Sunday, September 8, 2013

Know thy oven...

So this is what happens when you forget to do that 3 cookie test batch. When I used to work at the bakery, our most favorite time as student bakers was trying the test batches. One dozen macaroon cupcakes...yum! But of course I did not do this. I was in a rush, and cooking in a rush is never a good idea. I wanted to cook a few dozen cookies and gift a dozen to the writer of my residency letter of recommendation. For those of you who don't know anything about the medical residency application process, apps start to be accepted by hospital programs on the 15th of the month. September is probably one of the worse months in a fourth year medical student's life.  Getting all the data entered in and all your letters of recommendation settled is kind of a mess, but I'm getting through it. 

I titled this blog post "Know Thy Oven" because this is the most important knowledge any baker/cook can have. I usually try to stick to the instructions given in a baking recipe but cook times can be tricky. And my trust of America's Test Kitchen recipes seriously clouded my judgement. I even let the smell test fly out the window. I told you guys, I was rushing... So baking oatmeal cookies for 20min in my oven resulted in the above image x 24. I had an hour left before my meeting with my adviser, and was determined to not go empty handed. I whipped up a second batch in about ten minutes and shoved a dozen in the oven. 12 minutes later I had a perfect dozen of oatmeal cookies. 

I only made a few alterations to the Test Kitchen recipe. I substituted the cherries for craisins and used pecan chips for an even texture. You can toast the pecans, though I did not. I also used 60% cacao Ghirardelli baking chips instead of the bar because I found them to be easier to chop. I also do not own a stand mixer, so the instructions I give will be for using an electric hand mixer.  I have dough hook attachments for mine and this is simply wonderful for making cookie dough.

Enjoy the recipe and let me know what you think!

The Ultimate "They'll Be Gone Before You Try One" Oatmeal Cookies
Yield: About 2 dozen 3" diameter cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats (NO QUICK OATS!)
1 cup pecan chips
1 cup craisins, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup 60% cacao Ghirardelli Baking chips 
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

1.  Place an oven rack in the middle position of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  In a medium bowl, use a whisk to mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and set aside. In another small bowl, mix together the craisins, pecan chips, oats and chocolate.

3.  In a larger bowl, use an electric hand mixer with dough hook attachments and cream the brown sugar and butter. Add the egg and vanilla.  Turn the mixer down to low-speed and slowly add the flour mixture.  Once combined, fold in or mix in (lowest speed) the oats mixture.

4.  Roll dough into 1inch diameter balls and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Use the palm of your hand to lightly flatten the balls.

5.  Bake the cookies 12-14 min until the cookies are medium brown and the edges set. Do not worry if they look a bit under-cooked. Again, use your judgement.

6.  Let the cookies cool for 3-5 min on the sheet then transfer to a cooling rack.

7.  Make sure to eat one before they disappear! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment