36 Hour Cookies that pass the test

Friday, September 10, 2010

Phew! It’s been one of those “life-gets-in-the-way” sort of weeks. Nothing major, no dramas or upheavals, just a slightly busier than usual routine for us – which explains the lack of updates.

Turns out, these were the perfect cookies to make during busy times. The cookie dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 24 hours before baking, so you could whip up the dough one night and bake it the next or even the day after.

Apparently, resting the cookie dough does good things to it, as explained in this article. I’d first heard about the concept not too long ago, while reading this post on Tartelette’s blog (she’s done a gluten free version).

Of course, I wasn’t going to just take it at face value was I? I made the dough according to
the recipe
provided in the New York times, and baked batches at different time intervals just to see if there was any real discernible difference.

Note, I did make a couple of changes -  the recipe calls for a combination of bread flour and cake flour, but not having either of those on hand, I just used all purpose flour. The other item I substituted was plain old supermarket dark chocolate chips (called choc bits here) rather than the chocolate disks or Valrhona fèves recommended by the recipe.  I also made smaller tablespoon heaps of the cookies rather than the ice-cream scoop size recommended.

12 hour cookies

So, after 12 hours, we ended up with a slightly flattish cookie. The texture was very crisp on the outside edges, and nice and soft in the centre. We’re fans of the soft cookie. However, I could taste that slightly chemical soapy flavour from the baking soda, which I cannot stand.

After 24 hours, the flavour had mellowed more, no hint of the soapy taste, but I think I slightly overbaked this batch. The cookies were crisper throughout, and had only the teeniest hint of chewiness towards the centre of the cookie.

24 hour cookies

Then after 36 hours, and careful baking, we ended up with cookies that were crisp on the outside, very chewy in the middle and with a very mellow overall flavour. It wasn’t too sweet, and there was a pleasing richness to it.

Overall, we thought the texture of the first 12 hour ones were the best, but the flavour of the last won out. The cookies also tasted great even after 3 days storage. The texture held up surprisingly well too. Some other cookies I’ve made tend to go a bit “stale” after a couple of days.

The most interesting part of the whole experiment? It passed the MC Senior test! She refuses to eat most choc-chip cookies, but absolutely loved this lot. I don’t know if the pseudo-scientific experimentation intrigued her, or whether it was the slightly less sweet flavour that won her over.

 36 hour cookies

Definitely would make these again, but I would use huger chunks of good chocolate next time. I think the chocolate flavour would permeate the cookie better that way. And if I get the time, I might even go get the two different flours ☺

Have a great weekend!


Anh said...

how cool! I was actually thinking of making this recipe :)

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a great post, I love your little experiment daaaaahling, it really does make a marked difference to refrigerate for an extended period. I am going to keep this in mind next time I bake cookies. Maybe it will make me a bit less impatient to gobble them up (maybe but thats like asking for a miracle).
Have a wonderful weekend.
*kisses* HH

3 hungry tummies said...

Thanks for all the experiments Shaz :) Perfect for my afternoon tea!

shaz said...

Cool Anh - great minds ;)

HH - well, the article does say that they are best served warm straight out of the oven. And we should listen shouldn't we?

3HT - cheers

Barbara said...

I've had one of those weeks, too, Shaz! Your cookies sound like the perfect answer. I've never tried "resting" the dough like this, but I'm sure going to try it.

Lori said...

I love cookies! Thats interesting that 12 hours made a difference. That comes in handy too because cookies always seem easier when the batter is already made.

grace said...

what a difference a day makes, right? i like your progress depiction--great post, shaz. :)

shaz said...

Barbara - hope the weekend let you get a bit of rest.

Lori - I'm assuming these would freeze well too, I'll definitely have a go at that.

grace - I was quite sceptical at first but the results speak for themselves :)

Emma @CakeMistress said...

Oh, have been curious about these 36 hr cookies. Love that you experimented with resting times. Thank you for the link to the explanation. The nerd in me loves knowing about the science behind baking :)

Beth said...

I've heard the concept too. I just know it would be more or less impossible to keep cookie batter in my fridge that long!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Delicious cookies! A great recipe for busy people.