This assignment seems like an extension of Food and Design. Or that Food and Design is an extension of this project, that Barry just had so much fun with this assignment that he had to expand it out into the scale of a semester. Either way, I can't complain.
I drew out my ideas in my idea notebook, with pictures and words. I tried to write them down whenever I came across them, just so that I had an accurate record of where my thoughts had been. Like usual in this process, I first substituted. I had made pumpkin cookies a few weeks ago for Assignment 2 in Food and Design, and have some butternut squash sitting on my table. Butternut squash will make the same puree as pumpkin, and can be quite sweet, so why not.
I boiled the butternut squash this time around, I was not feeling patient enough for my usual roasting. And really, I just wanted the squash to be mushy, since I was going to bake it anyways, so I feel like the preparation is of less importance. I am comfortable with roasting, I like the sound of it. Boiling was a better option for now.
And voila! Squash mash.
Using somewhat known ratios, I developed the rest of the recipe.
Squashing it all up
And then baked, it resembled a delicious cookie. After testing my next idea failed miserably, as you shall read soon, I decided to bring this cookie to class.
I had more trouble pushing myself to come up with another solid and pursuable idea. I spent time thinking of what unexpected desserts I had sampled in the past. Chocolate and chili, bacon sweets, lemon and chocolate, apple sorbet, spiced strawberry. In my hometown there is a very famous delicatessen of fine foods called Zingerman's, they're one of the first companies in the U.S. to import fine oils and vinegars from Italy, cured meats from the rest of Europe, to make hearty, thickly crusted bread with the old recipes. They have a gelato made with strawberries and balsamic vinegar, and I decided to take that combination and make it into a cookie.
Over the summer I made a ginger brandy snap with a ginger creme. It was not too far a leap to imagine a strawberry cream made with the leftover marscapone, and replace brandy with balsamic vinegar in what is essentially a sugar cone.
I looked recipes for that original cookie that i could base my own off of, and the first attempt I made was far from successful.
While in the pan it did not look right, the sugar hadn't caramelized like it was supposed to, and the flour was making it too thick. The ginger version last summer looked not like this, I was perturbed.
Yeah. They are supposed to be thin wafers, made mostly of sugar. Not to resemble ground meat. Hamburger patties they be. Disgusting to look at certainly. I estimate that the flour of this recipe could been reduced by 2/3rds after this run.
For class I brought in the butternut squash cookies. My boyfriend asked for just a touch more sweetness than the plain cookie, something to be another flavour and interest to the base. I had dark chocolate in my cupboard and heavy whipping cream in my fridge, and dark chocolate ganache I made! Here I present final cookie and their recipe:
Butternut Squash Cookies
1 1/2 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tbsp ground Ginger
1 tbsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground Cardamon
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup butternut squash puree
For the ganache:
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
Oven at 350 degrees
1. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon and cardamon in a large bowl. Spend some time and care ensure even distribution.
2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In that newly formed space put the brown sugar and then douse with the oil. Add the egg and squash on top of the oil and sugar, still within that well. You will want to mix those wet ingredients together before mixing the whole bowl together. Once ready, mix the batter till smooth.
3. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet and use a spoon or small cup to portion some of the batter on the sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or so, till the smell of warm cookies permeates your house or the edges are browned.
4. To make the ganache, place chocolate in pot on the burner, with low heat. Make sure to be constantly stirring the melting chocolate. Pour in heavy whipping cream and stir till distributed. The ganache is then spread in a luscious pile on top of the cookie. Enjoy!