Friday, August 22, 2008

Unimpressed

When recipes come along to me from good sources, whether blogs, chefs or family members, I often clamour to make whatever it is according to their recipe and the acclaims that follow it, knowing that whatever emerges will be impressive and a surefire hit.

These cookies, well, weren't.

I hate to say that.

Although, I have to say that my unimpressed reaction to Dorie Greenspan's Korova cookies was partially my fault. All the while I was making these, all I could think was "yeah, so they're chocolate-chocolate chip cookies... whoop dee doo". I'm pretty sure that my apathetic stance while mixing, rolling, chilling and finally baking these cookies led to my total frustration when it came time to take them out of the oven. True to form, they were chocolate-chocolate-chip cookies. I don't know what I did wrong, but they didn't exactly leap off the sheets at me screaming "eat me!". And it isn't as if I'm an apathetic chocolate eater, either. Just the opposite. I NEED my chocolate - more than 1x a day if I can swing it - but I wonder if it's possible that my physical inability to enjoy these butter-filled bites played a critical part in my disappointment with them.

Seeing as I can't taste-test these for you to read about, I've passed on the fruits of my labour to Andrew's family and my mom to give me the final verdict on my batch - hopefully their impressions are more favourable than mine! Update: my mom ate two in one sitting, and Andrew nicked one out of his "goody bag" and deemed them amazing... I guess the nuances of the cookie are lost on me I want to like these cookies, really I do! But, if "yays" are not to be with my lab rats, there are glowing reviews out on the 'net from some awesome bloggers, and I'll probably give these another go around Christmas, but for now these are "just okay" in my books.

What definitely helped was having a recipe with ingredients in weight (this is where I channel all I learned from my highschool days of scaling 10kg of flour for doorstopper chocolate chip cookies and combine it with Alton Brown's more fun method of teaching... the TV!) - I definitely notice a difference in my baked recipe outcomes when I weigh rather than volume-measure ingredients. I did play with the recipe a touch - just to help me unload some more pantry space - using part Kamut flour and part all-purpose, and because I had no Fleur de Sel I used what I had... coarse sea salt. Those were my only change... I promise! I even went all-out and bought butter, which I never do, to make these. And I used top-grade Amedei 70% chocolate coupled with some leftover Lindt, and I definitely agree with quality counting here!

The best part about making these cookies is that I get to cross off a "must make" item from my baking / cooking list! Remember that one I started back at the end of last year? Well, it pretty much went to hell has evolved beyond anything it looked like before.

I do have a whack of "what if" scenarios for using these cookies (you know, if indulging in chocolate upon chocolate upon butter isn't good enough... you'll hate me for posting the nutritional info if you're a dieter!). What about using them to sandwich a scoop of cheesecake (or salted caramel!) ice-cream? Or layering cookies with fresh berries and cream for a parfait?

Here's my take on the cookies, with apologies to Dorie for not finding them as exponentially wonderful as the rest of the globe did!

World Peace Cookies
Makes about 36
3.4 oz (3/4 cup) flour
3.4 oz (3/4 cup) Kamut flour
1.8 oz (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
5.5 oz (11 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
4.25 oz (2/3 cup) packed brown sugar
1.7 oz (1/4 cup) sugar
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits
  1. Sift together the flours, cocoa, and baking soda - set aside.
  2. Beat butter and shortening together with electric beaters until fluffy.
  3. Beat in sugars and salt, followed by vanilla, until well blended.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients, beating only until just blended.
  5. The mixture will be crumbly, but don't add any liquid and don't overwork the dough.
  6. Fold in chocolate pieces by hand.
  7. Squeeze and shape the dough into logs about 1 1/2" across.
  8. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
  10. Slice the logs into 1/2" thick slices and space them 1" apart on sheets.
  11. Bake only one sheet of cookies at a time, for 12 minutes. The cookies will not look done or firm.
  12. Cool completely on sheets.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 96.5
Total Fat: 5.4 g
Cholesterol: 6.9 mg
Sodium: 2.1 mg
Total Carbs: 11.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 1.0 g
WW Points: 2

As a total and completely different side note (after that rant!) I wanted to say a big THANK YOU! to Kitchen Flavours, who gave me the gift of the 'Wylde Woman Award'. Now I must pass it along - here are the rules!
  • Give it to one or 100 or any number in between - it's up to you. Make sure you link to their site in your post.
  • Link back to this blog: http://tammyvitale.typepad.com/ Tammy can go visit all these wonderful men and women.
  • Remember the Purpose of the Award: To send love and acknowledgment to women who brighten your day, teach you new things and live their lives fully with generosity and joy.

Wow! There are so many deserving bloggers out there and it's so hard to pick out a couple (though most of them will have recieved this award already!), but here are a few that I'm passing this on to:

Jess - The Domestic Vegan
Deb - Altered Plates
Chocolate Covered Vegan
Peabody - Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Jules - Domestic Goddess in Training
Maggie - Dog Hill Kitchen
Mandy - Fresh From the Oven
The Food Allergy Queen
Bakerella
Allergic Girl - Please Don't Pass The Nuts

9 comments :

Jules said...

Thank you for the award :)

I'm very much a weighing woman too. I think it makes it a gret deal easier to convert up or down. If I see a recipe in cups or other measurement I have to convert it before I start.

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

Aw, thanks, Sarah! I'm touched. :)

I love to weigh my ingredients, too!! As soon as I started reading that, I thought, "Hey, Alton Brown taught me to do that!" Looks like he helped give you the idea, too. :)

Thanks again for the award! So glad you enjoy my blog. I'll definitely be back to yours!! Super cute name for your blog, too.

Mandy said...

thank you for the award, Sarah! You made my day! :)
I made the korovo cookies before, and actually like it though...I am planning to try the 72 hours Chocolate Chip Cookies from NY times that many rave about next.

Deb Schiff said...

How very kind of you for the award! You're very thoughtful. Your cookies look especially tempting as well. :)

Allergic Girl said...

thank you for the award, how sweet!

MrOrph said...

These look rather god actually. What could have possibly have gone wrong?

Congrats on the award!

Mrs. L said...

These cookies have been on my list to make forever and I have yet to make them. At least you've crossed them off your list!

Bellini Valli said...

You tried them and you can now cross them off your list Sarah. When baking I go by others reviews as well since I don't usually bake very much.It is disappointing when the WOW factor is just not there:D

Maggie said...

Thanks for the award! I passed it along today.
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