Pastries in Paradise

Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

Alfajores

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This past week my family celebrated Greek Independence Day and the amount of national pride and love for culture set me off to find a cultural piece to post on. You may wonder why I didn’t choose a Greek dish and I admit I did contemplate doing so but then again that would be exposing family heirloom recipes and I thought the better of it out of respect. So I ended up stumbling on a little gem out of Argentina. Like the popularity of the Oreo in America, Alfajores are practically Argentina’s national cookie. They have been a part of Argentinian culture since the 19th century and to this day Argentina remains the world’s largest consumer of Alfajores as they are a common snack for kids and adults alike.

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In doing my research I was quick to find the millions of variations to this cookie. Variations span all across the Latin American countries as well as overseas in Spain (although the Spanish version is of little resemblance to this recipe to the point you want to question they are at all related). The most common type of Alfajores start with two soft cookies and are sandwiched with a decadent dollop of dulce de leche (a Latin American style caramel). Just the dulce de leche alone is enough reason why this is probably the chosen common variation. I chose to prepare this version and also a version where the cookie is finished off by rolling in toasted coconut. Other common alternatives include dusting the cookie sandwich with confectioners’ sugar, coating in dark or white chocolate, or going as far as to ditch the dulce de leche for jam or mousse. I personally prefer the dulce de leche and that is why you will find it here.

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Like the Oreo has its milk, the Alfajor is often paired with morning coffee or tea but why limit them to mornings when they make a great afternoon snack or dessert after dinner. One bite and you will quickly understand why they are so popular. Don’t be alarmed by the high amount of cornstarch in this recipe. It is necessary for the cookie to have its signature, slightly cakey texture. In fact, the traditional dulce de leche recipe for Alfajores has been on the back of cornstarch boxes in Argentina for years. If you decide to try the Alfajores with coconut, make sure to toast the coconut until it starts to turn golden brown. This brings out its nutty flavor. You can certainly fill the cookies in this recipe with anything you have on hand but if you want the traditional Argentinian style make sure you use dulce de leche. You won’t regret it I swear. You can find dulce de leche in the baking aisle or Ethnic aisle of most supermarkets. This recipe will yield you approximately 1 ½ dozen cookies. The cookies can be stored at room temperature for 3 days. Enjoy :)

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Alfajores

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 14 tbsp. (1 ¾ sticks) Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups Dulce de Leche
  • 1 cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut; toasted

Formula:

  1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions before pre-heating the oven to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until just combined. Add the eggs and mix until well incorporated. Add the flour mixture and continue to beat until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until slightly firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Roll tablespoon amounts of dough into round balls. Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies until the edges begin to turn golden, about 12 minutes. Be sure to rotate sheets halfway through the baking time so they cook evenly. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
  4. Spread 1 tablespoon of dulce de leche on the bottom half of each cookie. Top with the remaining cookies to form a sandwich and press down gently to push some of the dulce de leche to the cookie edges. Roll the sides of the cookie in the toasted coconut, pressing gently to adhere. Serve.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM ADRIANA MILNER

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014

Dreamy Coconut Cookie Cups

20140128_162242Today was a rather dreary day and that made it perfect for staying in and baking. After a relatively busy day yesterday full of appointments revolving around my little one and grocery shopping, I was ready for a mellow day. After making breakfast for my little family I took on a recipe called Dream Bars. I decided to reinvent it into a more convenient, portable treat.

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Sure they may not seem like much but they sure do taste delicious. Surprisingly, despite how simplistic they may appear, these little guys can cause some problems. First off, most of the traditional Dream Bar recipes out there were just too sweet, even for my very forgiving sweet tooth. To overcome this, I wanted to overcome the sweetness with nuts. By toasting the nuts until crunchy, it cut through even the toughest of residual sweetness.

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Perhaps my favorite part of this treat is the coconut topping. Of course my favorite things always end up being the most problematic… go figure!!! Shredded coconut on its own would just dry out, burn, and become gross. To keep the shredded coconut moist and delicious I soaked it in cream of coconut, which not only kept it moist but added richness and the perfect concentration of sugar that results in a caramelized topping without being overly sweet.

