Friday, February 6, 2009

More Cookie Experiments

Listen, if you're sick about me talking about cookies, I'm sorry. They're my obsession right now and I'll stop talking about them once I stop doing my experiments.

I walked into Lacroix last Saturday and was immediately asked to make a few interesting flavors of cookie. I made brown sugar chocolate date cookies, kaffir lime-raspberry bitter chocolate, and mint white chocolate. To make the date cookies I simply substituted dates for nuts in my "ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe." For the kaffir lime cookies I infused the butter with kaffir lime leaves before creaming with the sugar, then tossed in some dried raspberries and bitter chocolate. For the mint white chocolate I infused the butter with mint. For the kaffir lime and the white chocolate cookies, I used more white sugar than brown as to not skew the flavors of the other ingredients. The date cookies came out fine, the mint-white chocolate were delicious but overly sweet, and I overcooked the kaffir lime cookies.

This led me to further experiment at home. I didn't have any mint so I infused my butter with basil before combining it with sugar (half light-brown, half granulated), then proceeded with my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe adding a 2 tablespoons of lime zest to cut the sweetness substituting white chocolate for chocolate, and omitting nuts.

I found these incredibly delicious. The key is making sure the basil is really really infused with the butter. The basil flavor doesn't interfere, but rather compliments the white chocolate. It's really a wonderful thing.

Next I attempted a brown butter peanut cookie. I browned the butter then used a scale to determine water loss. I added milk to replace the water that evaporated during the browning. I proceeded with my recipe using all dark brown sugar but replacing roasted, salted, peanuts for chocolate.

These cookies were likewise delicious. The flavor was like rich peanut toffee and they were very chewy. They spread too much however. I should've added less liquid or more flour, or more egg or more baking soda, all of which reduce spread.

Another cookie post is definitely possible. I'm not bored just yet.


Liz said...

I am loving the cookie posts!! Keep them coming!

Chris said...

More cookie posts please! We are enjoying your creative ideas.

Bob said...

Don't quit until YOU get bored. Then, move on to chocolates.

If you ever get out to West Chester, try Eclat Chocolates. Chris Curtin will be glad to talk to you, and he's the first American to be certified as a German Master Pastry Chef and Chocolatier.

Eclat Chocolate

Trig said...

Creativity means not getting it right most of the time. It's the other times that count.

Un(edited) Tales said...

Very nice blog. Now I want some cookies!

Tim said...

The basil-white chocolate combo sounds delicious. How do you infuse the basil into the butter? Do you melt the butter and steep the basil in it, or do you chop the basil and blend it with the butter?

Nick N said...

I chopped the basil up to let out those aromatic oils, then steeped it in the butter for about an hour.

Bob said...

How do you like this idea?

Make a batch of cookie dough, then put a different (well documented) herb and/or spice mix in each cookie. You can even make a party out of it.

Nick N said...

Bob, sounds like something Ill have to do, along with go to eclat chocolates.