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In the early 90's I lived in Ithaca NY and loved a dessert they had at Cafe Decadence (also home of Finger Lakes Roasters, who had an amamzingly good French Roast they sold by the pound). It was called "The Ultimate Cookie" and went something like this...

Brown sugar, butter and rolled oats as bottom crust in a brownie pan. Then a layer of something that was equivalent to chocolate cheesecake and then on top of that a layer of chocolate truffle (or something similar to it). It was cut in triangular serving portions and had to be kept refrigerated before serving. Cafe Decadence is long since out of business and by chance I was visiting Ithaca last year and in the Home Dairy (on the Commons - their sticky buns are to die for - haven't had them in years but they were the best I've ever had anywhere). They hadd desserts in the case and I got to reminiscing with the counterman about the Ultimate Cookie. He brought out their baker, who had once worked at Cafe Decadence. She recalled the dessert but wasn't the one who made it and said that if she could get the recipe it would only be for huge batches. I have tried making this myself but couldn't get the right consistency - I generally found it to be a bit too soft. especially the top layer and also the crust. Theirs had a firmness to the crust and the layers that gave it a quality and texture somewhere in between a brownie, cake and firm quality fudge (the good homemade stuff - not the commercial dreck). It's soooo pricey to experiment with these ingredients and my waistline can't afford to eat the mistakes. Suggestions anyone? Knowing the overall idea can any of you offer ideas on how I might replicate this item?

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  • 1 year later...

I've decided to revive this thread as it was the very first thread I ever posted on Egullet and probably the only one to which I never received any replies!

We have a far higher activity level and expertise in the Pastry Forum than we did back then - perhaps someone here has worked with various confections that would function well as the layers in this delight?

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I remember when Cafe Decadence opened (does that make me old?). I never tasted that cookie though.

Thanks for bringing back memories of Home Dairy. I used to love that place. We would buy birthday cakes there.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Oooohhhhh.... the sticky buns at Home Dairy. They weren't better than sex but they were very high on my list of great experiences. Would you believe that as of last month the former Home Dairy location is now a "Yerba Mate cafe" ? Only in Ithaca - the same town where I saw an office door (upstairs in the building where the Moosewood restaurant is located) with a sign for "Pet Massage Therapy Services". Yes folks - massage therapy for your pooch (or feline if you're so inclined).

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I got to reminiscing with the counterman about the Ultimate Cookie. He brought out their baker, who had once worked at Cafe Decadence. She recalled the dessert but wasn't the one who made it and said that if she could get the recipe it would only be for huge batches.

If you can get that, even on a huge scale, I'm sure someone here would be able to help you scale it down.

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Oooohhhhh.... the sticky buns at Home Dairy. They weren't better than sex but they were very high on my list of great experiences. Would you believe that as of last month the former Home Dairy location is now a "Yerba Mate cafe" ? Only in Ithaca - the same town where I saw an office door (upstairs in the building where the Moosewood restaurant is located) with a sign for "Pet Massage Therapy Services". Yes folks - massage therapy for your pooch (or feline if you're so inclined).

Home Dairy is gone? That place was an Ithaca institution.

As for pet message, I once met a woman who specialized in thoroughbred massage. She worked on racehorses.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Hey, I remember when Cafe Decadence opened too (class of '91).

I don't remember this cookie (unfortunately), but I'll bet the top layer was a simple ganache - just chocolate and cream. If it's too soft, try upping the amount of chocolate added. The bottom layer probably had something else added. I have to think about this a bit.

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The crust on the one I made was simply not crispy enough but the bottom layer of filling was okay - a basic firm chocolate cheescake type recipe seems to work okay. I had been advised to use what is essentially chocolate truffle for the top but it was definitely too soft. I'm a total newbie in the world of pastriy and baking - is ganache firmer than truffle?

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Truffles are made using ganache.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Truffles are made using ganache.

Yes, but they're not necessarily the same thing. For example, I add butter to my truffles, many chocolatiers also throw in a bit of alcohol, and sugar syrup. While you certainly can make ganache with these things in it as well, the basic, and what was likely used on those cookie bars, is just chocolate and cream. I was just trying to help out, not knowing what sort of truffle recipe the original poster might have used.

Phaelon, ganache can be very soft or very firm. It just depends on how much chocolate you add. If it's not firm enough, add more next time.

Another possibility - was the cheesecake filling baked? If so they may have simply dumped a bunch of chopped chocolate on top of it when it came out of the oven and spread it into an even layer after it melted. I've got a brownie recipe that uses this trick, and the chocolate winds up reasonably soft and pliable once it cools down.

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  • 12 years later...

@Lauren24 welcome, and please post the recipe!

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