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To further balance out the sweetness it is key to dial back the sugar in not only the topping but also the crust. By making the crust thicker and resemble a shortbread cookie instead of the typical thin, weak base, the nuttiness is more prevalent and keeps the sugary topping at bay. Speaking of sugar, I’m sure Domino Sugar would be hating on me for discouraging the over usage of its product since back in the day it was the bar version of this recipe that was used as a marketing tool to sell their sugar to housewives. Sorry Domino, please forgive me :)

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I will admit this isn’t my strongest post, but it was never meant to be. It was meant to be an experiment, a way to refresh a recipe created in the Great Depression into something modern for our crazy, hectic world we now reside. It is not glamorous or gourmet. It is homey, practical, and satisfying. Probably why it has stuck around for so many years and had so many back-of-the-box variations. If it made some of the harshest moments of American history a bit more dreamy, than it is okay in my book!!!

Note: Formula yields 18 cookie cups. Cookie cups can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5 days.

Dreamy Cookie Cups

Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ¾ cup Dark Brown Sugar; packed
  • ½ cup Pecans
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 10 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; cut into pieces & chilled

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Shredded Coconut
  • 1 cup Cream of Coconut
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¾ cup Dark Brown Sugar; packed
  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla-Nut Extract
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Pecans; toasted & chopped

Formula:

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make the crust, process flour, sugar, pecans, and salt in a food processor until pecans are coarsely ground. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture firmly into the bottoms of each muffin tin. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the topping. Combine the shredded coconut and cream of coconut in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Stir in the pecans, then spread over the cooled crusts, dividing evenly among each cookie cup. Dollop heaping tablespoons of the coconut mixture over the filling and spread into as even a layer as possible.
  4. Bake the cookie cups until deep golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM MARIA DEL MAR SACASA

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014

Better Than Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Ever since I was a kid my go to recipe for chocolate chip cookies was the back of a Nestle Toll House Morsels bag. The recipe is simple and with ingredients most families have on hand. It is what made the Toll House recipe so famous since its debut back in 1939. Yes it has been around that long. But with this type of age there is sure to be followers set out to replace its fame with their own.

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Sure I still love the moist cake-like texture and buttery aftertaste of the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie but my adult taste buds sought for more. But is there really more out there for my taste buds to find??? And if there is how hard would it be to obtain??? These questions were all answered with this perfect recipe. This is surely my new favorite… at least for the time being. I kind of get around a lot when it comes to cookies. I’m sure at some point we will divorce like I did with Mr. Toll House but for now we are in it for the long haul. There shouldn’t be any hard feelings though because I have only stayed with two cookies my entire life, those being my mom’s recipe for Sugar Cookies that are made at Christmas and my kiddie bake sale favorite… the Peanut Blossom.

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You may wonder what made this recipe capture my heart for the time being. Truth is, at first even I was highly skeptical. But it turns out the little extra effort goes a long way with chocolate chip cookies. Jacques Torres once stated that the best chocolate chip cookie is based on a dough that was allowed to rest for 24 hours. I honestly can’t wait that long. I can barely wait for them to be cool enough to touch let alone 24 hours before even being baked. This doesn’t mean I couldn’t apply the same principle but on a bit smaller time scale. By toning down Torres’ wait time but still implementing his theory a bit I was able to manifest a chocolate chip cookie that had a moist and chewy inside and crispy, golden edges.

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Now I forgot to mention there was always a beef I had with the Toll House recipe and as a result I always left out this ingredient as a kid because I thought it took away from the star of the show, the chocolate. This ingredient was the nuts. As an adult I can appreciate the complexity nuts bring to the cookie but I still don’t like them in my chocolate chip cookie because lets face it, nuts are not discreet and when you expect to bite into a gooey bit of warm chocolate and are abruptly hit with a crunch it just throws off my moment of chocolate ecstasy. So I tried to think of a way to bring the flavor of the nuts into the cookie without the big hunks of crunch that will distract me. That is when I stumbled on my lone vial of Vanilla-Nut extract I used all but once and was left forgotten in the back of the pantry. This was clearly the answer to my lifelong dilemma.

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If that wasn’t enough perfection I made sure to brown the butter rather than just cream it like Toll House. This resulted in not only added chewiness but also a rich toffee flavor that balanced the overall sweetness. With the oven set higher than normal and only one tray in at a time, the cookies cooked more evenly and had golden crispy edges with tender centers that even my inner kid couldn’t deny.

