Arsip Tag: cookie

a slice-and-bake cookie palette – smitten kitchen

I knew that there are a lot of would-be bakers out there that have looked at all of the cookie recipes I have posted this week and thought, “yeah, that’s great but it’s just never going to happen,” and I wanted to have a recipe that was just for you. The basic slice-and-bake icebox cookie that takes to a thousand variations is something that every cook–even the intimidated ones–should have in their repertoire, for several reasons.

slice-and-bake cookiesslice-and-bake cookies

First of all, if you’re looking to please a crowd, you can’t go wrong with simplicity. You can leave these so-called “plain” (but I don’t think they are) or include an add-in, or several, from nuts, dried fruit, zest, extracts or ground nuts swapped or cocoa swapped for an equal quantity of flour. You wouldn’t believe how many famous cookie recipe have slice-and-bake style dough at their base.

slice-and-bake cookies

The second reason a recipe such as this is awesome is that it doesn’t require a cookie cutter (but could be shaped, if you wanted to roll them out). But the third is really the clincher, and that is that you can make these cookies into their ready-to-slice tube and freeze them for a month or even longer, until you need them. I had no immediate need for these, so I sliced off a few to bake for pictures and tasting, and will use the rest for parties later this month. You can slice them right from a freezer with a sharp knife, though I find it a bit easier after leaving them in the fridge overnight. However, in order to keep them fresh, I wouldn’t store them in the fridge for more than a day or so.

slice-and-bake cookiesslice-and-bake cookies

I’m not the only one who dreamed of a basic cookie with infinite varieties this winter, but unfortunately the recipe I auditioned from the Everyday Food Magazine didn’t suit my finicky tastes. It was missing something I couldn’t put my finger on, but I think it was richness. Instead of encouraging you to use the Everyday Food recipe as your foundation, I’m suggesting different a base cookie recipe, adapted from (who else?) Dorie Greenspan. The optional add-ins are the same–with infinite varieties, or just the lemon-poppy and cranberry-orange I made–as is the technique. But I think you’ll like the core cookie a lot more.

Good luck and don’t forget to report back with your variations. I can’t wait to read what you all come up with.

slice-and-bake cookies

Smitten Kitchen Went to Aruba and All I Got Were These Lousy Cookies! Deb and Alex have flown the snowy, slushy and biting cold coop this week for warm, sandy island shores and countless tubes of SPF 50, so comment responses are going to be slow until they return. In our absence, we leave you a Week of Cookies–this is recipe four of four.

One Year Ago: Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti and Hazelnut Truffles

Slice-and-Bake Cookies
Adapted loosely from Dorie Greenspan

Makes about 50 cookies

2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (80 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla or almond extract
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

Options:

  • Mix in grated zest of 2 oranges and 1/2 cup dried cranberries (I finely chopped them)
  • Mix in grated zest of 2 lemons; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup poppy seeds (I mixed the poppy seeds in)
  • Mix in grated zest of 2 limes; coat with 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • Mix in 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots; coat with or mix in 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • Mix in 1/2 cup mini chocolate or peanut-butter chips
  • Mix in 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • Swap 1/4 cup of flour for unsweetened cocoa
  • Swap 1/2 to 1 cup of flour for ground almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts

1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla or almond, followed by the salt and any dried fruits, zest, nuts or seeds. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s okay just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

2. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. (Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine.) Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)

3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. While the oven is preheating, roll cookie logs in any coatings of your choice. Then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/3 inch (10 mm) thick. (You can make the cookies thicker if you’d like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.

5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Do ahead: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature, or in the freezer for a month. Unbaked logs can be frozen for longer.

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leite’s consummate chocolate chip cookie – smitten kitchen

[Note: This recipe got a refresh and slight simplification in 2016. Read it here.]

This past summer, David Leite, whom you may know from the fantastic Leite’s Culinaria, set out to find the consummate chocolate chip cookie.

leite's connusmate chocolate chip cookie

He spoke to Herve Poussot, a baker and an owner of Almondine in Dumbo, Brooklyn, who warned him it was more than a recipe he was looking for.

He researched the technique of Ruth Graves Wakefield, who owned the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusettes in the 1930s, where she invented the chocolate chip cookie, and who once wrote that she would let the dough rest overnight before using it. He spoke to Shirley Corriher, author of CookWise, a book about science in the kitchen, who agreed that an overnight rest was the best way to get a drier and richer dough that has fully soaked up the egg.

feves are really good for snacking

He spoke to Maury Rubin, owner of the rightly fawned-over City Bakery (a place as famed by the public at large for its chcolate chip cookies as it is on this site, for the cranberry caramel and almond tart), who said that they must be served warm, that the dough must rest for at least 36 hours and that they must be big enough to allow for three different textures: crisp edges, a soft center and a ring between them which is chewy, with hints of toffee.

leite's connusmate chocolate chip cookie

He spoke to Jacques Torres of Jacques Torres Chocolates, who said that baking chocolate was best, as were large pieces.

