Was it Daniel, was it me, was it the oven, was it the ingredients, was it the phase of the moon? So many questions, but so few answers to why Daniel Boulud’s Trao-Mad Cookies from the Café Boulud Cookbook turned out as they did.

If I were philosophical about the result, I would say, “And that’s how the cookie crumbles.” But I cannot be when I am mad as hell and wanting to do something about it. When the first batch ended up like toasted panko crumbs, I decided to try, try, and try again, but sadly to no avail. Each time I ended up with a buttery, tasty mound of crumbled “cookies.” Small wonder, I guess, that the recipe includes the word “mad” as that is exactly the emotion I felt each time I removed the baking sheet from the oven.

Trao-Mad Cookies with Peach Compote

Trao-Mad Cookies with Peach Compote

I am resilient, if not inordinately stubborn, so I piled the crumbled cookies in a bowl, added a dollop of the peach compote that is part of the recipe, and presented it to Sous Chef as his dessert. His look of astonishment was priceless, as they say. But being a good sport, he spooned in a mouthful, took a slug of wine to offset the tannic effect of the cookie crumbles, pronounced the peach compote delicious, and tossed the rest of the dessert into the dumpster.

One of the many great things about the Café Boulud Cookbook is the wine suggestion for each recipe. When someone said “Man cannot live on crumbs alone,” he or she must have been thinking of my dilemma. Like W.C. Fields, “I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.” So I uncorked a bottle of 2013 Château de la Roulerie Chaume Les Aunis from the Loire Valley and drowned my sorrows in this most delightful, well-balanced, light, not overly sweet dessert wine ($34.99 at Total Wine). After a few sips, all was well with the world and I was scheming about the many ways I could use the peach compote.

Let’s hope my next assignment for Weekend in a French Kitchen is a little more successful!