Recipes Inspired by Musicals: Man of La Mancha

Sunday, May 6, 2012



Recipes inspired by musicals.  Apparently, this series has become a semi-annual feature on my blog.  I will never run out of musicals to write about, nor far-fetched ways in which they remind me of food.

Take Man of La Mancha.  This is the first musical I’ve written about that I’ve never actually seen, but it inspired one of the biggest crossover musical hits ever, “The Impossible Dream”.  When I hear it in my mind, it’s always sung by Robert Goulet.  But it’s been performed by an enormous and varied list of performers, including Merrill Osmond, Cher, Jacques Brel, Jim Nabors, George Foreman and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

I’m guessing no other piece of music could make the same claim.


Man of La Mancha is based on the book Don Quixote, so any reasonable person would use that as an excuse to feature tapas, or paella, or even chorizo.  But why would I be so literal-minded?  I was inspired by the title of this song, and imagined what might be an impossible dream when it came to food.

The answer came pretty quickly.  You know those chocolate chip cookie recipes that suggest you refrigerate the batter for 48 hours before baking?  I always chuckled when I read those instructions.  As if, I thought, anyone could keep cookie dough in the fridge without baking (or eating) it.

So that was my challenge.  This recipe calls for the dough to be refrigerated at least three hours, which seemed impossible enough.  I made it on an afternoon when everyone else was out of the house, and I could busy myself doing other things for three hours.  Then I baked half the dough into cookies.  They were breathtaking.

I hid the rest of the dough in the fridge in the basement.  For two days, I went about my business in the house, pretending that I didn’t know about cookie dough just waiting to be enjoyed.  It was hard not to be distracted.

And 48 hours later, I baked the rest of that dough into cookies. They were sublime.

Whether or not you can last 48 hours without touching cookie dough is up to you.  Personally, I’d probably cap it at three next time.  But either way, don’t pass up these amazing Pecan Joy cookies.

Pecan Joy Cookes

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened)
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 3 – 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating for about one minute after each addition.  Add almond extract and beat to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and blend with a large wooden spoon.  Mix in the coconut, chocolate chips and pecans, and stir to combine.  (Note: the dough will be quite dense.)

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Use a rounded Tablespoon of dough for each cookie, and leave at least 1/2” between cookies on the baking sheets.  Bake for 8 – 10 minutes.  Let the cookies rest for about 2 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

38 comments:

Belinda said...

That was the musical our senior year of high school! Great way to wake up to these cookies!!

Natalie Aguirre said...

What a fun tie-in to your receipt which look great. Thanks for sharing it.

Valerie said...

It takes an iron will (and lots of internal monologues), to refrigerate cookie dough. :D

But look how beautiful your cookies turned out as a result! I'm so glad you dared to dream the impossible.

Jacques Brel always makes me think of childhood! My mom loved him, my dad, ironically, not so much. I'd often hear him mutter something illegible in French whenever she played a record. :P

Kathy said...

Beth, Enjoyed this post…you do need a lot of will power to refrigerate cookie dough for 24 hrs. These cookies sound so yummy with the addition of coconut, pecans and chocolate!!

I also want to thank you for the book plates and the lovely not you wrote to Josie! She loved it!

Beth said...

I'm so glad she enjoyed my note, Kathy. Thanks for letting me know!

Cathleen said...

These look delicious! And the mix of ingredients sounds lovely! I have also always scoffed at refrigerating cookies. When I want cookies, I want them NOW :)

Carol said...

They look fantastic, I'd say Joy would be a perfect name for those cookies. I'd never pass one of those up! I think of Richard Kiley singing it, never saw the show but I love the version.

Gloria said...

love these sooo much!!

LDH said...

The shredded coconut in this recipe make them sound especially delicious! Good job being patient :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Loved this post! I think it would be very hard to wait 48 hours after making the dough to cook them. The look divine!

Bonnie said...

I love the thought of musical inspired food. We love the theater and musicals are my favorite. The cookies sound divine. Thanks for sharing Beth. Bonnie

Claudia said...

