Cookie Quest, Part 1 plus a New Cookbook Adventure
Posted by loavesandstitches
It’s only been a couple of months since the end of our annual cookie fundraiser, but I am already thinking about the cookie list for this year’s event. There are a few cookies we will be dropping from the list since they did not receive many orders and at least two, probably three, that I need to change because I just was not happy with them.
Oatmeal Raisin is the first one that is getting some attention. Well, actually, during the most recent drive, it manifested itself as an oatmeal cranberry white chocolate cookie. But, even though those who ordered them seemed happy with them, I was not. In fact, I have yet to meet an oatmeal cookie that pleased me.
What is it about the oatmeal cookie? I love the idea of them. I feel happy feeding them to my children as a snack because they have oats and dried fruit, sorta like granola in disguise. But, most of the recipes I have tried in the past are disappointing. They tend to bake up brick-like, without much spread, and they tend to be hard and dry, not moist and chewy. At least, every recipe I have tried in recent memory have turned out like this, except for the ones I made last week.
Last week, I decided to start baking through my newest baking cookbook: Bouchon Bakery by the infamous Thomas Keller and his sidekick, Sebastien Rouxel. This book came into my possession a couple of months ago and I have been itching to get started with it for awhile. The first recipe of the book (well, actually, it’s the second, but the first was in the introduction, and I’ll get to that another day) just happens to be Oatmeal Raisin, so it was fate or destiny or something like that.
I made the recipe mostly exactly as written, even though I was sorely tempted to double or even triple it, but I resisted. The only change I made was to sub in some rum-soaked fruit that I had leftover from the holidays. I didn’t think that was a big deal since he said you could soak the raisins if they seemed dry, so I figured a little added rum in the fruit would be ok.
I also made the cookies a little smaller than he suggests. I got 21 small cookies out of a recipe that was supposed to make 6 giant ones. Those giant cookies must be the size of lunch plates because I thought mine were a pretty good size, about 3 inches in diameter. In fact, the recipe instructs the baker to bake only three cookies to a pan! I wouldn’t call those giant; they’d have to be colossal!
Anyway, I don’t know if it was the rum soaked fruit or the recipe itself, but it was a good cookie. They spread nicely and remained soft, but moist, with a little crispness around the edges. This recipe will have to be tried again with the usual raisins to see if it will make the cut for me. I thought they looked a little uneven, but that could be from the extra moisture from the rum.
This is a very good beginning, I hope, to a very good and long relationship with this book. I may just bake through the whole book, one recipe at a time. Wouldn’t that be fun? Guess what the next recipe is? Oatmeal cookies without fruit! I am sensing a change in my oatmeal cookie fortunes.