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Note: If possible, do not use a non-stick skillet to brown the butter as it makes it very hard to judge when the butter is actually browned and you can easily burn it if not careful. Also be sure not to use old, hardened brown sugar because it will have a very negative effect on the texture of the cookies, essentially making them extremely dry. I prefer Ghiradelli chocolate chips but any brand will work. If you do not have dark brown sugar on hand you can substitute light brown sugar but keep in mind the toffee flavor will not be as pronounced.

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Better Than Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Ingredients:

  • 8.75 ounces (1 ¾ cups) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 14 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 3.5 ounces (½ cup) Granulated Sugar
  • 5.25 ounces (¾ cup) Dark Brown Sugar; packed (if using measuring cup)
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla-Nut Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 ¼ cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Formula:

  1. Heat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour and baking soda together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat 10 tbsp. of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Continue to cook, swirling the pan constantly or using a rubber spatula to stir until the butter is dark golden brown and gives off a nutty aroma, about 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the browned butter with a rubber spatula to a large heatproof bowl. Add in the remaining 4 tbsp. of butter and allow to melt completely.
  4. Add the granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, salt, and vanilla-nut extract to the bowl of butter and whisk until incorporated. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk until smooth and no sugar lumps remain. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes and then whisk again for about 30 seconds. Repeat this process 2 more times until the mixture becomes thick, smooth, and glossy. Stir in the flour mixture until combined. Add in the chocolate chips and stir to evenly distribute chocolate and ensure no pockets of flour remain.
  5. Use a cookie scoop or divide the dough into 16 portions of approximately 3 tbsp. each. Arrange each ball of cookie dough on the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until the cookies become golden brown and puffy. Edges should be golden and set but the centers remain soft, approximately 10 to 14 minutes. Be sure to rotate the pan halfway through baking. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookies. Yields approximately 16 cookies.

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SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM CHARLES KELSEY

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

DSC_0373Christmas is quickly approaching and you know what that means… Cookie season!!! Holiday dessert tables always have cookies and are adorned year after year with the traditional family favorites. These favorites typically include sugar cookies, gingerbread men, and anything peppermint infused. I love all of these but sometimes you just want something fresh and new to try. That is why each year alongside the traditional cookies, I always make sure that I add one new cookie to the platter that everyone can try to enjoy alongside the usual favorites.

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It is from that tradition that I created my annual dedication to diverse holiday cookie options in the month of December. For the next few weeks you will be seeing many posts on cookies that I find can be a great addition to any holiday dessert table. I started this year with Cherry Cheesecake cookies. These cookies have been sweeping the social media airwaves as of late but I actually came across this cookie back in 2010 and fell in love. Cherry cheesecake was always a favorite of mine as a kid and melding those flavors into the portable ease of a cookie is heavenly.

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I like to make the cookie dough ahead of time not only to save precious time for baking other things but also because these cookies do not have a very long lifespan after they have been baked. It is best to make them the day they are going to be devoured because the cream cheese filling causes them to spoil at an accelerated rate. Also the extended chilling time will make it much easier to shape and roll the dough balls in the graham cracker crumbs.

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The formula I use makes about 2 dozen cookies and is enough for my family at the holidays, but if you have a larger family you can certainly double the recipe. Once the cookies have been baked be sure to store them in an airtight container for no more than 2 days.

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Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 (8 oz.) Pkg. Cream Cheese; softened
  • 10 tbsp. (1 ¼ sticks) Unsalted Butter; softened
  • ¾ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 (20 oz.) can Cherry Pie Filling

Formula:

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and sugar together on medium-high speed until the texture becomes smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix the dough together until it is incorporated. Do not overmix. Refrigerate the dough overnight.
  2. Heat the oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl. Place the cherry pie filling in a shallow dish. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and then roll in the graham cracker crumbs. Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use the back of a tablespoon to make an indentation in the center of each dough ball.
  3. Use a small spoon to place 3 cherries in the indented center of each cookie. Be sure to strain off as much of the filling/juice to ensure the cherries do not end up swimming in a cherry bath and creating a soggy-centered cookie. Bake the cookies until golden around the edges, about 12 to 15 minutes. Be sure to rotate the pans halfway through the baking time to ensure even cooking.
  4. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM STEPHANIE MATTHEWS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Lemon Drop Cookies

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Driving down the county highways here in Florida I was given the quick reminder that we have entered fall after spotting little unripe oranges decorating all the trees in the groves. My craving for citrus peaked at that moment but I really have had a huge lack of energy to the point I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. As much as I love baking, to use the few shreds of energy I manage to muster on making a messy kitchen and then having to clean it up just isn’t feasible. So I had to ask myself, what is the simplest item I could make that would still be complex enough to excite my taste buds. The answer… Lemon Drop Cookies.

