Showing posts with label cookie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookie. Show all posts

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cookie review-BART & JUDY'S "The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie In the World" ???

are these "THE BEST chocolate chip cookies...

well, i think Bart and Judy have opened a ferocious can of worms with a statement like that.

first let me tell you,  I LOVE THE PACKAGING !  that's what made me buy them, not that it claimed to be the best.  although i must say, curiosity riled the baker in me and i just had to try Bart & Judy's "THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE IN THE WORLD"
how very very clever those two are.
reeling the buyer in with packaging like that.  i wonder if Bart & Judy are friends with "Dr.Bronner", the soap guy with small print all over his products.  the box has all kinds of quotes, philosophies, information, instructions and warnings....AND it's made of 100% recycled paper with a mention on the side..."MADE IN THE USA: THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD".  the whole experience in kind of fun, very unlike any mass produced store bought cookie...for that reason i thought it was worth the purchase....

the cookies are secondary.

i felt like the kid that gets an expensive gift for x-mas, tosses the gift aside and plays with the box for hours.

as you can see from the photo above...these are tiny teenie cookies.  some smaller than a quarter.
some don't even contain ONE CHIP !


AND i bought the ones with walnuts and pecans.  i'll bet ya anyone with a nut allergy would have no big anaphylactic shock after eating the whole box...there might be one walnut and one pecan somewhere in the box, but i haven't found it yet.

on the back he makes a pretty obvious reference to "Famous Amos"...
i was around for the Famous Amos craze in the 70's.  were you?  Famous Amos was the first big hit phenomenon of the bakery world that i can remember.  when Famous Amos cookies arrived on the scene they were nothing like the prepackaged lame cookie that those little Kellogg's Keebler elves are hocking now a days...these were a pretty darn good cookie.  especially if you could get some hot out of the oven at the flagship store in Los Angeles.  it was a good cookie...small, BUT NOT THAT SMALL, crisp, homemade tasting and it had at least a few chocolate chips in each cookie.  nuts were a good size.  you could actually see them, but even he didn't claim to be the best in the world.

nutritional facts?...
it claims 6 cookies per serving equaling 30 grams for 83 calories.
now...i know many many people who would jump at the chance to have 6 chcocolate chip cookies for 83 calories.  but do you know how pathetic 30 grams is?
don't sneeze or you'll loose 1/2 your serving !
"ecstatic delirium"?...hasn't hit me yet...personal injury?...maybe a paper cut from playing with the box.

after you finally get the box open you see a gold bag reminiscent of Willy Wonka's golden ticket.  the bag comes with warning instructions to let the cookies "decant" for 10 minutes to enjoy their fullest flavor.
who do you know that will open a bag of cookies and wait for 10 minutes before trying one?  
of course i had to try one right away.  then i waited 10 minutes and tried another.  was there a huge difference?...NO.  same small, smaller than a quarter, cookie.  nice flavor, nice crunch, but yet another fun gimmick that sets these cookies apart from the norm.

oh...and i forgot about the "STOP! READ FIRST!...important's another note about the "decanting".
 do i really need to be told twice HOW to eat a chocolate chip cookie?...maybe one so small that could get lost between a tooth?  it goes on...then there's another side that is "optional reading".
i will admit i went for the whole deal and entered my "exclusive serial number" on the web site.  i have no idea what that does except give my email address out there for more people to spam's all in fun.

in conclusion...
don't get me wrong...i DO like the cookie (i like the box better).  this IS a "good" cookie, but it's just so very very small....and general consensus from friends and chefs?..."a good cookie, crunchy, homemade flavor, better than the elves",  but best in the world?...not so much.
on the back of the box, Bart states that this venture is not about the money (good thing).  he just wants to put a smile on your face and make the world a better place with his "great cookie"

well...that he did....he put a smile on my face.  definitely NOT from the best chocolate chip cookie in the world, but maybe just the shear enjoyment and conversational debates i had when sharing the box and tiny little nondescript cookies inside.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Pecan Cookies w/Fleur de Sel. Method #2, FAVORITE !