THAT is my daughter's impossible dream! I keep mentioning we should make them and she says she'd wind up gobbling the cookie dough first! But they do look so good. (Long ago and far away I was the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha... such memories you bring.)

yummychunklet said...

Those cookies look wonderful. Yum!

Annie said...

I enjoyed so much your post, and treasure the cookies recipe, thank you for sharing.

Elaine said...

I don't think I could wait 48 hours to make cookies from the dough. You have such will power! These look so very good.

Sissi said...

I know some sweet treats which have absolutely to spend at least 24 hours in the fridge, so I can imagine the huge difference in these cookies too. They look particularly luscious!

jhl said...

You are one strong woman. Me? I eat the chocolate chips before they even get into the batter. Thanks for this recipe ... perhaps hiding the dough is the answer ... !

Mary said...

These cookies look wonderful!! I love a thick and chewy cookies and the texture of these looks perfect to me. Have a wonderful day, Beth!

Kitchen Riffs said...

I love your musical posts! And I agree with you about refrigerating the dough for 48 (even 24) hours - what normal person can resist? For most of us, the whole point of preparing food isn't the preparation - it's the eating! And the sooner we get on with it the better! Anyway, fun post - thanks.

Rita said...

Robert Goulet brings back to many memories; your recipe is very similar to the one I made this weekend; fantastic!
Rita

grace said...

48 hours? that's asking A LOT. i simply don't have that sort of self-control.
also, goulet shout-out= awesome. :)

Miriam said...

What an absolutely perfect looking cookie! Great inspiration too :)
Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I think me have to make cookies tonight. :D

profiterolesandponytails said...

Pecans, coconut and chocolate chips hanging out together in a gooey cookie dough for all that time -- how can these not be delicious? I am SO hungry right now reading this post. :)

Kittie Howard said...

These cookies look so delicious I could reach through the screen and nibble away. And Robert Goulet, ahhh, purrfect!

Cindy said...

What a great list of ingredients! Love the addition of almond extract. These cookies are pinned--for future (like tomorrow) reference!

shaz said...

Hello Beth, I haven't been here in a while and so glad I found these today! Not sure I can wait a whole 48 hours though, that's asking a lot :) They look absolutely worth it though.

Vicki Bensinger said...

First of all I love how you go to the theatre all the time. I don't do it that often but you inspire me. How great as well that you expose your kids to it.

As for the cookies I love everything about them. Full of great ingredients and flavor. I'm making these next time I make cookies. Thanks for sharing.

Cucina49 said...

I saw this musical only once, when I was about 12, but it's always stayed with me. Do see it if you get a chance--but only if you think it will be a good production, because it could be disastrous if done badly. Enough theatre geeking--these cookies look lovely, soft in the middle and crispy around the edges.

Lizzy said...

Much as I love paella, I'm so glad you made these instead! I am adding these to my baking list...I'm hoping I can also have the willpower to refrigerate this dough for 3 hours!!!!

gobakeyourself said...

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Check them out here: http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/the-revenge-of-the-chocolate/

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Medeia Sharif said...

You're a pro at baking and taking pictures of the goods.

Those cookies look delicious, and I don't know how people can resist cookie dough.

Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings said...

Hi, Beth! These cookies are calling out my name!!!!

It's nice to "meet" you and I love your blog! Expect me to be lurking around here more in the following days!

Katerina said...

Congratulations Beth for resisting to the temptation lol. I think that the end result rewarded you in every sense! They look awesome!

MTeacress said...

Pecan Joy sounds like a perfect name for these Man of La Mancha inspired cookies...or for a cute litle chihuahua. And I'm with you, I could not leave the dough alone that long.

nancy at good food matters said...

Yes, making these cookies would require extreme discipline! I'm guessing that something special happens to the dough (with the gluten, perhaps?)as it rests for 2 days---flavors meld too. I'll have to try this impossible dream!

Julie said...

I love musicals. I have such fond memories of seeing them as young girl. These cookies look delicious.

Happy Mother's Day!

sally said...

I chilled my last batch of chocolate chip cookies for 24 hours. I'm not sure if I could make it 48 hours!

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