BakingCalGal -- Thursday, July 04, 2002 -- 07:35:57 PM
How-tos, tips, recipes.This thread is tagged: cooking, baking, cake
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J-Ro, I was just about to ask if you were using her recipe. Is this the holiday hallelujah one or whatever it's called? I've been eyeing it for years but have never worked up the energy to make it.
It's from the Pie and Pastry Bible. It's a master recipe and then there are some things you can do with it. I haven't tasted it to know how it came out, but I gave a lopsided failure to Elder for breakfast on her way out, so I expect her to report.
I ignored some of IR's crazy-ass instructions, especially as to the number and length of risings. I had to do this on a schedule for a regular human being. That part seems to have gone fine.
I just realized there is one more flop in the kitchen (I just stopped home after a court appearance). I ate the topknot. Perfect. It's not really much work, either, especially if you skip the triple-folding step and one of the risings.
I don't know how much honey is required to counteract the natural drying/hardening process known as "going stale." I just put forth that little honey factoid for what it's worth. I don't want to be the reason you decide not to wrap it up and then the outside gets all hard and crusty.
I want those sugar cookies you get at the cookie stand in the mall, with M&M's on top. What kind of cookie recipe should I use? The two sugar cookie recipes in Joy of Cooking both seem to be the hard ones that you decorate with icing, not the soft buttery ones. So I made some from Better Homes & Gardens which also turned out to be the hard kind (and particularly unimpressive specimens, to boot).
Also, once I find my cookie recipe, should I put the candies on before or after baking?
Lorelei, the mall stand may well add fructose to the cookies to make them stay soft. That's what Mrs. Fields does. This is a similar discussion to the ongoing one about chocolate chip cookies. Julia M's recipe, which she got from Cook's Illustrated, explicitly tries to duplicate the soft Mrs. Field's texture, and achieves it by increasing the amount of sugar in the cookie. There are a few other adjustments, but that is the main one. CI did the same with oatmeal cookies and found that increasing the sugar also made them softer and chewier. I think the moisture content is probably the issue.
I personally find the cookies too sweet when made this way, but it does improve their texture and make them more of what you are describing.
Thus, I would try adding more sugar to a drop sugar cookie recipe (not a rolled recipe) to see what happens. Maybe try adding a third of a cup more to begin with.
About the M&Ms, you usually add anything like that before baking because they won't stay on if they are added later. To get them not to burn, put a sheet of foil over the cookies during the last few minutes of baking.
You saw the part about using a *drop* cookie recipe, right? The best thing would be to use a little ice cream scoop as Julia recommends for the CC cookies, and then flatten the ball just a little when you apply the candy.
I don't know what the cookies at the mall taste like, but it occurs to me you should try a snickerdoodle recipe without rolling the dough in cinnamon-sugar.
But wouldn't you have to use brown sugar specifically if you were going to increase sugar? I've increased with white sugar and found the results were crunchier.
I would guess that the addition of corn syrup would also assist the chewiness.
It's called laminate dough, and here's a link to Staebler's original recipe, note the indeterminate quantities and the little blurb at the end. Basically, yes, combine liquid sweetener and dry sugars to get the effect.
Here's an article originally produced for a website called Goldwing's Fun House - it sums it up nicely:
Cookie Tips: How To Make Cookies Flat, Crispy, Soft, Or Chewy
Recipe by:Margie Potts, Jungle Jim'sWeb produced by: Liz Foreman3/3/2004 11:40:11 AM
There seems to be much debate and even more speculation on why some chocolate chip cookies are flat and crispy and some are soft and chewy. Both cookies taste delicious, but everyone has a preference. However, if you're trying to bake a soft and chewy cookie and it comes out flat and crisp, it can be frustrating! Well, there certainly are reasons why cookies turn out one way or another.
It has to do with the amount and temperature of key ingredients:
1. Sugar: The moisture in sugar affects chewiness. The relative amount of white sugar to brown sugar has a great effect on the baked cookie, as the brown sugar has a much wetter moisture content (approximately 35% more moisture). Therefore, using more brown sugar will result in softer, chewier cookies, while using more white sugar will result in cookies that are flatter and crisper overall.
2. Butter and Eggs: The temperature of these key ingredients helps control how much the dough spreads. Cool ingredients will keep you dough cooler, which results in the cookies spreading more slowly in the oven allowing the oven's heat to "set" the cookie while it still thick and therefore producing a denser, chewier cookie. Warm dough spreads more quickly in the oven, which makes the cookies thinner and crisper. Also, keep this theory in mind if you have the habit of dropping cookies onto still-hot cookie sheets. If you don't want them spreading quickly, use cool sheets.
3. Flour: A high proportion of butter to flour in the dough will also allow it to spread quickly. Makes sure you are measuring your flour correctly. Adding more flour to a recipe to produce a thick chewy cookie won't work for you. Too much flour will make the cookie, firm, dry and tough - you need to control the amount and temperature of all the key ingredients together and that includes the butter, eggs, sugar and flour. To insure that you are accurately using the amount of flour called for in the recipe, use a kitchen scale to weigh it or measure properly: use a dry measuring cup, not a pyrex cup meant for liquid measurements. Fluff the flour with a fork to avoid densely packed flour. Then spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it with a knife. Never scoop right from the bag as that will compact too much flour into the cup and don't shale or tap the cup as you add the flour or this will pack the flour down as well.
One of Mrs. Field's secrets is that her cookies are baked on slow heat for a longer time frame.
And that's all I have to say about cookies for today, class.
Yup, I got the drop cookie part - it had occurred to me that rolled cookies were probably going to be too tough for what I wanted.
I'm not sure how much the soft vs. crispy dimension matters in the cookies I'm thinking of. I definitely don't want ones that are hard, like rolled frosted sugar cookies, but crispy is fine I think. The rolled cookies I made, more than being the wrong texture (though they were definitely too dense), just tasted completely wrong.
Actually, I think the Joy of Cooking chocolate chip cookies are the closest thing I've made to the taste I'm looking for, so maybe I should use that recipe (sans chips) as a starting point.
I love the JoC CC cookie recipe. Increase the brown sugar content ratio. You can add a great dimension by melting some sugar to the point of mild caramelization, add the vanilla to that, and mmmmmmmincredible things happen to the flavour.