Saturday, July 2, 2016

Go BIGGER or go home...

Ever wonder how they make those larger than life cookies without drying them out or burning them? Well, me too! And to boot my Sweetheart asked, very nicely, "...could I just have one big fat cookie instead of 2 or 3 dozen of the small ones...?"
Well, being a loving person I said, "Sure, Baby... whatever makes you happy!" While at the same time I was thinking to myself ... How the heck am I supposed to do that? Will the edges burn before the center is done? Will the cookies be raw? Will the cookies still have the chewy texture he loves? What if? If I've learned anything from my Sweetheart in the past months, it's "face your fears" and I decided to dive deep and figure it out with a quickness.
First, I researched anything on the internet about large cookie dough recipes. There were a few recipes, but none had the end results I was looking for. Others were just a little too complicated for a cookie. So... I just used my standard cookie recipe and hoped for the best. The recipe I consistently use is Ina Gratin's Chocolate Cookie recipe found on Food Network. I prefer this recipe because it uses a larger quantity of brown sugar in the recipe than most. The molasses in the brown sugar adds that rich smoky flavor we love ...and also creates a chewy texture.
With recipe in hand, I just decided to take a chance and divide the raw dough into four parts, dusting them with All Purpose Flour, Ina's recipe has a tendency to be wet. After the dough was molded into rounds and dusted with flour I left the rounds in the fridge for over an hour just to firm them up a little before baking.
Actually it could have been longer... we went to the movies, Top Dog and the Marina for a while. When we got back the rounds were firm to the touch but pliable.
I flattened one for the first test recipe and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes. The smaller cookies take 8 minutes, so I figured that 15 minutes would be more than enough time.
Watching them closely, I noticed the cookies edges weren't burning, The butter melting as normal. The cookie spreading out to a uniform size ...forever now know as, "Damn, Babe that's one LARGE cookie!
End results, the cookies were perfect! Still chewy. Still rich in flavor, especially butter and the nuts were roasted ... all the pecans, almonds and walnuts. Yep, he likes his cookies full of nuts.
True to form ... cooking with LOVE makes any recipe taste better. And, in this case a some big ole cookie love. Thanks for the challenge, Babe.

New article posting on August 1, 2016 .. Mission: Vanilla extract, possible?