7.05.2009

cookie rotation

I found cookie rotation to the be the most boring of rotations. Generally, cookie baking is about assembling the right ingredients, not overmixing, and then not forgetting that your cookies are in the oven. It's also about knowing when they're ready to come out when you're not using a timer. Some cookies have complicated assembly procedures, but I found these to be generally more trouble than they're worth.

hehe: the 'broken' cookie broke when we tried to take it off the parchment paper.



These cookies are from the first week. From left to right, they are: chocolate decadence, hazelnut butter cookies, white chocolate walnut, and gingersnap.



Despite cookie rotation having a reputation as the 'easiest' rotation, we made a million stupid mistakes the first week- forgetting to double-pan the cookies when they went in the oven so the bottoms didn't burn, forgetting that the cookies were in the oven and overbaking them, etc. There were also failed cookies-- a marscapone/honey filling for a cardamom thumbprint cookie melted all over the pan-- and cookies that no one liked (except the chef, oddly), such as the trail mix cookies below, which contained many varieties of nuts along with golden raisins.



One of the assembly-required cookies was a shortbread and chocolate shortbread checkerboard cookie. I discovered that I like shortbread dough much more than actual shortbread cookies, and in this case, the chocolate dough is less good than the plain. These cookies required that we sheet the dough out thin, trim it evenly, cut precise strips with rulers, and glue them together with water to form a checkerboard log that we could then slice cookies from. Pretty, but extremely time-consuming.



You can also take the two kinds of dough, sort of layer them, and roll them up to slice cookies off. This results in a marbled version that tastes the same and takes about one-twentieth of the time.

For the last several days of the rotation, we made a 'cookie' that was really a cake petit-four, a chocolate-orange ganache layered confection. It involved a japonais, which is like a cross between a sponge cake and a cookie, and a sponge cake, and although our skills were not quite up to the task of these slightly difficult base recipes, we were happy to have moved on from cookies and we also discovered that ganache covers a variety of sins-- especially when spiked with liquor. This was a good transition into my next-- and final-- rotation: cakes!

1 comment:

the cyanotic almond said...

It all looks delicious :)