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These cookies are simple and use ingredients that are staples in anyone’s pantry. For such basic ingredients, these cookies possess a very unique texture. They are fluffy and moist but still manage to be sturdy enough to carry around the house without dropping crumbs all over.  The lemon flavor gives the cookie a slight tang that finishes with a sweetness that isn’t overbearing. To finish off these soft, cake-like wonders, a very simple confectioners’ sugar glaze tinted yellow and given a slight dose of lemon flavor make this simple confection appear more glamorous than it really is… for at the end of the day it is a cookie… just an amazingly epic cookie.

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I promise you if you give these little canary gems a chance they will become a cookie everyone in the family can appreciate and love. The formula yields about 3 dozen cookies. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

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Lemon Drop Cookies

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 16 tbsp. (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 tsp. Lemon Zest, grated
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Extract

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups Confectioners’ Sugar; sifted
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 to 2 ½ tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • Milk; enough to create desired consistency
  • Yellow Food Color; optional
  • Decorative Sprinkles; optional

Formula:

  1. For the cookies: Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. With mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and beat in the sour cream, lemon zest, and lemon extract. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Refrigerate the dough until slightly firm, about 1 hour. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are just golden around the edges, about 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through the cooking time. Cool cookies on the baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. For the glaze: With a mixer, combine the sugar, butter, and lemon juice together. Add enough milk to achieve the desired consistency. Add a few drops of yellow food color if desired.
  6. Once the cookies have completely cooled, use an off-set spatula to spread a thick layer of glaze on each cookie. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Serve.

 

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SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM MERILEE KUCHON

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ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

Roselyn’s Buttermilk Jumbles

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When I was a kid, I remember attempting to make a Spritz cookie with a cookie press contraption that was just too difficult for my little hands to grasp let alone the dough was too soft and didn’t hold up after being pressed. This caused me to have a  frustration with this cookie into adulthood. I thought I would revisit the concept of the spritz cookie but in a whole new way. That is when I stumbled on a recipe for Roselyn’s Buttermilk Jumbles.

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Roselyn’s Bakery opened in 1943 and was a major distributor of baked goods around the Indianapolis area. They closed in 1999 leaving many locals craving their specialties, including the Buttermilk Jumble Cookie.  Although you can still find some of their baked goods in supermarkets near the area they are non-existent here in Florida and it is a shame because they are so delicious and rather simple to prepare. Resembling the look of a spritz cookie, you use a piping bag and large star tip rather the traditional cookie press. I much prefer this method as most people have these items already in their home and you don’t have to go waste money on expensive cookie presses to get an elegant looking cookie.

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This cookie is soft and delicate. It looks impressive and time consuming but is easy to assemble and uses minimal ingredients. The only ingredient that may be hard to find for this recipe is the necessary arm strength and posture needed to make many little stars. The formula uses the creaming method to ensure a proper spread and rise. Also by using cake flour rather than all-purpose the cookies obtain an even smoother, tender texture than a traditional spritz. All in all a great find that history has tried to swallow up but hopefully this delicate little jumble will stay alive a bit longer.

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Note: You will need a piping bag and a large star tip. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days. This formula yields about 3 dozen cookies.

 

Roselyn’s Buttermilk Jumbles 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups Vegetable Shortening
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 ½ cups Cake Flour
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 6 tbsp. Buttermilk

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 375°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a piping bag with a large star tip.
  2. Beat the sugar, shortening, and salt together until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla until just combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and buttermilk. Mix until light and fluffy. Transfer dough to prepared piping bag.
  3. For each cookie, pipe 1 star and then pipe 6 more stars surrounding the first star onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake until light golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets. Repeat with any remaining dough. Serve.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

 

 

 ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

 

 

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

 

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Happy Independence Day to all of the Americans viewing the blog. I hope you are getting your fill of BBQ’s and Fireworks. I will be hitting up Walt Disney World tomorrow for my little one’s first visit to the parks which should be interesting but fun. I’m super excited because I have not been to Disney since January, which was about 1 week before my daughter was born. I know it will be crowded but well worth the experience, not to mention my desire to try the All American Apple Pie inspired Cupcake that is on sale for a limited time as part of Disney’s limited time magic for the 4th of July spectacular.