i know you've all seen this cookie before...but
i've done them before, BUT i used Franscois Payard's Recipe and method.  they are similar in taste, but i hate to say this recipe received better reviews.  i'm not saying Franscois weren't absolutely delicious...i'm just saying these are DIFFERENT and to each his own.
these are more dense and thicker than the "Payard Cookie"...
and, as usual... i've added a touch of espresso and a little kick of cayenne.

these are more like intense little chewy crunchy lumps of chocolate coal.
they seem to hold up better and will package well for for your chocolate loving friends.

these are too easy to pass up...
the flourless chocolate fudge cookie is a must for that intense chocolate fix.  it's definitely the chocolate lover's cookie.  i know you have some gluten-free friends or there's always a gluten free person in the room and you don't want to leave them out.  more and more people are going gluten free just for health's sake, so you better throw some of these delicious lumps of chocolaty goodness in your repertoire.


3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp fluer de sel or smoked more for sprinkles
3 large egg whites
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups toasted pecans
1/2 tsp espresso powder
1/4 tsp cayenne...optional
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate

preheat oven to 350F degrees.  line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  give the parchment a LIGHT spray of non-stick spray or a quick swipe of the butter stick.
in a bowl of a stand mixer, mix powdered sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, cayenne and salt.
mixer on LOW, add egg whites one at a time.  add vanilla.

#1...mix on medium speed for 10-12 minutes until the mixture becomes slightly thick.
now...stir in the toasted pecans by hand.  i went ahead and threw them in the mixer for a minute, then finished by hand.  let the batter sit in the bowl for about 15-20 will thicken. on prepared sheet and let sit for another 15-20 minutes.  i wanted to shoot the delicious dough so they sat for 25-30 minutes...this is how i got the "lumps of coal look" as seen in the 2 photos directly below.'ve already done this, but there are only 3 egg whites not 4 like Payard's Recipe.  this makes for a thicker dough.
sprinkle with smoked salt while they sit in waiting.

put sheets in the oven and immediately lower the oven to 320F.  bake for 16-18 minutes, until outside looks cracked and shiny.  cool on cookie sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes then move cookies to wire rack and cool completely.
IMPORTANT NOTE about removing cookies from noted in post about the "Payard Cookie", these cookies stick to the parchment even if you give it a light spray.  i do not recommend more spray.
when cookies are completely cool you need to carefully peel the cookie from the sheet.  do not use even a "thin" spatula.  it will mess up the bottom.  just peel the paper slowly from the cookie.

raw dough (above) after sitting out 25-30 minutes.  below is from same batch.

above is an example of the "Franscois Payard Flourless Chocolate Cookie".  as you can see it is a much thinner, but still fabulous, cookie.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Double Ginger Chewy Chocolate Chip Molasses Cookies

GINGER ?... MOLASSES ?....summertime?
YES...why not?  there are no holiday flavor police
i love ginger and i love molasses...i love both fabulous flavors all year 'round.
why does molasses only come around during the Christmas holidays?....
it seems everyone forgets how to use it  'til the "holiday spice fest" rolls around.  these delicious flavors pop at specific times of the year, then get stashed in the back of the pantry and we quickly move on.  
what's wrong with...say...
pumpkin pie in the summer...
lemon tart in the dead of winter...
or fruity popsicles when it's pouring rain...?!

i know there are a zillion molasses/ginger cookie recipes out there and you've probably tasted each one during the winter holiday months, but i didn't see too many with chocolate
 i'm on a chocolate kick right now and i always love the zing of ginger so i thought the two would be a good combo with the deep molasses...and that, it is.  something a little different for the normal summer cookie line up.  move over lemon bars and macaroons.

i'll be quick about it and get to the recipe.
NOTE...i made mine a little smaller than usual so i could stretch the recipe, but when you make them large they really are good and chewy in the middle with that slight crunch on the sugar coated edges.
i made 4 1/2 dozen from this batch, but 3 dozen would make a nice large cookie.

my apologies to the person i got the base recipe from.  i ALWAYS like to give props to the original.  it's hand written in my file drawer and i don't have any info at all to pass on.  it might have evn been good ol' Betty Crocker.
i changed it up a little by lowering the sugar content with a little splenda,  substituted with 1/2 white whole wheat flour, added some crystalized ginger bits AND added chocolate chips.

