Friday, June 29, 2012

cookie o' the month...



























You've heard the phrase, "What we have here, is a failure to communicate."

Well, that is not what we have here.

As a matter of fact, we have the complete opposite of that because ONCE AGAIN, Baker Beth has not only reached into the depths and cavernous, dark areas of my psyche (not a good or safe place) to create this month's cookie--but she has done it with more panache than one could have imagined.

One should have imagined this kind of panache, since it is the cornerstone of Baker Beth's monthly offerings. But alas, one was not prepared.

One is humbled and gives you---June's Cookie O' The Month.
-angelo


FROM BAKER BETH:
Maybe this is my niche, making cookies inspired by pop culture.

Or maybe not.

But shortly after making last month's "Portlandia" cookie, my brain said, "Mad Men!"

A "Mad Men" cookie? I liked it.

But it felt a bit too broad. There are certainly central themes to "Mad Men" but I thought I should narrow my focus, which is how I arrived at Don Draper cookies.


Yup, Don Draper cookies. Since Don is literally two personas in one, I pondered a sandwich cookie made with completely opposite halves – opposite in flavor, color, and texture. And so we have the dense, rich, dark chocolate side because Don is nothing if not dark, as well as the crisp, refined vanilla spritz side because Don is also nothing if not polished. And hello, cracks in the dark side of the cookie: You're delightfully symbolic. But here's the part I really love: The two halves are held together with cream filling spiked with Canadian Club, Don's spirit of choice.

These ain't your kids' Oreos.  Enjoy! — Beth


[Beth Note: I seriously do not expect anyone to ever make these. They were more for my own conceptual amusement than anything else. But that said, the combinations of flavors and textures work really well together. The chocolate cookies are fudgy, the pressed cookies are so light they'll melt in your mouth, and the whiskey-spiked cream filling is subtle but clearly different from a standard cookie filling.]

Chocolate Crinkles (From Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, Published by General Mills, 1963)

1/2 C. vegetable oil
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 C. granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla
2 C. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Mix oil, chocolate, and granulated sugar. Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla. Measure flour by dipping method* and stir together with baking powder and salt. Add to oil mixture and stir. Chill overnight. Heat oven to 350. Roll into balls. [Beth Note: You want these cookies to come out the same diameter, give or take, as the pressed cookies. Bake a few of different sizes to see what works best for you.] Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. [Beth Note: Adjust time depending on how small or large you make the cookies.] Do not overbake. Cool 1 minute on baking sheet then transfer to wire racks. [Beth Note: The original recipe calls for using greased baking sheets. I never do. You'll think the cookies have stuck, but just loosen them a bit with a spatula and they'll come off just fine.]

* Dipping method: Slightly fluff up flour with a spoon or measuring cup. Dip measuring cup into flour and overfill. Level off measuring cup.

Cookie Press Cookies (From Martha Stewart)

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
3 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, flour, salt, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Fill a cookie press with the dough, and turn out cookies 1 to 2 inches apart onto an unbuttered baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies with colored sanding sugars. Bake until the cookies are lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. To ensure even baking, rotate sheet halfway through the baking process. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.

[Beth Note: I bought this cookie press because it was recommended by Cook's Illustrated, and sure enough, the thing works like a dream. If you've ever had a nightmare cookie-press experience and have shunned pressed cookies, trust me, this thing will restore your faith in cookie presses. It's brilliant.] 

Canadian Club Cream Filling (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon Canadian Club

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening until well combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the whiskey, and beat to combine. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use.

5 comments:

Janelle said...

I just might make these....after I stop laughing!
Pure genius!

NatalieB. said...

Yummy! These cookies look so delish I almost licked the screen! I'm not much of a baker, so I'll probably not be attempting these. Wondering if Baker Beth has plans to sell onlline her creations?

NatalieB.

Beth said...

Nope, NatalieB., no plans to sell online, but I appreciate the thought.

Cari said...

I love these inventions! Actually, all of Baker Beth's cookies are really quite inventive and beautiful. Beth, you really should think of selling them, or at the very least write a book.

Beth said...

Thanks, Cari. That's kind.

The idea of a bakery continues to rattle around in my brain. And a book would be fun to do. Hence why Angelo encourages me to develop recipes, not use those that already exist.

We'll see where it all leads. Stay tuned.

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