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The Way of the World ~ Folger Theatre

Jordan Wright
January 19, 2018 

Rene (Kristine Nielsen) is charmed by Lyle (Daniel Morgan Shelley) at an art exhibit in the Hamptons.  (Also pictured: Erica Dorfler and Brandon Espinoza.) . Photo by Teresa Wood

Playwright and Director Theresa Rebeck’s campy, modern adaptation of The Way of the World is one of the early offerings in the 2018 Women’s Voices Theater Festival – on now in theaters around the Washington metropolitan area.  Rebeck is best known as creator/writer of TV’s “Smash” and “NYPD Blue” and movie “Harriet the Spy”.  In this funny, frothy, scandalous satire, whose original author was 18th C playwright William Congreve, Rebeck switches the setting to the Hamptons – the Gatsbyesque playground of the rich and infamous.  That small change of venue proves a deliciously, decadent environs for the classic tangle between the upper crust and the hoi polloi.

Henry (Luigi Sottile) and friend Charles (Brandon Espinoza, right) enjoy a cocktail and the Hamptons’ sun. Photo by Teresa Wood

Henry (Luigi Sottile) and friend Charles (Brandon Espinoza, right) enjoy a cocktail and the Hamptons’ sun. Photo by Teresa Wood

Sipping twee blue martinis between gossipy luncheons and romps between the sheets, the self-anointed ones tend to their wardrobes and painted lawns.  Apparently, vivid green grass is a must at the posher seaside estates.

Blonde beauty Mae (Eliza Huberth) is heiress to a $600 million fortune.  Do the summer studs want her for her money or her leggy good looks?  What do you think?  Her cougar, dowager aunt René is too busy playing musical beds to care.  When we meet Henry (Luigi Sottile), a notable gadabout and serial cad, he has just broken Mae’s heart.  “To hell with men!” the ladies concur, seconded by the Waitress (Ashley Austin Morris), an out-of-town summer hire who voices the outsider’s view of all this mayhem and reckless acquisitiveness.

Mae doesn’t really give a fig about all that cash.  The Birkenstock-sporting, Prius-driving heiress plans to chuck it all and move to Haiti to tend to the poor.  Not so her bibulous Aunt René (Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen – think Joanna Lumley as Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous).  As guardian of Mae’s funds, René prefers the lavish life suggesting she does her bit for the less fortunate.  “We employ the 99%!  We are the curators of the American legacy!”

Rene (Kristine Nielsen) gets to know the enigmatic Lyle Swofford (Daniel Morgan Shelley) of Nantucket. Photo by Teresa Wood.

Rene (Kristine Nielsen) gets to know the enigmatic Lyle Swofford (Daniel Morgan Shelley) of Nantucket. Photo by Teresa Wood.

As with summer season in the Hamptons, it is all about hookups at night and shopping tony boutiques during the day.  That’s where the pretty Katrina (Erica Dorfler) comes in.  As salesgirl and part-time model of Charles’ designer fashions, she has her nose in everyone’s business, especially her gays, both Charles (Brandon Espinoza) and Lyle (Daniel Morgan Shelley), a scion from Nantucket in town for the season and eager to please his cousin Reg (Elan Zafir), a Peter Pan preppy looking for love.

Hamptonites Katrina (Erica Dorfler), Lyle (Daniel Morgan Shelley, center), and Charles (Brandon Espinoza) enjoy a cocktail and watch the estate lawn get painted a pristine green. Photo by Teresa Wood

Hamptonites Katrina (Erica Dorfler), Lyle (Daniel Morgan Shelley, center), and Charles (Brandon Espinoza) enjoy a cocktail and watch the estate lawn get painted a pristine green. Photo by Teresa Wood

As you might expect, the amours and dalliances crisscross between the characters and hilarity ensues – a great deal of it in this delightfully silly and cleverly crafted comedy – where Set Designer Alexander Dodge renders us speechless with a floor-to-ceiling series of spotlit boxes filled with luxe shoes and assorted bibelots and beds that revolve to reveal illicit rendezvous.  As for the decidedly stylish fashions, we have Costume Designer Linda Cho to thank for that.

Very clever and riotously funny.  Highly recommended.

Through February 11th at the Folger Theatre at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003.   For tickets and information call 202 544-7077.

