December 29, 2012

Better Nutters

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We kept to our schedule and baked through the holiday and onto the next cookie recipe in the book, Thomas Keller's version of the Nutter Butter. The consensus from the bakers is that it is a relatively time-consuming cookie to make. If planned in advance though, the efforts are well worth it. The cookie is delicious, particularly the buttercream filling which we all raved about. Of course if not in the mood to bake, you know you can always pick up a hefty 4" Better Nutter at Bouchon Bakery.

December 21, 2012

Chocolate Chunk and Chip and Double Chocolate Chunk and Chip Cookies

The next set of recipes on deck are classics; Chocolate Chunk and Chip Cookies, and a variation, Double Chocolate Chunk and Chip Cookies. The only difference was the addition of cocoa powder to make the double chocolate. Nothing wrong with more chocolate! These were a great follow up to the Oatmeal Raisin and TLC cookies from last week. The technique is similar, so it wasn't a difficult recipe to follow.

The cookies were thin and crispy with a chewy center, and very large, which seems to be a Thomas Keller signature. According to the recipe, the reason for using both chocolate chunks and chocolate chips, is that the chunks will melt but the chips don't. Everyone enjoyed this week's assignment, and these are definitely cookies that we'll all revisit again.

December 14, 2012

Oatmeal Cookies & TLC's

We are continuing with cookies this week. Our group of bakers took on Thomas Keller's Oatmeal Cookies and TLCs. TLC doesn't stand for "Tender Loving Care" as I had thought. "The Laura Cunningham" is named after Chef Keller's partner and created as a twist on the Oatmeal Cookie. Pecans are used in place of the raisins because Laura does not like dried fruit. After testing, we also wanted to incorporate our own add-ins based on personal taste which you can read more about in the individual comments.

Overall our cookies look very similar: thin, flat and golden brown. Several of us had difficulty measuring out small quantities of leavener and spice so hopefully we'll be able to identify a scale that can pick up amounts down to the gram. Also the recommended cookie size is rather large and we prefer to portion the dough smaller. Using the stated 145 grams, Aaron's cookies came out to 7" in diameter. Jenn's were 5". As far as taste, all rave reviews from this group!

December 7, 2012

Pecan Sandies

Our first recipe!
We were all so excited to get started baking, and the first recipe in the book is such a good one: Pecan Sandies! In the book, Thomas Keller tells a lovely story about his mother, his childhood, and what this particular cookie means to him. This recipe was a great way to start the project; easy, delicious, and fun to make. We had four contributing bakers this time, with varying results. Overall, everyone enjoyed making this recipe and the cookies turned out great.

Here's the guidelines that each baker reported on:

    •    metric or standard measurement
    •    oven setting: convection or regular
    •    quantity produced
    •    photo of completed item
    •    notes- substitutions or special instructions