1 1/2 cups white sugar...i substituted with 1/2 cup splenda (no one knew)
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
2 eggs, room temperature
4 cups AP flour...i substituted with 2 cups white whole wheat
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1.5 - 2 oz of crystallized ginger, diced or baking pieces
1/2 cup (or more) semi sweet chocolate chips...more would have been better

preheat to 350 F degrees.
using a paddle attachment on your mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
add molasses and eggs...mix thoroughly.
in a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients with a whisk.
add dry to wet 1/3 at a time.  mix until well combined...dough should be soft and smooth
chill at least 30 minutes.
form dough into balls 1' - 1 1/2" in diameter.
roll balls in sugar...i used raw Tubinado sugar for a good extra crunch
bake on parchment (allow room for spreading) at 350 degrees till edges are firm...approximately 13 minutes depending on the size of your cookies

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jamaican Coconut Drops

these chunky little glistening globs are deeeelicious!

three ingredients...fresh coconut, fresh ginger and brown sugar.

they are definitely a labor of love...BUT they are totally worth the effort.

each ingredient shines on it's own, but together they make a fresh almost healthy tropical treat.  
 i have yet to go to Jamaica, but i discovered these are a very traditional treat and found just about everywhere...maybe as common as our chocolate chip cookie...? 

they sound easy enough to make, with only three ingredients...but it's  those three ingredients that are a bit of a bear...the cubed coconut meat, diced fresh ginger and cooked down brown sugar.  still, i say well worth it.

here are some tips i have found very helpful...

#1...THE COCONUT...getting to the meat of the matter
buy the brown dried coconut and shake it to make sure it still has it's coconut water.  poke holes in the eyes of the nut (the three indentations at one end).  drain water and reserve for a cool refreshing drink.  now, whack the coconut on the ground to get a nice crack in it,  place on a sheet pan in a 400 F degree oven for about 10 - 15 minutes.  remove and let cool to the touch.  whack it again on the ground or with a hammer to break open and into large pieces.  the meat should now be easily removed from the shell.  gently pry out the meat with a butter knife or i use the end of a screw driver.  the meat will still have a brown outer layer...use a potato peeler to remove this and you will have beautiful white coconut meat ready for dicing.

#2  THE peel...simply use the edge of a spoon to scrape off the outer skin.  it's much easier than a paring knife and less wasteful.

#3  THE BROWN SUGAR...can't help ya there.  reducing the brown sugar mixture just takes time,  near continuous stirring and a watchful eye.


1 lb. coconut meat diced...from 1 1/2 0r 2 brown coconuts
i used almost 4 cups
4.5 ounces (125g) fresh ginger diced...about 1 cup
2 cups packed golden brown brown sugar
3 cups water

spray a large cookie sheet with non stick spray (or i used parchment).  combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottom sauce pan. stir ingredients over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil.  attach a candy thermometer to the pan or just stick it in to check where your at. boil until the mixture starts to thicken and the temperature reaches 295 F degrees.  use a large spoon to continuously stir so as not to burn on the bottom or the sides of the pot...stir more towards the thickening stage.  one of the recipes said 15 minutes, but mine took more like 40 minutes. is hard to get a proper read on the thermometer when it is almost done.  look for the sugar to caramelize, sugar begins to form at the bottom of the pot and it becomes very hard to stir.
lower the heat to the lowest flame or setting...working quickly, drop about 2 tablespoons of mixture for each coconut drop onto prepared baking sheet.  let sit until cool and firm.  
these are best eaten within a few days.  i noticed the sugar becomes more crystallized the longer they sit, but still yummy.

Banner iklan disini