Assignment 1

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Almond Cherry Cookie with Dark Chocolate Glaze and Sea Salt

Through this assignment I learned that I am definitely more of an adapter rather than a innovator. I used a systematic approach to making my cookies that will be explained below.

Part 1: Ideation
My initial ideas were to do either a shortbread cookie or a normal cookie, but the initial recipes I found for shortbread did not lend themselves to adding some ingredients very well.
Flavor Ideas:
Pomegranate seeds and Chocolate chips
Pomegranate juice and Cherries
Acai/ Blueberries with Sea Salt
Almond flavored cookie dough with Almonds and Cherries and Sea Salt on top
Cherry bits and Coca Cola -- "Cherry Coke" cookie
Fresca cookie
Tomato Basil Cookie with a Mozzarella glaze
Part 2: Finding Recipes
I choose two different dough recipes I decided on these two to use as the cookie dough base recipe. Shown below:

Recipe 1:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour


In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, and salt until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in the egg. Add the flour and beat on the lowest speed until just blended. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dried cherries and almonds.

Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a log, about 12-inches long and 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the log crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Transfer the dough slices to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1-inch apart. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges and puffed, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before icing, about 30 minutes.

Recipe 2:

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add egg and almond extract; beat on medium speed until smooth. On low speed, beat in flour, baking powder and salt until dough forms. Stir in cherries and chopped almonds.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 375°F. Cut dough into 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices. On ungreased cookie sheets, place slices 2 inches apart.

Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.


Part 3: Choosing Variables
Although I was using almonds and cherries I decided to experiment with cherries or cherry flavored things. In all the cookies I used roasted slivered almonds.

Variable 1: Sun-Maiden Tart Dried Cherries
Variable 2: Gurley's Sweet Cherry Chips**
Variable 3: Ocean Spray Craisens: Cherry flavor
DSC00905.JPG

**Note: the cherry chips were not tasty at all when I taste tested the variable before baking, but I thought maybe when they were cooked in the cookie it would be better.

Part 4: Baking

The cookies turned out well with the exception of the cherry chip ones where the flavor was not improved. Still I held out throwing them till the I tried to improve them with the chocolate glaze.

The other two cookies turned out really great! The cookie batches that had the tart cherries in them are the best.

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Part 5: Glazes
I used two different dark chocolate glazes on the cookies. Shown below:

Glaze 1:
2 ozs Bittersweet chocolate
2 ozs Semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of milk
1 tablespoon of honey
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla

Melt the 4 oz of chocolate and 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, then stir in milk, honey and vanilla. Cool slightly before spreading over cookies.

Glaze 2:
2 oz. Bittersweet chocolate
2 1/2 oz. Unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup of heavy cream
3/4 and 2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoon of unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla

Chop the chocolates and place in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream with the sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let stand until melted, about five minutes. If it is still chunky at this point don't be afraid to microwave it for a minute or so. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Let the glaze cool slightly before spreading over cookies.

Glaze 2 came out the best...according to my family who taste tested everything with me.

Part 6: Final Outcome

Even after the cherry chip ones were glazed and salted, they still were not tasty. So it was a failure, but the other two recipes turned out well. I decided the recipe that used the tart cherries was the best.

So my final cookie recipe is this:

1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped tart cherries
1/2 cup of slivered almonds

Sprinkle almonds in ungreased heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until nuts begin to brown, then stirring constantly until nuts are light brown. Cool 10 minutes.

In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add egg and almond extract; beat on medium speed until smooth. On low speed, beat in flour, baking powder and salt until dough forms. Stir in cherries and chopped almonds.

Wrap in dough plastic wrap or waxed paper. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 375°F. Cut dough into 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices. On ungreased cookie sheets, place slices 2 inches apart.

Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

Glaze:

2 oz. Bittersweet chocolate
2 1/2 oz. Unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup of heavy cream
3/4 and 2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoon of unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla

Chop the chocolates and place in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream with the sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let stand until melted, about five minutes. If it is still chunky at this point don't be afraid to microwave it for a minute or so. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Let the glaze cool slightly before spreading over cookies.

Sprinkle cookies with sea salt.

DSC00917.JPG

What makes my cookie creative?
I think my cookie is creative because it is novel, I have never eaten a cookie or seen a cookie like my own before. It is feasible because it is edible and people want to eat them. This is seen by my family trying to taste test as I am in the middle of baking. Also it is a cookie so it has value.

3 Comments

I love that you used sea salt and dark chocolate! One of my favorite combinations. I like that you tried three different cherry-flavored alternatives to simple raw cherries. It was interesting to see how that affected the taste overall. Nice job including lots of detail about your process.

Looks like you had a lot of fun making cookies! I thought the cherry idea was really great, especially because I am a big fan of cherry flavor. Another idea you could have used to make that flavor really come out is by using cherry extract. I used two different extracts in my cookies and it didn't change the consistency but had a HUGE impact on flavor. Overall nice job documenting the process. I like how you listed all of the recipes you used. It would have been fun to read what your family thought of each flavor!

I agree that you took a very systematic approach; very analytical! I would suggest trying to step out of your comfort zone and see if you can push further to the innovation side, but this approach certainly works and gives interesting results too! I like how you thought of it more as an experiment (variables), it gives a different take on the process.

I like how you give us all your recipes along the way, so we can try them too, or even build off your work. One thing you could do to improve your entry would be to take more pictures along the way, especially of taste testing.

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This page contains a single entry by boraa015 published on October 27, 2013 8:45 PM.

This is a test. was the previous entry in this blog.

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