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Pimp my cookies - what went "wrong"?

Pimp my cookies - what went "wrong"?
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  • Post #91 - August 29th, 2020, 12:31 pm
    Post #91 - August 29th, 2020, 12:31 pm Post #91 - August 29th, 2020, 12:31 pm
    on another thread on another board, Xexo wrote:All of her [Mrs. Fields] cookies used the same base. I'll pm you.

    Being a neophyte baker, I had to go online to find a recipe that provided a bit more detail than what Mr. X sent me. Not surprisingly, there are about 50 billion copycat recipes for Mrs. Fields White Chocolate & Macadamia Nut cookies posted on the internet. So, taking into account what Mr. X sent me -- and a few things I've learned over the past few months -- I found one I thought would be close and tweaked it a bit for this largely nostalgia-induced bake.

    The results were nearly identical to what I remember. Even though I cut the overall sugar by 10%, they're very sweet and as such, they're pretty one-dimensional but they're also damned good. Fwiw, I used Ghirardelli chips (what I was able to get and happily, a pretty good match for what I remember) and salted & roasted macadamia nuts (the last of the stash I muled back from Maui in January), cutting the larger nuts in half . . .

    Image
    "Mrs. Fields" White Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Cookies

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #92 - September 3rd, 2020, 7:00 pm
    Post #92 - September 3rd, 2020, 7:00 pm Post #92 - September 3rd, 2020, 7:00 pm
    Well, better to be lucky than good. Tried a mash-up today incorporating the toffee from Mindy Segal's Cookie Love and ATK's "perfect" chocolate chip cookies. All's well that ends well but the bake did not go at all as I thought it would.

    I envisioned ending up with pretty much the same cookies but spiked with little nuggets of toffee. Instead, the toffee melted, everything ran (including the chocolate chips) and the cookies ended up flat, thin and chewy. My guess is that once the extra sugar in toffee began to melt, it changed the chemistry of the cookie, and everything that followed.

    Happily, they're also delicious. Ironically, these are a pretty solid match for the cookies I originally intended to bake the first time I peered down this rabbit hole . . .

    Image
    ATK "Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies with Mindy Segal's Toffee

    You can see some of the melted toffee on the right side of the front cookie.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #93 - September 3rd, 2020, 7:22 pm
    Post #93 - September 3rd, 2020, 7:22 pm Post #93 - September 3rd, 2020, 7:22 pm
    You are on a roll Mr. Suburban. Your White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut cookies and now this one, the Mr. Suburban Chocolate Chip and Toffee cookie! You should open your own cookie shop. :lol:
    The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
  • Post #94 - September 4th, 2020, 11:56 pm
    Post #94 - September 4th, 2020, 11:56 pm Post #94 - September 4th, 2020, 11:56 pm
    Xexo wrote:You are on a roll Mr. Suburban. Your White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut cookies and now this one, the Mr. Suburban Chocolate Chip and Toffee cookie! You should open your own cookie shop. :lol:

    LOL, too much work! :D Plus, giving them away is so much better than selling them.

    My friend (elfin, here on LTH) sent me a link to this informative video, which provides some excellent details about how changing the inputs in cookie baking will affect the results . . .


    How Every Common Mistake Changes A Cookie

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #95 - September 28th, 2020, 9:36 am
    Post #95 - September 28th, 2020, 9:36 am Post #95 - September 28th, 2020, 9:36 am
    Hey Ronnie, here is another recipe to look at, Claire Ptak's Egg-Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies.
    The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
  • Post #96 - September 28th, 2020, 10:02 am
    Post #96 - September 28th, 2020, 10:02 am Post #96 - September 28th, 2020, 10:02 am
    Xexo wrote:Hey Ronnie, here is another recipe to look at, Claire Ptak's Egg-Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    Oh great, encourage him..... 8)
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #97 - September 28th, 2020, 10:23 am
    Post #97 - September 28th, 2020, 10:23 am Post #97 - September 28th, 2020, 10:23 am
    Dave148 wrote:
    Xexo wrote:Hey Ronnie, here is another recipe to look at, Claire Ptak's Egg-Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    Oh great, encourage him..... 8)
    Always! :P
    The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
  • Post #98 - September 28th, 2020, 11:26 am
    Post #98 - September 28th, 2020, 11:26 am Post #98 - September 28th, 2020, 11:26 am
    Xexo wrote:
    Dave148 wrote:
    Xexo wrote:Hey Ronnie, here is another recipe to look at, Claire Ptak's Egg-Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    Oh great, encourage him..... 8)
    Always! :P

    Hahaha, as if I need any encouragement! :lol:

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #99 - October 16th, 2020, 7:52 pm
    Post #99 - October 16th, 2020, 7:52 pm Post #99 - October 16th, 2020, 7:52 pm
    Calling your chocolate chip cookie “perfect” is a bold move. But the British pastry chef Ravneet Gill had no problem doing it. So far, no one’s contested her claim.

