27 January 2010

Recipe Test Night

My sister recently sent me a cookie recipe that she thought I might like. She doesn't cook or bake very often since she moved to Southern California, a bad week of storms and heavy rain have caused her Canadian hibernating genes to kick into high gear and dust off the measuring cups. This was one of the many things she made last week, and I thought today was the perfect day to give them a try. After all, I had a busy day at work, and a full 45 minutes on the Wii Fit.. I've earned a cookie or two, haven't I?

Well, for starters, I had to make a few necessary changes to the recipe... Call me a food snob, but it just goes against everything I believe in to use Crisco in a cookie recipe when butter is so readily available - so I swapped the Crisco for unsalted butter, and then I took sis' suggestion of adding Skor bar bits (Heath Bar bits if you're south of the 49th) - at least to 1/2 of the recipe, since this was a test batch anyway. Sneaking a taste of the raw batter ('cuz who doesn't like raw cookie dough?), I also decided to increase the vanilla and salt in order turn up the volume on the flavours. Lacking any real instructions form the original recipe, I used the basic creaming method to prepare the batter. I baked one sheet of cookies at the recommended temperature of 375F which, as I suspected, was way too hot for cookies, so I fell back on my tried-and-true habit of baking all cookies at 300F and adjusting the cooking time. The result is a moist, chewy cookie that is cooked all the way through without being too brown around the edges.

The end result is interesting...a kind of "everything-cookie" (hence the name). Can't decide if you're in the mood for chocolate chip, oatmeal or peanut butter cookies? This cookie is a combination of all three - satisfying just about any craving you may have. I'm guessing this is why these were well received by my group of tasters (hubby's co-workers, along with my own).

So here you are, the initial test recipe for Everything Cookies. I'm still convinced that there's room for improvement, so I'll make a few more batches I'm sure, tweaking here and there in search of perfection. Perhaps decreasing the amount of butter slightly and increasing the peanut butter for a more pronounced peanut flavour...? I also invite you all to try the recipe yourselves and tell me what improvements you think these could use.

Everything Cookies
makes 42-48 cookies

1 1/2 Cups (213 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Cups (190 grams) oatmeal (large flake is preferred over quick-cooking)
1 Cup (226 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Cup (201 grams) granulated sugar
1 Cup (180 grams) brown sugar
1 Cup (284 grams) smooth peanut butter
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 Cups (300 grams) chocolate chips
1 1/2 Cups (200 grams) Skor bits (optional)

Preheat oven to 300F, placing rack in the centre of oven. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

In a medium bowl, mix together oatmeal, flour, salt and baking soda, and set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add peanut butter and vanilla and mix on medium-high speed until fully combined. Turn mixer down to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well mixed. With mixer on low speed, mix in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, gradually mixing in t second and final thirds of the dry mixture, just until no more streaks of flour remain. Take care not to over-mix the batter.

Using #70 disher or an ice-cream scoop, drop mounds of dough (about the size of a golf ball) onto cookie sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for 15-18 minutes, until the edges start to turn a pale golden brown. Remove from oven, and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. While it's tempting to enjoy cookies while they are fresh from the oven and gooey, these cookies are so much better once they have cooled completely.

No comments: