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Jenny McCoy

Jenny McCoy

Pastry Chef, Author, Instructor

Pastry Chef-Instructor @ICEculinary - Author of DESSERTS FOR EVERY SEASON - Former Pastry Chef at Emeril's, Craft, A Voce, and more - Check out my new class on Craftsy.com - Stay tuned for even more fun projects this spring and summer...

Jenny enrolled in the Baking and Pastry Program at Chicago’s Kendall College, just after graduating from high school, on a whim. Knowing she wasn’t ready to enter college proper, she decided, “If I like baking, I’ll have a job; if I don’t, I’ll know how to make great birthday cakes—where’s the harm?” Lucky for Jenny, she fell in love with the kitchen and landed positions in a variety of Chicago’s top restaurants, including Charlie Trotter’s, Blackbird, Gordon and Bittersweet Bakery. It was in these kitchens where Jenny learned to refine her palate and develop her talent for composing seasonal desserts.

Following her formative experiences in fine dining, Jenny took a brief hiatus from professional baking and traveled to various countries in Europe, South and Central America to broaden her culinary vocabulary. With an interest in food beyond the kitchen, she also returned to school and completed a BA in Food Writing at DePaul University.

When Jenny returned to the pastry kitchen, it was in New Orleans. There, she had the opportunity to oversee three restaurant pastry departments for Emeril Lagasse, as well as contribute weekly to the Cooking Blog at Emerils.com. While working at Emeril's Delmonico, Jenny was a nominee for the PastryScoop.com Best Dessert Menu Award in 2006. It wasn’t long, however, before she felt the pull of New York City’s vibrant culinary scene; she moved north a few years later.

Since her arrival, Jenny’s worked in New York City as the opening pastry chef at Marc Forgione, and for A Voce, where she ran pastry operations for both their Madison Square and Columbus Circle locations. She then moved on to work for Tom Colicchio at his flagship restaurant, Craft, where she was influenced by her varied pastry background and knowledge of ingredients and flavors. In September 2011, ten years after Craft opened, she helped the restaurant earn its second three-star review from The New York Times. She was also awarded the 2011 NYC Rising Star Pastry Chef Award from StarChefs.com.

In 2012, Jenny stepped out of professional kitchen to co-found Cissé Trading Company, a line of gourmet and fair trade hot cocoa and baking mixes; and to work with leading companies such as Starbucks, the Almond Board of California, and Chinet as a tastemaker and brand ambassador. A year later, her products can be found in 500+ stores nationally, including Whole Foods Market.

Currently, Jenny is a chef-instructor at The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE); just published her first cookbook, Desserts for Every Season; is the co-chair of The Center for Advanced Pastry Studies (CAPS) at ICE; volunteers to help change school lunch programs in the NYC Department of Education with Wellness in the Schools; and is eagerly awaiting the launch of her online class series at Craftsy.com. Jenny also consults with small food producers to help them commercialize their products for grocery store sales. Throughout her career, Jenny has appeared in many print and media outlets for her work as an authority in the baking and pastry industry.

Jenny McCoy's Cherry Clafoutis

How this classic French dessert goes virtually unknown amongst many home bakers is a mystery to me. It is elegant, easy to make, and goes great with just about any ripe fruit—cherries are perfect for the season. Give it a try and tell your friends; I'm on a mission to give it the limelight it deserves. More

Pastry Chef Confessionals: 'I Bought Pre-Made Cookie Dough'

As a professional pastry chef, I did the unthinkable last night. I bought pre-made cookie dough from the market. (Shame.) It was a chilly night and already 9 p.m., and spending an extra hour making cookies from scratch on top of dinner prep was simply out of the question. So I did something I haven't done since I entered culinary school 12 years ago—I used my dough to buy another's. More

Making Cannoli From Scratch

Everyone's had cannoli (if you haven't, stop reading right now and go to your nearest Italian bakery). Mmm, delicious little tubes of fried pastry, filled with sweetened ricotta and dusted with confectioner's sugar. Italy's version of the éclair. If you're lucky, you've had them homemade—light and crispy with a creamy whipped filling, decorated with chopped pistachios or chocolate chips. If you're not as lucky, maybe you've had them from a bakery or, shudder, a gas station. But they're always better homemade. More

The Best and Worst of Dean & Deluca's 15 Licorice Varieties

While perusing the aisles of Dean & Deluca a few days ago, I found to my delight, 15 different types of licorice sold in their bulk candy section. As I peered through the giant glass jars, I marveled at how many varieties I'd never even heard of. Licorice has always been one of my favorite treats. So much so that on Halloween, when all my friends would gather to trade our loot at the end of the evening as I would happily turn over my stock of Snickers bars for boxes of Good & Plenty, and receive star status for my peculiar tastes in candy. I thought I'd be able to handle all 15 without a doubt. Uh, I was wrong. More

