Cookies. The delicious baked goods that bring back memories of childhood and good times. Most times cookies are bought in some form of pre-processed dough and put in the oven for a couple minutes to get them to the final product. The process of baking cookies from scratch though is more of an art. Different levels of sugars, fats, and flours result in radically different tastes and textures. Then there is dealing with the additional ingredients for flavors where nearly anything is possible. In order to explore the process of creating we were told to bake a creative cookie. Initial thoughts that came to mind were the american cookie, made with hot dogs and patriotism; and coffee cookies with just the right amount of caffeine. I gathered up all the things I thought would be interesting or innovative in a cookie and got down to business.
With my wide assortment of goods in front of me I had to narrow down my process. I have very minimal experience baking anything, let alone cookies from scratch. For this reason I decided to start with just the dough. I consulted the provided excerpt from Ratio, and formed some thoughts about combinations that would work and be interesting. I mixed four different dough combinations and tossed them in the oven.
1: White Sugar
- White Sugar
2: Brown Sugar
- Brown Sugar
3: Maple Syrup
- Maple Syrup
4: Agave Nectar
- Agave Nectar
As the pictures show, there was something wrong with the makeup of the white and brown sugar doughs. This worked out to be alright though as the agave nectar had a sweetness that I loved, so I decided to move on with that.
The next step was coming up with what additional ingredients I wanted to use in the cookie. I thought something sweet would go really well with the agave nectar dough. I have always loved fruit and decided to try out some combinations for my cookie. I have rarely seen cookies that have actual berries within the dough and thought it would be an interesting, healthier twist on the typical cookie. After much trial with the dough consistency and fruit combinations, I came up with a raspberry and a couple blueberries pressed into each cookie before placing them in the oven. A partial strawberry can then be used to garnish it.
I liked this combination a lot. The blueberries are tasty in the cookie, and the raspberry gives an explosion of flavor that seems more potent than the flavor of the raspberry before cooking it. Over the course of baking the cookies and coming up with the final makeup of my creative cookie I encountered a lot of things I haven't done before, and in doing so failed a lot, as can be expected when experimenting and creating. At first my dough was very runny and ended getting burnt on the edges as a result. There were experiments with ingredients to determine what went best together and how much of each to balance flavor. But through those obstacles I was able to come up with something I think is delicious and am excited to share with others. I got to the point where I knew what I had to tweak in order to get closer to the desired outcome and that was very cool. I'm looking forward to what the rest of this class has to offer. Learning through doing, creating through innovation.
The ingredients in my final product are:
- Agave Nectar
- Fresh Blueberry
- Fresh Raspberry
- Fresh Strawberry
A final picture will be posted soon after the class cookies are baked Monday night. Want to keep the fruit as fresh as possible!
The final product!