I started my work on this assignment by browsing The Flavor Bible for interesting and the so called affinitive flavors combinations. I was trying to keep in my mind accessibility of the products and their appropriateness as cookies ingredients. I found 2 potentially interesting combinations of flavors:
- Maple syrup + orange + carrots
- Mint + cucumber + lime
Then I inspected the fridge and kitchen shelves contents for prospective cookies ingredients, as shown on the picture below:
After that I searched the http://allrecipes.com/ website for unusual cookies recipes and cooking methods. I found the Marshmallow Crispie Bars which I liked because it didn't require any baking at all. I decided to proceed with this one.
Then I searched for inspiration at the Pinterest website for cookies images, and Google for imaged of "cookies design" and made a collection of my favorite designs:
Having chosen the cooking method and flavors, I went shopping for the missing ingredients. And after returning home, started cooking. My first experiment was with Mint + cucumber + lime flavors, I decided to make a jam that will be later on spread on top of cookies. As seen on the images below, I peeled and rubbed the cucumber and half of a lime and chopped the mint. Then added some sugar and let the jam boil for about 10 mins. It tasted bitter because of the lime pulp and smelled so bad, that I didn't even consider it as a part of the cookies.
Fortunately, I had the second option of Maple syrup + orange + carrots flavors, which I had more hopes for. Again, I peeled and rubbed the ingredients, cooked the carrots in the microwave for 5 mins. And then let it boil with orange and maple syrup for about 10-15 mins. The carrot jam smelled and tasted pretty well, so I proceeded with the Marshmallow Crispie Bars recipe and melted the butter over low heat in the same saucepan with the carrots jam. Melted the marshmallows into the margarine, stirring. Added the rice cereal when the marshmallows have melted; stirred until cereal is coated. Quickly poured into the prepared pan. In about 12 hours I tried the resulting cookies, and they turned out to be too sweet to my taste. Also, they didn't form very well, because of the significant amount of jam in them, the cookies were not firm enough. Fail number 2.
Then I made one more round with The Flavor Bible book, and chose 2 more unintuitive combinations of flavors:
- Artichokes + lemon + mint + yogurt
- Yogurt + mint
This time I decided to try to separate the ingredients, for example artichokes and yogurt for the cookies and mint + lemon used for tea that would be served with the cookies. I wanted to make 2 quick experiments with these flavors combinations, so I found a Microwave Chocolate Chip Cookie In A Mug recipe of a very quick cookie and eliminated all the sweet components from it. I made 2 separate cookies with the same dough, but one had the artichokes in it. When I cooked and tried them, they didn't taste good and were stiff. I guess it happened because of the yogurt, which made the dough more thin, so I cooked it for a longer time, which resulted in stiffness afterwards. Fails number 3 & 4.
It all brought me to an idea of experimenting more with the look of the cookies rather than its ingredients. I found the Cheddar Cheese Nippers recipe of the savory cookies, which I like because I personally prefer savory cookies to sweet ones. I adapted the recipe by using parmesan cheese instead of cheddar and adding the rosemary to it. Both parmesan and rosemary remind me of Italy and traditional italian cuisine. Inspired by the italian theme, I thought of the shapes of the cookies look like various pasta types: penne, risone, farfalle, etc. The outcome turned out to taste really good (which you will have a chance to decide for yourself on Tuesday) and it looks fine too, though it took me some time to tailor the pasta cookies.