For more on the Women’s Voices Theater Festival that runs throughout January and February.  And to find the theaters featuring the women playwrights’ productions.

The Humans ~ Kennedy Center

Jordan Wright
January 13, 2018 

Richard Thomas, Therese Plaehn, Pamela Reed, Lauren Klein, Daisy Eagan, and Luis Veda in the national tour of The Humans. Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Richard Thomas, Therese Plaehn, Pamela Reed, Lauren Klein, Daisy Eagan, and Luis Veda in the national tour of The Humans. Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Stephen Karam’s The Humans takes a deep dive into the zeitgeist of the modern middle-class American family where there is much to recognize and even more to ponder.  The Blake Family are a caring and tolerant lot, more progressive than their Scranton roots might have ou think.  They tenderly care for their wheelchair-bound Momo, the family matriarch, who suffers from acute Alzheimer’s, their gay daughter Aimee, their unmarried daughter Brigid (Daisy Egan) and her social worker boyfriend Richard (Luis Vega), and, what may be even more surprising, they are willing to look away from their father Erik’s career-destroying adultery.  What they are not accepting of is how their lost jobs and mounting debt are affecting their future happiness.

As the family gathers around the Thanksgiving table at Brigid and Rich’s recently rented rundown duplex, they appear to be anything but dysfunctional as they exchange gifts and speak in pleasantries and platitudes.  Soon though, Aimee (Therese Plaehn), a successful attorney, goes into total meltdown.  She’s lost both her job and her girlfriend.  To temper the drama there is much dark humor as Momo (Lauren Klein) interrupts with repeated outbursts and foul curses, while Brigid and Rich do their best to explain away the bars on the windows and the cockroaches in the bedroom.

As a deeply Irish Catholic family, they embrace one another’s failings with grace.  Deirdre (Pamela Reed), a mother whose schadenfreude extends to musings on lesbians, AIDS, and cancer, keeps up a cheerful front to jolly everyone along.

The play’s suspense derives from a curious cacophony emanating from an upstairs Asian neighbor.  What can we draw from that?  Does it signify the random incremental erosion of the status quo?  Or is it related to Erik and Rich’s talk of dreams and monsters?  Talk that seems to affirm the unpredictability of their future.  Even the traditional celebratory peppermint pigs, cracked at a table to signify thankfulness, cannot keep out the unknown.  “We just have a lot of stoic sadness,” Aimee opines

Director Joe Mantello brings together a superbly flawless cast.  Richard Thomas shines as the darkly complex father, Erik, in this compelling and empathetic American dramedy that examines the universal human condition.

A multiple Tony-Award winning play, it is highly recommended.

Through January 28th in the Eisenhower Theatre at The Kennedy Center, 2700 F St., NW, Washington, DC.  For tickets and information call 202 467-4600 or purchase them online.

On Your Feet! – The Emilio and Gloria Estefan Broadway Musical is a Grand Salsa Party ~ Kennedy Center

Jordan Wright
January 11, 2018 

Christie Prades as Gloria Estefan and Company ~ Photo credit Matthew Murphy

When the original ten-piece Miami Sound Machine is banging out a full-on Latin beat smack dab onstage and bringing sizzling hot salsa rhythms and house party funk, you can party like it’s 1985, the year the group’s huge crossover hit “Conga” soared to the top of the Billboard pop charts.

Entering the theatre Emilio and Gloria Estefan graciously greet fans ~ Photo credit Jordan Wright

It didn’t mitigate the excitement that the show’s producers Gloria and Emilio Estefan were in the house last night driving the on-their-feet audience wild with cheers and selfies.  But when it comes right down to it, it’s her story.  Their story.  A universal story of hopeful immigrants everywhere, that bonds us to their triumphs and tragedies in this electrifying musical.

Christie Prades (Gloria Estefan), Mauricio Martinez (Emilio Estefan), Danny Burgos and Omar Lopez-Cepero ~ Photo credit Matthew Murphy

On Your Feet! tells the story of 26-time Grammy Award-winning pop singer/songwriter Gloria Estefan and her producer/husband Emilio and their sensational rise to fame.  In spite of a talent agent who blocked the act from crossing over into mainstream American pop and a record company who wouldn’t allow them to sing in English, the pair did an end-run around discrimination by directly approaching local DJ’s and dance clubs where their beat-driven music had an immediate fan base. “See this face?” Emilio demands of his agent.  “This is an American!”  With this line, the audience broke into instantaneous and sympathetic applause.  After all, it’s kill DACA season and we feel their pain.