    At the end of March, she went Live on Instagram to bake her “perfect chocolate chip cookies,” from her first cookbook, “The Pastry Chef’s Guide: The Secret to Successful Baking Every Time,”

    ...

    She landed on a blend of dark brown and caster (or superfine) sugars, and discovered that resting the dough in the refrigerator yielded a more substantive cookie (as opposed to a thinner, chewier one with its butter seeped out). Rolling the dough into balls right away, as opposed to chilling it first, gave her the gentle domes you like to see in the center of a chocolate chip cookie.


    NYTimes: A ‘Perfect’ Chocolate Chip Cookie, and the Chef Who Created It
  • Post #100 - October 19th, 2020, 11:36 pm
    Post #100 - October 19th, 2020, 11:36 pm Post #100 - October 19th, 2020, 11:36 pm
    Bok Choy Jr wrote:
    Calling your chocolate chip cookie “perfect” is a bold move. But the British pastry chef Ravneet Gill had no problem doing it. So far, no one’s contested her claim.

    At the end of March, she went Live on Instagram to bake her “perfect chocolate chip cookies,” from her first cookbook, “The Pastry Chef’s Guide: The Secret to Successful Baking Every Time,”

    ...

    She landed on a blend of dark brown and caster (or superfine) sugars, and discovered that resting the dough in the refrigerator yielded a more substantive cookie (as opposed to a thinner, chewier one with its butter seeped out). Rolling the dough into balls right away, as opposed to chilling it first, gave her the gentle domes you like to see in the center of a chocolate chip cookie.


    NYTimes: A ‘Perfect’ Chocolate Chip Cookie, and the Chef Who Created It

    Not sure I agree that a domed cookie is inherently or objectively superior to a flatter one but still, I feel I have absolutely no choice but to bake these. Thanks, for the link! :)

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #101 - November 9th, 2020, 2:48 pm
    Post #101 - November 9th, 2020, 2:48 pm Post #101 - November 9th, 2020, 2:48 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Bok Choy Jr wrote:
    Calling your chocolate chip cookie “perfect” is a bold move. But the British pastry chef Ravneet Gill had no problem doing it. So far, no one’s contested her claim.

    At the end of March, she went Live on Instagram to bake her “perfect chocolate chip cookies,” from her first cookbook, “The Pastry Chef’s Guide: The Secret to Successful Baking Every Time,”
    ...
    She landed on a blend of dark brown and caster (or superfine) sugars, and discovered that resting the dough in the refrigerator yielded a more substantive cookie (as opposed to a thinner, chewier one with its butter seeped out). Rolling the dough into balls right away, as opposed to chilling it first, gave her the gentle domes you like to see in the center of a chocolate chip cookie.

    NYTimes: A ‘Perfect’ Chocolate Chip Cookie, and the Chef Who Created It

    Not sure I agree that a domed cookie is inherently or objectively superior to a flatter one but still, I feel I have absolutely no choice but to bake these. Thanks, for the link! :)

    Okay, I baked these. How do they look to you?

    Image
    Ravneet Gill's "Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

    A few thoughts . . .

    "Perfect" is definitely in the palate of the beholder. These were good enough; an interesting recipe with some distinctive elements but for me, they were far from perfect. If someone asked me to bring chocolate chip cookies to an event (remember those?), this is definitely not the recipe that would come to mind. Over the past few months, I've baked quite a few batches of chocolate chip cookies from a variety of recipes and I'd put this recipe solidly in the bottom third.

    I'm not sure the overall method is a good one. Even though I've followed a few recipes that advocated holding cookie dough in the fridge for a period of time before baking it, I'm still not sold on the method's benefits. This recipe calls for refrigerating dough for "at least 12 hours," which I did. But irrespective of how that may or may not affect the cookies' flavor, it certainly seems to affect baking time.

