dough is formed.
2) Make a ½-inch deep square package with your dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let it chill for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.
3) Remove from fridge. Allow it to soften at room temperature for a about 20 minutes.
4) Roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to stamp out desired shape.
5) Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool.
6) Fill with your favorite butter frosting