An Ode to Frango Mints

Last week I went home to Chicago to visit my family and while in town, I also paid a visit to Marshall Fields & Company for a box of Frango Mints. They are something of an Andes-Candy-turned-bon-bon. With a filling of peppermint-flavored ganache, enrobed in a semisweet chocolate shell, they are simply delicious. More

Strawberry-Basil and Pineapple-Cilantro Popsicles in New Orleans

New Orleans has always had great ways to make the best out of its sweltering days. A sno-ball from Hansen's Sno-Bliz is definitely one of my favorites, a strawberry daiquiri from any number of drive-thru outlets falling shortly behind, and an ice-cold Abita root beer will always do the trick. But recently I discovered some refreshing homemade popsicles from Meltdown Popsicles, located in the French Quarter. More

When You Can't Get a Shamrock Shake Anymore: Dean & Deluca's Mint Chip Maltballs

My favorite ice cream of all time is Mint Chocolate Chip—it always has been, always will be. And when blended into a shake with a heavy-handed dash of malt powder, I'm in heaven. It's my version of a gourmet Shamrock Shake, that amazing blend of frozen vanilla soft serve, peppermint flavoring, and green dye at select McDonald's during St. Patty's time. So when I recently stumbled upon a tin of bright green Mint Chip Maltballs at Dean & Deluca, I was ecstatic. More

Banana-Chocolate "Faux-ssants"

@TwirlyGirly: Cut a banana into two 3" long slices. Them cut each 3" piece in half horizontally. You'll have four 3" long pieces. Make sense?

When You Can't Get a Shamrock Shake Anymore: Dean & Deluca's Mint Chip Maltballs

@Limecake:

If you do a Google search for "mint chip malt balls" you should come up with some alternative producers. I couldn't find them on their website either. Which leads me to think that Dean & Deluca doesn't actually make these candies, but instead just labels them for their bulk candy section....

Hope this helps!

Lime Meltways

@LaineF:

I would recommend making an icing of powdered sugar and milk to top the cookies. Simply whisk together the two ingredients until you reach a yogurt-like consistency then gently brush the tops of each cookie. But, be careful when adding the milk, you won't need too much at all. And if you'd like, you can also add a bit of lime zest to the icing.

Lime Meltways

@Kitchenista:

If you have a "thing against unsalted butter," by all means make them with the salted stuff. However, be sure to reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe to a 1/4 teaspoon.

Rosemary Truffles

TO CLARIFY:

Brooklyn_Foodster: The chocolate measurement is 2.5 cups OR approximately 17.5 ounces of chocolate chips. It is written by volume, as that is how the remainder of the recipe is written. It is also the standard American recipe writing format.

BooksCooks: Yes, the "1/2 an orange, finely-zested" refers to the orange colored part of the peel.

RichQ: There are 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter missing from the recipe. You can add it to the chocolate, or melt it along with the cream, when making the ganache filling. Your call.

I hope these minor details don't prevent any of you from trying the recipe. It is delicious!

Happy Truffle-making!!!
Jenny

Alice Waters–Edible Schoolyard Takedown in the 'Atlantic Monthly': Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Thank you Vicky! I have done cooking demonstrations at the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans and have seen an entire room of children's eye light up at the idea of eating a vegetable that they never would have tried otherwise. The Edible Schoolyard model is one that engages school children like no other--through hands-on experiential learning. This type of learning is lacking across the board in public school systems, yet is the type of learning that is probably most effective, especially with young, energetic children.

Chow Mein Chocolates

Wow. Now I'm really jealous--my mom never made these for me when I was a kid!!! Seeing as they took no time to make at all, I am definitely going to try them with a variety of different nuts and butterscotch chips! Thanks for all the great additions to the post!

Multicultural Macaroons

You can make almond paste yourself in a food processor, however the result is never as good as the commercially-produced variety and is oilier and more like almond butter. I would suggest just purchasing a tube and saving yourself the hassle. Cleaning the attachments and bowl of a food processor is never much fun!

Jenny

Pecan Pralines: He Says Pray-leen, I Say Prah-leen

Hey ya'll,

For those of you who would prefer to make these pralines with more accuracy, simply be sure to cook the entire mixture until it reaches 234-240 degrees farenheit (soft ball stage) before spooning onto a baking sheet. This will ensure a proper caramelization and texture.

Thanks for all your comments! Enjoy!

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