    Here, I followed the given method to the letter, yet after 13 minutes (with a quick rotation halfway through), the cookies were nothing more than clearly inedible, partially baked mounds of dough. My fridge runs at a consistent 40F, so it really would be odd if the dough had been too cold. And in fact, even if baking from frozen, the recipe calls for a bake time of only 15 minutes. I ended up baking them for ~22 minutes, after which they still looked and felt underbaked. And yes, I know my oven is accurate. I double checked it with the oven thermometer that resides in it and triple checked it with an IR thermometer gun that I "borrowed" from my place of business. 8)

    I noticed the absence of the vanilla. For me, it manifested mostly in that the butter stood out more than it does in other recipes. I didn't find that off-putting but it wasn't particularly appealing, either. Butter is not the main note I'm looking for when eating a chocolate chip cookie. It's a supporting player. Chocolate, brown sugar, toffee -- the flavors I want front and center in a chocolate chip cookie -- were all present but seemingly less so than in most other chocolate chip cookies I've had. Does vanilla accentuate these notes? Perhaps it does.

    In many ways these cookies reminded me of some store-bought brands that are engineered to remain soft weeks after the package is opened. They were pale in color, a bit crispy on the edge and grainy in the center. They were neither irresistible nor tempting. They're just kind of soulless. They're in tub in my kitchen that I've walked past a number of times without even thinking about stopping. To me, that's the ultimate test of a cookie (or any food, for that matter). Is it compelling? In this case, for me, the answer is definitely no. I feel like baking these was a poor allocation of time, effort and ingredients. If they're perfect in any way, it's that they're just perfectly okay.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #102 - November 9th, 2020, 7:39 pm
    Post #102 - November 9th, 2020, 7:39 pm Post #102 - November 9th, 2020, 7:39 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Okay, I baked these. How do they look to you?

    Image
    Ravneet Gill's "Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookies

    A few thoughts . . .

    "Perfect" is definitely in the palate of the beholder. These were good enough; an interesting recipe with some distinctive elements but for me, they were far from perfect. If someone asked me to bring chocolate chip cookies to an event (remember those?), this is definitely not the recipe that would come to mind. Over the past few months, I've baked quite a few batches of chocolate chip cookies from a variety of recipes and I'd put this recipe solidly in the bottom third.

    I'm not sure the overall method is a good one. Even though I've followed a few recipes that advocated holding cookie dough in the fridge for a period of time before baking it, I'm still not sold on the method's benefits. This recipe calls for refrigerating dough for "at least 12 hours," which I did. But irrespective of how that may or may not affect the cookies' flavor, it certainly seems to affect baking time.

    Here, I followed the given method to the letter, yet after 13 minutes (with a quick rotation halfway through), the cookies were nothing more than clearly inedible, partially baked mounds of dough. My fridge runs at a consistent 40F, so it really would be odd if the dough had been too cold. And in fact, even if baking from frozen, the recipe calls for a bake time of only 15 minutes. I ended up baking them for ~22 minutes, after which they still looked and felt underbaked. And yes, I know my oven is accurate. I double checked it with the oven thermometer that resides in it and triple checked it with an IR thermometer gun that I "borrowed" from my place of business. 8)

    I noticed the absence of the vanilla. For me, it manifested mostly in that the butter stood out more than it does in other recipes. I didn't find that off-putting but it wasn't particularly appealing, either. Butter is not the main note I'm looking for when eating a chocolate chip cookie. It's a supporting player. Chocolate, brown sugar, toffee -- the flavors I want front and center in a chocolate chip cookie -- were all present but seemingly less so than in most other chocolate chip cookies I've had. Does vanilla accentuate these notes? Perhaps it does.

    In many ways these cookies reminded me of some store-bought brands that are engineered to remain soft weeks after the package is opened. They were pale in color, a bit crispy on the edge and grainy in the center. They were neither irresistible nor tempting. They're just kind of soulless. They're in tub in my kitchen that I've walked past a number of times without even thinking about stopping. To me, that's the ultimate test of a cookie (or any food, for that matter). Is it compelling? In this case, for me, the answer is definitely no. I feel like baking these was a poor allocation of time, effort and ingredients. If they're perfect in any way, it's that they're just perfectly okay.

