Monday, January 31, 2011

Cookie Contest at Omnivore Books

Ominvore Cookbooks
This past Saturday, DH and I trekked across the bay to flex a little sweet-tooth muscle at the Omnivore Books Cookie Contest. Omnivore is an adorable hole-in-the-wall cookbook shop on a residential street in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. What it lacks in size it more than makes up for in style and content, offering both new, antiquarian and collectible cookbooks of all interests.
new amid antiquarian cookbooks line the shelves
The cookie contest was free to enter and $5 to eat/judge the cookies. Omnivore was offering to split the door money evenly with whoever won first place.
A cookie contest that is free to enter and involves eating several other delicious cookies...I can think of few better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.
My prizefighter cookie would be lavender shortbread. Several cookie recipes made the shortlist but ultimately I decided to pay homage to our favorite cookie in Los Angeles, the lavender shortbread cookie at Trails Cafe in Griffith Park.

My shortbread is more 'short' and buttery than chef Jenny Park's Trails cookies, which are chewy and with the perfect tooth and crumb. Easily the best in town in fact, if you are in LA, please go there and enjoy one for me...Today!
The trick is lavender infused butter which delicately perfumes the whole cookie.
I chop lavender beforehand to bring out the aromatic essence.
bite-size lavender shortbread cookies
As advised, I made 3 batches, or over 150 bite size cookies!

polenta poppy seed triangles and s'more macaroons

more cookies. peanut butter oreo's were stand-out.
When we arrived to the event, the doors were already overflowing with both people and cookies. In all, there were over 60 cookie entrants and at least 60 'judges', not including children. First prize was a whopping $150 cash and went to a run-of-the-mill chocolate chip toffee cookie. The fix was in for sure. *joking.
l to r: gf puddingcakes, polenta triangles, almond-raspberry sandwich, pb'oreo' palm: salted-caramel whoopie pie
The room was amass with sweet aromas and the adrenaline of competition. Everyone was a critic and DH even overheard someone harshly critiquing mine, "nice flavor and great taste but too much crumb and poor presentation". I had no idea we were all taking things so seriously! I should have known never to use plastic Tupperware, the shame! Sugar high and snobbery aside, it was a delightful afternoon in the city.

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