Mauricio Martinez as Emilio Estefan, Christie Prades as Gloria Estefan and Devon Goffman as Phil the Agent ~ Photo credit Matthew Murphy

The “jukebox musical”, as these throwback rock musicals are familiarly called (though one wonders if anyone from that era has ever played a jukebox), depicts the Estefans as children leaving on the “Pedro Pan” flights from Cuba in the early 60’s – flights that brought families from Havana to Miami from the fresh hell that was Batista’s revolution – and settling into the burgeoning Cuban community in Miami. Emilio hears Gloria sing and invites her to join his band, the Miami Latin Boys to gig weddings, bar mitzvahs and quinceañeras.  To her mother’s dismay, Gloria joins the band.  Even a mother’s wishes can’t hold back her teenager’s dreams or her talent.

Nancy Ticotin as Gloria Fajardo and Company ~ Photo credit Matthew Murphy

Flashbacks include Havana’s Montmartre Club and her mother’s truncated career as a nightclub singer, her Vietnam vet father José’s (Jason Martinez) tragic end, and little Gloria’s fondness for her grandmother (Alma Cuervo) and her guitar.  The story charts the pop star’s meteoric success and the near career-ending tragedy of the car accident that left her unable to perform for months.  It’s a deeply personal story that parallels artists’ dreams and immigrants’ aspirations.

Colored by the aqua and hot pink colors made popular by Miami Vice, it stars Christie Prades and Mauricio Martinez (from the original Broadway cast) as Gloria and Emilio.  The Tony Award-winning musical includes many of Gloria’s greatest hits in 26 numbers from “Live for Loving You”, “Get on Your Feet” and “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”, to heart-melting ballads like “Don’t Wanna Lose You” and “Here We Are”.  80’s period costumes by Emilio Sosa and Cuba-evoking sets by David Rockwell, the band is joined by three additional musicians from the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.

Filled with uplifting sparkle.  Get ready to party Latin-style!

Highly recommended for the whole family.

Through January 21st in the Opera House at The Kennedy Center, 2700 F St., NW, Washington, DC.  For tickets and information call 202 467-4600 or visit www.Kennedy-Center.org.

Company of the National Tour ~ Photo credit Matthew Murphy

Les Miserables ~ The National Theatre

Jordan Wright
December 23, 2017 

(From L) Josh Davis as ‘Inspector Javert’ and Nick Cartell as ‘Jean Valjean’ ~ Photo by Matthew Murphy

(From L) Josh Davis as ‘Inspector Javert’ and Nick Cartell as ‘Jean Valjean’ ~ Photo by Matthew Murphy

The year was 1985 when Les Miserables hit London’s West End.  It wowed critics then – Patti Lupone won the Laurence Olivier Award (Britain’s equivalent of an Oscar) for “Best Actress in a Musical” in her role as Fantine and the musical was further nominated for two awards for “Best Actor in a Musical’ (Colm Armstrong for Jean Valjean and Alun Armstrong for Thénardier) – and now.  Through all its reincarnations, the operatic sing-through, backdropped by the French Revolution, still fills theaters around the world.

The spirit of this musical is as relevant as if Victor Hugo had just set pen to paper.  Let’s reflect on Louis XVI’s agenda, shall we?  Alienate the lower classes through starvation.  Ignore science and reason for traditions.  Keep monarchical rule in place amid mass resistance.  And cut taxes on the privileged nobles thus keeping the peasants and rising middle class at bay.  Hmmm.  Didn’t work out so well for old Louis, hung for his Draconian policies.