He spoke to Dorie Greenspan who said that he shouldn’t underestimate the value of salt in baked goods.

And then Leite came up with a recipe that was a sum of all of the things that he learned, and it was published in the New York Times.

leite's connusmate chocolate chip cookie

Oh, and what did I do, so that my account of these cookies could live up to the amount of research, dedication and love put into their creation? I baked them.

And I broke one open.

cosummate chocolate chip cookie

And quickly discovered that I am not as generous of a person as I once thought I was. So if you’re coming over to my apartment tonight to bite your nails and watch the election returns, don’t be surprised if I’m all “what cookies?” and only bring out pepita brittle for dessert. The Smitten Kitchen, as it turns out, is no democracy.

cosummate cookie, bitten

One year ago: Roasted, Stuffed Onions

Leite’s Consummate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from David Leite via The New York Times

[Note: This recipe got a refresh and slight simplification in 2016. Read it here.]

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and try to incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. [Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.]

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

* I found Valrhona’s fèves or oval-shaped chocolate pieces, at Whole Foods in half pounds. Baking discs can be found from a number of brands, from Jacques Torres to E. Guittard (Fresh Direct used to sell these by the quarter pound, but now just in one pound boxes, but still at a very reasonable price) to Ghiradelli. Can’t find them? Use the largest chocolate chips you can find. Ghiradelli sells some slighly larger ones in the brown bag (as opposed to the standard-sized chips in the gold bag) though I may have mixed the two varieties up. It wouldn’t be the first time.

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the consummate chocolate chip cookie, revisited – smitten kitchen

Source: Adapted, just a little, from David Leite via The New York Times

Note: You can watch an Instagram Story demo of me making these here.

  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces, 280 grams or 2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (240 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons (yes, really) (445 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 pounds (565 grams) bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60%
  • Sea salt

With a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light, fluffy and then some, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine. Add vanilla, mix, then scrape down bowl. Sprinkle baking soda, baking powder and salt over dough and mix it until fully combined. Add flour all at once and mix it in short bursts until it almost completely disappears, but no longer. You don’t want to overmix it. Add chocolate pieces in and try to incorporate them without breaking them. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for a minimum of 24 hours and up to 72 hours, although I have totally had it in there up to 5 days are we’re all just fine.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a couple large baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Form dough into 3 1/2-ounce (100 gram) balls, which will seem completely absurd (they’re larger than golf balls, closer to skeeballs) but don’t fight it. If any chocolate pieces are right across the tops or sides of the balls of dough, try to bury them back in it. I find pockets of chocolate superior to exposed puddles of them. Arrange balls of dough very far apart on sheets (these cookies will be up to 5 inches wide once baked) and sprinkle the tops of each with a few flecks of sea salt.

Bake cookies for 12 to 17 minutes, until golden all over. This is a large range because I find that they range in how much they spread thus checking in at the early on on your first batch is safest.

Cool cookies on trays for 10 minutes, then transfer them to racks.

A bunch of notes: Revisiting this cookie required that I address a few issues I had with them the first time.

  • The weight of the bread flour [8.5 ounces for 1 2/3 cups, or 145 grams per cup] in the original recipe is incorrect. Bread flour fairly reliably clocks in at 120 to 125 grams per cup, so this should be 200 to 210 grams or 7 to 7.4 ounces. I don’t think a lot of people cared because most people used the cup measurement but it likely would have led to a thicker and more dry cookie. This and other corrected weights below work just fine but I really believe this recipe was imagined for cups and spoons foremost.
  • The other big item many people questioned in the original recipe was the logic of enlisting a low-gluten (cake) and high-gluten (bread) flour, almost 1:1, instead of replacing them both with a medium-gluten flour (all-purpose). David Leite says that “The combination creates a higher protein level than all-purpose flour, giving it a bit more tooth.” But I found the texture from all-purpose flour to be perfect, and will only use this from now on.
  • Being me, i.e. lazy and hating washing dishes, I got rid of that pesky two-bowl and sifting thing.
  • The biggest headache of this recipe is its particular insistence that you use Valrhona fèves, large, oval .125-ounce bittersweet chocolate discs of exquisite quality and extravagant price point, to make these cookies. As I make these rarely and they’re almost always to spoil guests, I splurge on them. [This bag will cover you for 1 1/2 batches + a handful of luxurious snacking and is the best price I’ve found] However, other chocolate baking discs (larger and flatter than chips) work here too; a favorite of mine for baking are Guittard’s chocolate wafers [however, I used to get them for $10 to $11 per pound, and they’re now the same price as the Valrhona link above so…]
  • Finally, please keep in mind that this a cookie for chocolate fiends. Great pools of melted chocolate fill every bite; the dough, as my FIL joked, is little more than glue holding these puddles together. These Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies are smaller and also riddled with chocolate, but less excessively so. These Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies are much closer to the Toll House original (but better in flavor, we think).

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