Craving cookie?

Friday, May 21, 2010

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just crave something to munch on with a cup of tea. (Settle down both you grandmothers, nothing to get excited about here). When I saw “compost cookies” over at Ellie’s blog (Almost Bourdain), I knew I had to try them out. These cookies contained all sorts of interesting add-ins, like potato chips and pretzels.

Not only did the name appeal, I was really intrigued by the method.  You need to beat the dough for about 10 minutes, which really sounds like overbeating. I remembered reading this post by Liz of Cake or Death, in which she explained overbeating would result in flat cookies.

Sure enough, my cookies were flatter than a pancake. Not only that, they spread so much they dripped over the edge of the baking tray and spilt onto the oven racks below. Ellie had mentioned the flatness factor as well.

Overbeating was probably one cause, but I think the amount of flour also played a part. I usually weigh all my ingredients, but used cup measures for the flour this time. At the back of my mind, I kept remembering this quote by Stephanie Alexander in the Cook’s Companion : “The main exception to preferring cup measures is that I weigh flour when the quantity required is more than 3 tablespoon…Depending on how firmly it is packed into a measuring cup, flour can ‘settle’ as much as 100g, which could alter a recipe disastrously”.

However, even though the cookies didn’t look aesthetically pleasing, they tasted great, if a little sweet. I added in some chocolate chips, crushed honeycomb bar (Crunchie), a few snipped marshmallows, potato chips and sweet/salty popcorn. I’m quite sure the marshmallows and honeycomb contributed to the spread of the cookies as well. I had to banish these cookies to Mr. Kitchen Hand’s office because they were too addictive.

He did raise an eyebrow when I explained what was in them, but no one at work complained and they went like hotcakes.

Which got me thinking…exactly what can you chuck into a cookie, and still get away with? How about some pickles? (I swear I’m not pregnant ok). And pickles made me think of peanuts/ peanut butter (readers of Sue Grafton’s alphabet series will understand why).

To boldly go where no pickle has gone before. (If you'd like to know how to take a floating pic, check out this link. I used my point and shoot camera)

Then I added some cranberries, to disguise the fact that there are pickles in the cookie. If someone bit into a pickle, they’d just assume it was another type of dried fruit. And to top off the cranberries, I added white chocolate.

After figuring out that the “Compost Cookies” were really similar in ratio and ingredients to a choc-chip cookie, I whipped up a batch of my “Cravings Cookie” .

As for the million dollar question…did it taste any good? I liked it, I really liked the peanuts in it, and I couldn’t actually pick that there were pickles in it. My only complaint was that it tasted a bit too salty.

MC Junior enjoyed it, and will happily eat more.

MC Senior ate half a cookie and said she didn’t’ like it because it was “too sweet”. (She’d just bitten into a hunk of white chocolate.) After I’d quizzed her about the flavour and whether she’d noticed anything about the cookie (which she hadn’t) , I revealed that there were pickles in it. To which she replied “I’ll get you for this!” ;P

Mister Kitchen Hand finished a whole cookie while I tried desperately to keep a straight face. His verdict was that they weren’t as good as the first batch, but he would eat another. That was until I revealed the secret ingredient. You should have seen the look on his face! Now he can’t bring himself to eat any more, which just proves sometimes we taste more with our brains than our tastebuds.

Judging from my very small captive audience, I can pretty much say that pickle would probably go unnoticed in a cookie.

Would I bother putting pickles in cookies in the future? Not really, because it doesn’t really add anything to it, and just serves to freak people out when they find out.

But it was fun while it lasted.

Cookie anyone? ;)

Cravings Cookie – Pickle, peanut, white chocolate and cranberry
(a half batch adapted from a basic choc-chip cookie recipe found in Jill Dupleix’s Old Food)

60g butter – softened at cool room temperature (soft but not melty)
60 g caster sugar
70g brown sugar
1 egg
125g plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
dash of vanilla extract
about ¼ teaspoon salt (would reduce, too salty)
1 cup off add ins – I used 2-3 tablespoons each of finely diced cornichons, chopped cranberries, chopped roasted/unsalted peanuts and chopped white chocolate to make up 1 cup’s worth.

Preheat oven to about 190˚C.
Whiz butter and sugars in a food processor until mixed. Scrape down sides if necessary, then add in the lightly beaten egg and vanilla extract. Pulse a few times until well combined. Add the flour in and pulse or whiz until incorporated, might need to scrape down sides. Do not overwork the mixture.

Tip into a bowl and stir in the add-ins with a spatula, mixture is fairly stiff.

Use two tablespoons to form “balls” and place on trays lined with baking paper. Bake until golden, leave to cool slightly on baking trays then remove to a wire rack until cold.

Have a great weekend :)



sarah @ syrupandhoney said...

Haha - I love the floating pickle picture!

3 hungry tummies said...

not with the pickle Shaz! :)
I will compile a list of places to go in Bangkok tomorrow and email it over but will you be in Bangkok at all though?

grace said...

you sneaky rogue! i LOVE this idea because my taste for salt is almost never satiated. brilliant idea. i bow to your ingenuity and whimsy. :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe you're so clever making up your own combinations of things! I chuckled when I heard what you used! :D

Heavenly Housewife said...

LOL, you are so funny, I cant believed you put pickles in your cookies. Now I cant say I've ever had a craving for a pickle cookie, but if you're making them, Im open to trying :)
*Kisses* HH

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Pickle in cookies!! You are too funny!! Love the shot of the floating picket :) Enjoy your holiday in Malaysia! Eat more :)

shaz said...

Thanks everyone :)

Emma @CakeMistress said...

ah ha ha. PICKLES!! That's brilliant! Sure-fire way of sneaking vegetables into kids' diets.
Good to know that these compost cookies work with virtually anything.

Lauren said...

Haha I got the same reaction when I made a recipe for Pickle Cupcakes I discovered. Those really tasted of pickles and it freaked everyone out! These sound great, though. I'll have to try them out! =)