“I Dreamed A Dream” - Melissa Mitchell as ‘Fantine’ ~ Photo by Matthew Murphy

“I Dreamed A Dream” – Melissa Mitchell as ‘Fantine’ ~ Photo by Matthew Murphy

At its very soul is the heartbreaking love story of the abandoned prostitute Fantine (Melissa Mitchell) and the reformed thief Valjean(Nick Cartell); Valjean’s death bed promise to adopt Fantine’s daughter Cosette (Jillian Butler); the heartwarming love story of the innocent Cosette and the idealistic Marius(Joshua Grosso); the tragic Éponine (Phoenix Best) and her unrequited love for her compatriot Marius; and the glory and desperation of a revolution led by Enjolras (Matt Shingledecker) that arose from social and economic inequality.  There hasn’t been a story with as much 18th century history, nor as much inspirational music, till Hamilton arrived on the scene.  And you know how that’s turned out.  Tickets to that blockbuster are as scarce as hen’s teeth.

Matt Shingledecker as ‘Enjolras’ ~ Photo by Matthew Murphy

Matt Shingledecker as ‘Enjolras’ ~ Photo by Matthew Murphy

In this national touring company staging the intensity of both the battle and escape scenes are greatly enhanced by projections by Fifty-Nine Productions who have drawn inspiration from the apocryphal paintings of Victor Hugo.  And as grim as the story may be, the drama of Valjean’s misery is lightened up decidedly by the characters of Madame Thénardier and her husband Thénardier.

Allison Guinn as ‘Madame Thénardier’ ~ Photo by Matthew Murphy

Allison Guinn as ‘Madame Thénardier’ ~ Photo by Matthew Murphy

Played by Allison Guin and J. Anthony Crane respectively, this hilariously dastardly duo are innkeepers of the iniquitous, Au Sergent de Waterloo, where Cosette is raised in indentured servitude.

J Anthony Crane as ‘Thénardier’ ~ Photo by Matthew Murphy

J Anthony Crane as ‘Thénardier’ ~ Photo by Matthew Murphy

Whether you’ve seen it once or a dozen times, as I suspect many in the opening night audience had, Co-directors Laurence Connor and James Powell give us an awe-inducing production so magnificently staged, so brilliantly performed, and so beautifully sung.  Kudos too, for the evocative golden-hued scenes by Lighting Designer Richard Pacholski, who conjures up street scenes reminiscent of Dutch artist Petrus van Schendel’s firelit paintings and edge-of-your-seat, new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke, Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker that are gloriously played by Conductor Brian Eads 14-piece orchestra on a total of 28 separate instruments.

(From L) Joshua Grosso as ‘Marius,’ Phoenix Best as ‘Éponine’ and Jillian Butler as ‘Cosette’ ~ Photo by Matthew Murphy

The night I saw it the magnificent operatic baritone, Andrew Love, received a standing ovation and rousing cheers for his understudy performance of Javert.  And, in an eyebrow-raising surprise, the audience stayed through all the bows.  Not one person fled before the lights went up.  A rare sight in today’s theaters.

Absolutely brilliant in every way.

Through January 7th, 2018 at The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.  For tickets call 202.628.6161 or visit OnLine Ticket Office

Nibbles and Sips Around Town – December 23, 2017

Jordan Wright
December 21, 2017
Photo credit Jordan Wright
 

Dining at the Hay-Adams for a Christmas Steeped in Luxury and Tradition ~ Mike Isabella Opens His Biggest Project Yet ~ Crimson DC Whiskey Bar, Diner and Holiday Pop-Up ~ The Maple Guild’s Maple Pecan Sandies

The Hay-Adams Proves Irresistible 

Though I think and write about restaurants all the time, my mind can sometimes go completely blank when asked, “Where should we eat?”  My response goes something like this, “Ethnic, inexpensive, romantic, large group, trendiest restaurant, intimate, posh, close by, Metro accessible, craft cocktails, pre-theatre dinner specials?”  That usually ends the conversation with a thud.  People want one answer.  But with so many distinctly diverse options for cuisine and atmosphere, that’s the only way to narrow it down.

A few weeks ago, a friend asked where he and his wife should take their distinguished guests for Sunday brunch.  The globetrotting trio were flying in from London and he wanted to impress in an elegant spot where they could relax and enjoy easy conversation.  Brunch in the DC Metro area often means unlimited bloody marys or mimosas at a fixed price in a noisy, packed restaurant more suitable for large groups of friends or family.  And that’s fine if that’s your jam.  But for this group of sophisticated diners, that would most emphatically not do.

