Friday, January 18, 2013

cookie o' the month...

I was out to dinner with friends last night. Pizza. It was good times. Of course dessert was involved. 
This place is primarily a pizza/pasta joint so there were only two dessert options. 
Chocolate Mousse Cake (It was stale) and Tiramisu. We ordered both and I indulged in both. 
The tiramisu was surprisingly good.

One of the topics of conversation during dinner was food. 
I often enjoy talking about food while eating it. Usually, it's about planning my next meal.

The conversation wandered into *diet* since I knew my friends were trying to be "good" after the Holiday indulgence. She spoke of salads and he said that sometimes they "juice" for lunch. That's it. 
A juice. A kale infused, carrot, apple-what-not juice.

"That's it?" I asked. "No sandwich or even handful of something solid?" I pressed on. 
"Nope, just juice. It's good." They replied.

Now, to be fair, their goal is to eliminate processed foods from their diet, and I am on board with that, but just juice?!

I've known plenty of people that have done and do the "master cleanse", juice fasts and all sorts of clean eating. I have admired their dedication, but what I have concluded is that everything I eat is pretty much bad for me. The single malt Shower Scotch is medicinal, does not count.

I have made my peace with it and have decided to indulge in some sort of moderation. With the occasional vegetable. There will be no juicing or internal cleansing, since that is a ritual that I would never adhere to.

This brings us to this month's cookie!

Sweet. Mother. Of. Pearl, does it ever.

This cookie would make the master cleansers (have you ever read the ingredients in that thing?! Seriously?!) run for their juicers.  More cookies for the rest of us.

It's a little bit of beige heaven.

Many thanks to Baker Beth as she brings us another installment in Cookie O' The Month with this little gem!


It all started out as so many of these ideas do, when Angelo posted something about food.

Well, this time, actually, he pinned. This pin. About cream cheese coffee cake.

"Oh, you're killin' me," I wrote. "Cheese-filled baked goods are the best of all baked goods!"

To which he replied, "I know!"

And with that, my brain set about thinking through a cream cheese coffee cake cookie, for those times when we want the flavors of cream cheese coffee cake but we have the slightest sense that perhaps we should not bake a cream cheese coffee cake lest we then proceed to eat a cream cheese coffee cake. 

"Cake" was the operative word. Angelo loves a cakey cookie and since my intent was to replicate coffee cake, the resulting cookie could not be overtly crispy or chewy or crumbly. Also, the flavor had to be simple and pure, because I had decided that goat cheese would be this cookie's star.

Ever had a black and white cookie? (You might call it a half moon cookie. Or you might not know about them, in which case, it's time to learn.)

They were invented by a baker who had leftover cake batter.

You ain't gonna find a cakier cookie than that.

And, when filled with the cheesecake batter, you also ain't gonna find a cookie that's more beige. Yes, I have created the most beige cookie in existence. They're not the showiest numbers I've ever baked, but what they lack in looks they make up for in flavor. The goat cheese isn't overwhelming; fear not. It just gives the cheesecake a little extra tang. And while still cakey, the edges of the cookie bake up with just a bit of crispiness. They're quite delightful all around. Give 'em a try.

Happy new year, kids!
— Beth

P.S. Hard though it is to believe, this is the third January cookie post for Angelo. For kicks, I thought that this year, we'd start a little cookie retrospective each month featuring cookies from the same month in previous years.

One year ago: Coconut Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Two years ago: Shortbread Ottomans

Goat Cheese Cheesecake Cookies (Adapted from a couple of recipes so let's just call it new.)

Cookie portion:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
1 cup milk (not nonfat)

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Beat together butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, and vanilla till well combined. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, stir in the flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave 2 inches between each cookie. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes, remove from oven, let cool two minutes, then make indentations with the back of a teaspoon measuring spoon. Fill indentations with cheesecake batter (below). Return to oven and bake an additional 7 minutes. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for two minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge, layered between parchment.

Cheesecake portion:
8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons milk or cream

Beat cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Add in egg yolks, vanilla, and milk. Beat until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary to make sure all the ingredients incorporate evenly. Refrigerate cheesecake batter until ready to use.

Yield: 48 cookies


dstoutholcomb said...

beige is good, Beth is never bland

Beth said...

:o )

At the moment, I am wearing all grey.

I have twinges of blandness.

Nancy Caryl Rea Geiger said...

These are def worth trying...thanks for posting the recipe, Beth! Goat cheese is so UNDERrated! I make homemade pizza every Friday night (which reminds me, I better get busy!) and although I make the traditional pie for the kiddos, I amped mine up with Pancetta and Goat Cheese...sprinkles of fresh Basil and diced tomatoes. Yum! I can only imagine the sweet/tart flavor of these cookies with simple ingredients cranked up a notch! Bon Appetit!

Beth said...

I applaud your pizza pursuit! Nice.

If you're not already hip to it, Costco sells a two-pack of goat cheese, two 10.5-ounce logs, for seven or eight bucks. A crazy-good deal. Oh, and speaking of, you need this recipe, too:

Thanks for facilitating our conversation, Angelo!

dstoutholcomb said...

there are at least 50 shades of grey ;)

I'm in all black today...good day for neutrals

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