Daring Bakers, November: (Two of the) Twelve Days of Cookies
Peta asked us to bake two kinds of cookies—one from her recipes and one from our own collection. I baked Peta’s piped shortbread rings and Amanda Hesser’s flat and chewy walnut cookies.
Here's some 'splainin'--first, the piped shortbread.
The color of the cookies in this photo is closer to how they actually looked--the sunlight in the previous photo washed them out a bit.
The batter was really light and fluffy after 10 minutes of beating!
Not the best photo, but here's the general difference in color and texture between the just-combined batter and the fully beaten batter. I wonder if I overbeat the batter, though. I halved the recipe, so maybe I didn't need the full 10 minutes of beating the recipe called for. The cookies crumbled whenever anything touched them. You couldn't bite them because they'd turn to dust and make a huge mess. You had to shove the whole thing in your mouth, and if you weren't ready for it, you kinda choked a little bit. The flavor was wonderful, though! Mmmm, tasty shortbread cookie choking chalk! No, really, it was good! I think I just need to rework things--maybe add more flour to give it more structure, or make smaller, more shove-able cookies.
You can see how much definition I lost after baking--not much! According to the recipe, whipping the batter long enough was crucial to making sure you didn't lose much definition during baking--all those ridges would melt away otherwise. The recipe also said to not overbeat. Have fun finding out that middle ground. ;)
It took a couple of rows to figure out the piping technique. No, it didn't matter how thin I piped the cookies or how brown they got--they were all just as crumbly as the next.
Duncan thinks they're pretty in the sunlight, even if they are invading "his" sunlight.
Now, the flat and chewy walnut cookies, but I just call them chocolate chip walnut cookies. This was my first time making them, but I'm looking forward to playing with the recipe!
Mmmm. Got milk? Or coffee or tea or hot chocolate? These are wonderful dunkin' cookies! No beverage? Just dunk 'em in your mouth!
The batter was supposed to be scooped into rounded-tablespoon-sized balls, but my only disher is a little more, um, generous. Make sure you give these babies room to grow--they spread a lot!
Cooling on the rack. Or, you can cool it in your mouth! Soo good warm! Be warned, though--they're really fragile fresh out of the oven. By the time they're cool enough to actually handle, they're cool enough to eat.
They're almost as big as a dessert plate! And to that, I say, "YAY!"
Amanda Hesser’s Flat-and-Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approximately 30 cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp of baking soda
1 3/4 tsp sea salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (12 oz) finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 cups (8 oz) finely chopped almonds, walnuts
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend together on the lowest speed, just until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate and nuts, on the lowest speed just until blended. Chill the dough for at least one-half hour or up to several days.
3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Drop generously rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto the baking sheet.
4. Bake until the edges are golden brown and the middle still looks wet, 14 to 16 minutes. Don’t overbake, as you will lose the chewiness in texture. Cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a baking rack.
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