Holiday decor in the lobby ~ Tiny creatures adorn the decorations - all created by the hotel staff

Holiday decor in the lobby ~ Tiny creatures adorn the decorations – all created by the hotel staff

Given my friend’s specific parameters, I told him to book his party at The Lafayette at the Hay-Adams.  Recently chosen by Conde Nast Traveler for a 2018 “Gold List” Award, it checked all his boxes and more.  I knew the food and service to be superb and the hotel was gorgeously decorated for the holidays.

Verdict: They loved it!

Here are a few photos I took from the current holiday dinner menu.

Pan seared halibut filet with maitake mushrooms and wild rice pilaf ~ Octopus Za’atar with favs beans, merguez sausage, black garlic tahini and basil pistou

Pan seared halibut filet with maitake mushrooms and wild rice pilaf ~ Octopus Za’atar with favs beans, merguez sausage, black garlic tahini and basil pistou

 

Seared diver scallops with celery root purée, Brussels sprouts and saffron cream ~ Spiced Pear Strudel by Hay-Adams Pastry Chef Josh Short

Seared diver scallops with celery root purée, Brussels sprouts and saffron cream ~ Spiced Pear Strudel by Hay-Adams Pastry Chef Josh Short

For those who have never enjoyed the charms of The Lafayette, nor the ultimate insiders’ bar below stairs at Off the Record, I highly recommend you go.  But don’t let it get around.  It’s our little secret.  

Isabella Eatery Opens in Tysons Galleria

Malachite green doors beckon diners to relax beside a fireplace at Isabella Eatery

Malachite green doors beckon diners to relax beside a fireplace at Isabella Eatery

Former Top Chef Mike Isabella has come a long way from his early days at Zaytinya.  His explosive empire just got even bigger with the opening of his 41,000-square foot emporium, eponymously named Isabella EateryGraffiato, Arroz, Retro Creamery, Non-Fiction Coffee, Octagon Bar, Pepita, Kapnos Marketa, Requin and Yona all take their places on either side of a catwalk the second level of this exclusive shopping mall.

The bar at Pepita at Isabella Eatery ~ The chandelier and portrait gallery dining space at Isabella Eatery

The bar at Pepita at Isabella Eatery ~ The chandelier and portrait gallery dining space

Sit at one of the counters or pull up a seat up to a long wooden table, there are plenty of spaces for a crowd to chow down on any one of dozens of offerings from these varied cuisines.

View of Graffiato and Retro Creamery ~ The central lounge

View of Graffiato and Retro Creamery ~ The central lounge

Designed by Jason Maringola of the DC design firm Streetsense, it is a massive project.  One of the multiple dining spaces is shaped like a rotunda and features wood floors and walls.  Outfitted with a custom designed 25-foot wide $250,000 LED chandelier, it has gallery style art hung clear up to the rafters.  Each dining space is stylishly reflective of the type of food and drink served – tacos and margaritas at Pepita; pizza at Graffiato; sangrias, pintxos and tapas at the soon-to-open Arroz; oysters, lobster rolls, crab cakes and champagne at Requin; poke bowls, sushi and sake at Yona; tzatziki, hummus, spit-roasted meats and beers from DC’s 3 Stars Brewing Company at Kapnos Marketa.  And much, much more, including a small bakery at Non-Fiction Coffee.  Lastly, the Retro Creamery, which is done up in the style of a 1950’s ice cream parlor with banana splits, gelati, sundaes, shakes and floats.

Oysters, lobster rolls and Veuve Clicquot champagne at Requin ~ A group of friends enjoys the opening night at Isabella Eatery

Oysters, lobster rolls and Veuve Clicquot champagne at Requin ~ A group of friends enjoys the opening night at Isabella Eatery

There’s something for every taste.  An oyster and champagne bar caters to the luxe crowd, while takeout sandwiches and coffee drinks are for those on the go.  A spacious modernistic lounge with crackling fireplace becomes the perfect setting to gather over craft cocktails, caviar and steaks from the deluxe Octagon Bar.

Enter through the mall or up a separate escalator accessible from the parking lot on International Drive.