    =R=
    They don't look bad, but if they don't pass the taste test, well, that is the final test, and they failed. I remember reading that article. She leaves out the vanilla because it is too expensive and she didn't think it added to the cookie. I agree with you, she is wrong about that.

    Another little tweak my sister taught me years ago, add a 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract to your cookie dough the same time you put the vanilla in. I haven't done this in quite a while, but as I remember, you can't really taste it, but it adds a level to the taste that is an improvement. Now, if you hate the taste of almond, I'm sure you can taste it. Don't get me started on those recipes with coffee in them, "Oh, you can't taste it! It deepens the flavor though." No, it makes it taste like coffee. Ugh.
    The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
  • Post #103 - November 9th, 2020, 8:17 pm
    Post #103 - November 9th, 2020, 8:17 pm Post #103 - November 9th, 2020, 8:17 pm
    Xexo wrote:They don't look bad, but if they don't pass the taste test, well, that is the final test, and they failed. I remember reading that article. She leaves out the vanilla because it is too expensive and she didn't think it added to the cookie. I agree with you, she is wrong about that.

    Funny thing is, if you look at the pic that accompanies the NYT piece, the cookies don't look very appetizing there, either. They're pale, unevenly baked and alarmingly puffy. I should have taken that more to heart.

    Xexo wrote:Another little tweak my sister taught me years ago, add a 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract to your cookie dough the same time you put the vanilla in. I haven't done this in quite a while, but as I remember, you can't really taste it, but it adds a level to the taste that is an improvement. Now, if you hate the taste of almond, I'm sure you can taste it. Don't get me started on those recipes with coffee in them, "Oh, you can't taste it! It deepens the flavor though." No, it makes it taste like coffee. Ugh.

    This reminds me of some popular whiskeys on the market right now that combine very young juice and older juice. The goal is to create a blend that's supposed to deliver the best of all worlds. But if you don't like 2-year whiskey (I think it almost always tastes like overly green shite), it doesn't matter what you blend it with. You can always taste it and it always ruins the end product. There's no reason to pollute decent older whiskey by stepping all over it with some unpalatable stuff. Some people love it, though, so wtf do I know? :?

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #104 - November 10th, 2020, 8:09 am
    Post #104 - November 10th, 2020, 8:09 am Post #104 - November 10th, 2020, 8:09 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Okay, I baked these. How do they look to you?

    From looks? If I don't see chocolate on the surface, it's not enough chocolate.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #105 - November 10th, 2020, 8:36 am
    Post #105 - November 10th, 2020, 8:36 am Post #105 - November 10th, 2020, 8:36 am
    JoelF wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Okay, I baked these. How do they look to you?

    From looks? If I don't see chocolate on the surface, it's not enough chocolate.

    That's exactly what I thought. They have a sheen that isn't all that appealing either.
    -Mary
  • Post #106 - November 10th, 2020, 12:05 pm
    Post #106 - November 10th, 2020, 12:05 pm Post #106 - November 10th, 2020, 12:05 pm
    The GP wrote:
    JoelF wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Okay, I baked these. How do they look to you?

    From looks? If I don't see chocolate on the surface, it's not enough chocolate.

    That's exactly what I thought. They have a sheen that isn't all that appealing either.

    I did use the exact amount of chocolate called for in the recipe (to the gram). Maybe I chopped it up poorly but for whatever reason it seems to have sunk (prolonged baking time?). In any event, here's an interior shot for reference . . .

    Image
    Ravneet Gill's "Perfect" Chocolate Chip Cookie - Interior

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #107 - November 10th, 2020, 9:28 pm
    Post #107 - November 10th, 2020, 9:28 pm Post #107 - November 10th, 2020, 9:28 pm
    Baby Yoda seems happy with them. :mrgreen:
    The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
  • Post #108 - November 11th, 2020, 7:24 am
    Post #108 - November 11th, 2020, 7:24 am Post #108 - November 11th, 2020, 7:24 am
    Dunk 'em in a glass of cold milk and savor the moment. :D
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #109 - November 11th, 2020, 8:45 pm
    Post #109 - November 11th, 2020, 8:45 pm Post #109 - November 11th, 2020, 8:45 pm
    So, Mr. Suburban, have you seen this article by Stella Parks? How to Make Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies, à la Levain? She mentions that reducing the amount of sugar will also reduce the spread of the cookie. There is a linked recipe as well. Good luck on your continued search for your perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie!
    The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln

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