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Now I know what you are all thinking. Where is the Independence day post with all this talk of it? Sure many websites out there have a patriotic theme with everything having to incorporate some Red, White, & Blue…BUT… here at Honeybee’s we are a little unconventional and decided to go against the grain with an everyday treat themed post. In my defense however, I did also make Mini Cherry Cheesecakes which at least have Red and White but they were devoured before a single picture could be snapped.

The decision for this post…simply put…. is a result of my mad craving for chocolate of late. As much of a blessing as they are, there really is only so many little weight watcher 1 point chocolates I can eat before I crave something more fulfilling and naughty. I wanted a “Death by Chocolate” style of cookie with chewy texture. Simple right. Not too much to ask is it??? WRONG!!!

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Problem is, these two simple sounding requests never seem to go hand in hand with each other because the more chocolate that goes in, the more texture gets murdered.  It is a result of science and how ingredients interact with each other in the baking process which I won’t go into details and bore the heck out of you. Instead I will give you just a few bullet points so you can have a briefing on the matter and maybe apply it to other recipes of your own in the future. This will be brief and painless I promise. My boyfriend is a born and raised New Yorker and taught me the importance of the New York minute so I won’t keep you from the goods for long I just want to set you up with the best possible final product with a few pointers ;)

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Step one to the perfect chewy chocolate cookie is the chocolate itself… so be sure to buy a good quality baking chocolate. I personally enjoy Ghiradelli’s Dark Chocolate but a 2nd fave is Callebaut Intense Dark. Of course any dark, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate will work but the chocolate intensity may suffer a tad bit. When working with the chocolate you ultimately select, be sure to chip it into the right size chunks. If too small, the chocolate will melt and disappear into the dough when baked causing your “death by chocolate” bits to go unnoticed. Be sure to make the chunks about ½ inch so that they remain intact while baking and contribute bursts of chocolate flavor.

Step two involves achieving the chewy texture. First things first… take out that egg yolk. Using just the white eliminates extra fat egg yolks provide that would not only have gone to your waistline, but also have created a tender cake or brownie-like texture instead of chewy. Alteration #2 involves once again the chocolate. Instead of using melted chocolate, this formula uses cocoa powder which adds chocolate flavor without adding tenderness to the cookie, allowing the chewy texture to shine through. Lastly, the amount of white sugar needs to be lessened greatly. By replacing some white sugar with dark brown sugar and dark corn syrup the chewiness is boosted much like molasses does to a gingerbread cookie, without giving an off taste that would distract from the chocolate. If you don’t have dark brown sugar or dark corn syrup on hand you can substitute light for both with a little suffering in flavor and texture.

Oh and one final tip before I send you off to baking and myself to dreamland… use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop to perfectly portion your cookies. I use a size #30.

Note: Formula yields 16 cookies.

 

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ oz. (1/3 cup) Granulated Sugar; an additional ½ cup for finished coating
  • 7 ½ oz. (1 ½ cups) All-Purpose Flour; unbleached
  • 3 oz. (¾ cup) Cocoa Powder; Dutch-Processed
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ½ cup Dark Corn Syrup
  • 1 Egg White; Large
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 12 tbsp. (1 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 2 ½ oz. (1/3 cup) Dark Brown Sugar; packed
  • 4 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate; chopped into ½ in. pieces

 

Formula:

  1. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions. Heat oven to 375°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place ½ cup granulated sugar in a shallow dish and set aside. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium size bowl. Whisk corn syrup, egg white, and vanilla together in a small bowl.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the corn syrup mixture. Beat until syrup mixture is fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. With mixer running on low, add the flour mixture and chopped chocolate. Mix until just incorporated, again scraping down the sides of the bowl. Gently stir the dough with the rubber spatula to ensure no pockets of flour remain at the bottom and the chocolate chunks are evenly distributed. Chill the dough for 30 minutes until slightly firm. Be sure not to allow the dough to chill longer than 30 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions. Roll portions between your hands to form a ball about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Working in batches, drop 8 dough balls into the dish of sugar and toss to coat. Place dough balls on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Repeat with the second batch of 8. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes or until the edges are set but the centers are still soft. Centers will be puffed and cracked but still appear wet and raw between the fissures. Don’t fear that they are underdone. This will cause the perfectly moist, chewy textured cookie. Be sure not to overbake!!!
  4. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then remove with a metal spatula and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM YVONNE RUPERTI

 

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013

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