Crimson DC Whiskey Bar Opens in the New Pod Hotel 

Preparing specialty cocktails at Crimson DC ~ A perfect Manhattan at Crimson DC’s Whiskey Bar

Preparing specialty cocktails at Crimson DC ~ A perfect Manhattan at Crimson DC’s Whiskey Bar

 

The hunting lodge lounge at Crimson DC Whiskey Bar

The hunting lodge lounge

Okay, it’s officially a trend – speakeasies, Prohibition-era cocktails, whiskey, bourbon and house made moonshine.  But what if I told you can find all this in one spot.  In Chinatown.  With a view of the city.  It’s Ian and Eric Hilton’s a three-in-one destination. The whiskey bar is a vast room broken up into smaller areas for lounging or gathering at the U-shaped bar.  I’m not sure how many it seats at the bar.  Best guess more than 50.  Located below stairs in the stylish new Pod Hotel this spot has a Southern style party-all-night atmosphere.  Retro wood booths on one side and sofas and a hunting lodge-themed lounge on another.

The check in desk at The Pod Hotel

The check in desk at The Pod Hotel

The menu trends towards casual bar food – chicken liver parfait, Brunswick stew, a ham board with Virginia’s Olli Salumeria prosciutto, hushpuppies and Chesapeake oysters – fried and served in a po’ boy – or raw.

Nighttime view of the Chinatown Arch from the rooftop bar at Crimson DC

Nighttime view of the Chinatown Arch from the rooftop bar at Crimson DC

Take the elevator to the rooftop, where a cozy holiday pop-up bar is the perfect spot away from the madding crowd.  Overlooking the Chinatown Arch with a 360-degree view of the city, it has both indoor and outdoor seating.  Pop in for spiced lattes and gingerbread cookies.

The rooftop holiday pop-up bar at Crimson DC

The rooftop holiday pop-up bar at Crimson DC

A brightly lit, mid-century modern diner, bar and coffee bar is on the street level and open from 7am till midnight most days.  Top picks: gumbo, biscuits, shrimp and grits, and caramel cake a la mode. And if you’ve never had it before, try the corn pone!

The Maple Guild Beats Out the Competition 

What’s going on top of your Christmas morning breakfast stack – the perfect pancake topper from Vermont, naturally.  This Vermont-based maple syrup company is the best there is.  How do I know?  Because The Maple Guild’s Original Grade A Maple Syrup has won the coveted “Best of East” Award at the Natural Products Association’s Expo East, beating out 1500+ other exhibitors for the prize. Yes! 1500 other products of all kinds to win the top prize.

The Maple Guild Selection

This prestigious award, chosen by all press and influencers at the Expo, is the top honor bestowed upon exhibitors at the trade show. The Best of East is the third award The Maple Guild has won at Expos East and West in the past calendar year. 

But it’s not just their syrups – Salted Caramel, Bourbon Barrel, Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean (Salted Caramel is off the chain!) – you’ll want to try their maple syrup-sweetened fruity teas and maple cream – that luscious spread that you schmear onto your morning toast.  Another product is tapt., a fruit-infused tree water with vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that was the winner of the “Hydration Award” by Runner’s World.  Plus, they make a fruit-infused green or black tea sweetened with their maple syrup.  And DC distillery Jos. A. Magnus & Co. is using some of the different flavored syrups in their Cocktail of the Month.

The Maple Guild is essentially the Willy Wonka of the maple syrup industry, dreaming up creative and innovative ways to consume maple. The heart and soul of the company’s products shows through in their organic steam-crafted syrups tapped from their 25,000-acre farm in Island Pond, Vermont.  Metro DC area residents can find The Maple Guild’s products on OnLine and in-stores at Wegmans, ROOTS Market, GLUT, and MOMs Market. 

Maple Pecan Sandies (recipe by Captain Cookie)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup The Maple Guild original maple syrup
  • 1 cup oil (corn, canola, or vegetable oil all work fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cup flour
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups chopped pecans

Recipe

  • Preheat oven to 375*
  • In a bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in the powdered sugar, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla until well mixed.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low, scraping the sides of the bowl until everything is uniformly mixed in (don’t over-mix)! Stir in the two cups of chopped pecans.
  • Optional: Cover dough and chill for one hour before baking – this will make the sticky dough easier to handle.
  • Scoop by tablespoons and bake at 375* for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are puffed with golden edges.

Finishing Touches

  • Place one scoop of Salted Caramel Ice Cream between each cookie.
  • For the true maple lovers, drizzle maple syrup on top of the ice cream before placing second cookie on top.
  • Dig in!