Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Devil Dog Damn Yankee Macarons - MacTweets Challenge #20

You gotta have heart
All you really need is heart
When the odds are sayin' you'll never win
that's when the grin should start

I am not a sports fan. I don't follow a team or attend games, live or on TV. So when those playful Mactweets gals, Jamie and Deeba issued this month's Ballpark Snacks theme, the first thing that came to mind was the musical Damn Yankees.

These may not be typical ball park snacks. Instead of hot dogs, I am offering up devil dogs. They are my homage to Damn Yankees, a classic musical about America's favorite pastime in which the devil character is a major player. 

We've got to think about the game,
The Game, the game!
Booze and broads may be great,
Tough they're great they'l have to wait,
While we think about the game!

I have a BFA in Theater.For the first several years after college, before a career switch to television, I worked on over 40 Broadway and Off Broadway shows in various producing and management capacities. I was lucky to work for and interact with legendary Broadway producers and stars. Back then, the Broadway theater community was a tight knit group of old school impressarios and committed stage performers. This was before the (unfortunate) Las Vegas-ification of Times Square and Disney-fication of the theater business itself.

Shoeless Joe from Hannibal Mo!
Came upon the scene
As fresh as Listerine
He sneezed and blew away a calf
His laughter ripped a barn in half
Go, go, go, go, Joe

So before I was a TV Diva I was a huge Theater Geek. I grew up going to Broadway shows and as a passionate dancer, loved all Broadway musicals. Most of all, genius choreographer/director Bob Fosse was my idol.

Strike three ball four 
walk a run'll tie the score
Yer blind ump! Yer blind ump!
You must be outta your mind ump

I loved everything he created. From Damn Yankees to Sweet Charity to Pippin (raise your hand if you saw The Big Deal). His wife, Gwen Verdon, was an extraordinary performer I admired as well. 

One of Gwen's most famous roles was Lola, the devil's secret seduction weapon in both stage and screen productions of the Faustian musical Damn Yankees. The Devil (Applegate) sets Lola out to seduce Joe, a middle aged man who made a pact with Applegate to become a young baseball star. Joe wants to help The Senators, his beloved baseball team beat those damn Yankees. Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets. Except Joe who is still in love with the wife he left behind and madness ensues.

Whatever Lola wants. Lola gets
And little man, little Lola wants you
Make up your mind to have no regrets
Recline yourself, resign yourself, you're through.

Years later when I lived in LA and working as a TV producer, I went to an event honoring several ladies from movie musicals. After the presentation there was a reception during which I made a quick dash to the ladies room. Coming out of the stall, I washed my hands and began to touch up my makeup. Another woman emerged from another stall and our eyes met in the mirror. It was Gwen Verdon. However aged, her playful beauty and fabulous dancer bod were both still intact. I smiled. She smiled. We started chatting about this and that, the presentation, etc. I was about to leave and then I broke my own cardinal show biz rule. I turned back to Ms. Verdon and as dignified as I could manage, I gushed. I thanked her for her talent, for setting the standard, for inspiring me and fueling my show biz dreams. She was gracious and lovely. I felt uplifted and awkward at the same time. Ok, at least I didn't ask for a picture. That would have been beyond awkward considering we were in the ladies room.

I walked back in to the reception thinking about the little girl I was all those years ago dancing around in my childhood bedroom or in local community productions to songs like You Gotta Have Heart, Hey Big Spender and Magic to Do. And  here I was years later, an Emmy nominated TV producer sharing a ladies room moment with one of the greatest musical performers ever. It was a measure of my journey and I would be lying if I didn't say it made me a little sad at the time to think about how far I'd strayed from Theater.

So these are for Gwen Verdon, one of the brightest lights Broadway and Movie Musicals has ever seen...and forever the quintessential Lola.

You gotta know just what to say and how to say it
You gotta know what game to play and how to play it
You gotta stack those decks with a couple-a extra aces
And this queen's has her aces
In all the right places!

Devil Dog Macarons

I could not resist putting little fondant horns on these. I am sure I need professional help about compulsively dressing up macarons in little outfits.

These devil dog macarons are snack food good. You can't lose with a chocolate marshmallow combo.

For the Chocolate Shells:

 I used David Lebovitz's recipe. I wanted my shells as dark as possible to mimic a Devil Dog so I threw caution to the wind and added 4 tablespoons of cocoa instead of David's recommended three. The shells came out fine just a bit chewier than usual.

For the Marshmallow Frosting Filling:

I searched for a copycat Drake's Devil Dog recipe and found this one over at Famous Tasty Recipes. I used the filling recipe. It was delish.

I see cannibals munchin' a missionary luncheon
The years may have flown but the memory stays
Like the hopes that were dashed 
when the stock market crashed
Ha ha ha ha
Those were the good old days


  1. Can't leave a long comment as I am out the door on my way to the airport but I love your posts and every one of your twists on our Mactweet themes and this one is fabulous! I love it! Damn Yankees indeed! Brilliant as usual and yum want those macs! Thanks for baking with us, your macs are always the most fun!

  2. They are gorgeous! I love the story behind them too. To make the shells dark, the folks at LenĂ´tre use food colouring (because cocoa bakes grey) - including lots of red! Who would have thunk it? In any case, yours look lovely and chocolately!

  3. Your macarons are devilishly fun, Lora. Fantastic job. I'm also not a sport fan, so this is a difficult challenge! I love your marshmallow filling, too.

  4. These look amazing! I'm still not good at making chocolate mac shells and these are so perfect!

  5. Love your twist on the theme! Your macs are fantastic as always and the story behind them is brilliant. x

  6. The devil is in the details. I love your creative macarons and I love your very detailed background story. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Haha these are so cute! And I love how much marshmallow filling you put in. Can't ever have enough marshmallow. :D

  8. These look delicious! I can't stop thinking about the marshmallow filling to cut the bittersweet chocolate. Mmmmm....

  9. Thank you for the support on my Big Mac-arons post! I am loving these! You're baking is very cute and fun! Must try chocolate shells soon!x

  10. What a nostalgic post. Fab macarons too, love the little horns. I've never had a devil dog, nor seen Damn Yankees, and now I feel quite deprived :(

  11. First off, I initially thought you were a red Sox fan with the Damn Yankee moniker lol LOVE that you were referencing Damn Yankees a la broadway and Gwen Verdon (love). They truly look like debil dogs and I love the 'devilish' red horns :)

  12. Oh those horns look so naughty--and beautifully vibrant on your macs. Creative twist on the sports/broadway name: Yankees!


  14. I always love your macs!!! So fun and creative. What a great story to go along with the theme. I am always inspired.


Thank you for your comments and feedback. I love hearing from you!