Q: At Sunset 44 the other day, we were each served a chocolate cookie at the conclusion of the meal. It didn't look as good as it turned out to be, plain with powdered sugar. But when we bit into it, there was melty chocolate on the inside. I'd sure love to have that recipe.
A: "We use these cookies as our lagniappe," says Bob Menendez, chef and owner of Sunset 44 Bistro in Kirkwood. He explains that "lagniappe," pronounced LAN-yap, "is a Creole word to mean something extra, a gift or token of appreciation."
Getting the cookie just right required some experimentation. "It took lots of work to come up with the recipe," Menendez says. "I wanted something different, not just a chocolate chip cookie." Finally, he found a formula that worked. "I was able to work it out so there is just enough flour to bind the chocolate, but not make the cookie stiff, more on the soft side."
This special treat calls for special ingredients. "We use only the finest 74 percent chocolate from Switzerland," Menendez says. The designation indicates a high percentage of cocoa solids in relation to additional ingredients. "I wanted a cookie that no one else serves, so this is distinctive, and well appreciated by our customers."