"Food: Science, Art, Passion, Pleasure, Adventure & Exploration"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Baking Adventure 2: Cracked Green Tea White Chocolate Sugar Cookies

These cookies were definitely an experiment, as I've never made this particular type of cookie. I have, however, made all types of sugar cookies. I have very basic recipes for most desserts types that I keep in my own cooking grimoire. I make up my own recipes entirely from scratch to see what I get and I learn from the recipes that I see from cook books on my shelves, from food personalities on Food Network or Fine Living, from fellow food bloggers, and/or food sites that feature recipes. What I like to do is learn about various fundamental ingredients and how they work as agents in a recipe. Before I get too fancy, I need to know the foundation of things.

  • What does butter do? 
  • How does sugar work (other than sweetening a recipe)?
  • What happens if I include baking soda (used more with recipes that involve acidic ingredients such as fruit juices and sour cream)? 
  • What purpose does cream of tartar serve?
  • Why should I use powdered sugar for some icings?

These questions sound very basic and simple but they are very important to understand and their importance can be underestimated. Basically, these type of questions are what I like to find out more about, as much as I can, because it reminds that me cooking and baking are truly a science and the better you understand ingredients and their many roles, the better culinary alchemist you'll be. The part I like the most is that you become a better innovator. The best scientists in any respect (even if metaphorical) are the ones that can innovate. That's what I aspire to. As I mentioned before, I have so much to learn about the world of food and cooking.

OK, now on to the photos (click to read more below):

^ As you can see, the white chocolate center bleeds a bit through a couple of the cookies.


^ These were part of the first batch baked. These didn't last long.


^ This is where I decided to show what all of the cookies look like in the center.

^ I am holding up a cookie that I broke open. These were ridiculously delicious.

I kept the dough for these cookies in the refrigerator for a good while so that they were nice and firm when I cute them into circles with my cookie cutter. I didn't want them to spread too much when baking. I also didn't mind using firmer (but still moldable) and colder (not very cold but slightly above room temperature) butter, just purchased from the store, in the recipe. For cookies, I also use the creaming method.

If I haven't explained that already, the creaming method is when you cream together sugar and butter first in a recipe by beating them together and then adding in eggs one at time. After that you add in your flour mixture (and milk if applicable) and any extracts, oils, inclusions or flavors.

I didn't use milk in these cookies and for the eggs, I just used their yolks. This made the eggs more chewy and moist in texture and the sugar/flour proportion allowed the cookies to develop a slight, characteristic cracking texture during baking. The edges were delicately crispy and buttery. I only baked these cookies for 10-12 minutes. They bake very fast and can easily burn if you lose track of time and go beyond 15 minutes.

These cookies came out ridiculously good. Awesome flavor. I WILL be baking them again for loved ones or anyone else who'd like to try them. The green tea powder gave them a very distinctive taste and the white chocolate center was made by placing a white chocolate Lindor truffle from Lindt brand into the center of each cookie circle, enclosing them with another cookie circle and sealing them edges. As they baked, the sealed centers filled entirely with melted white chocolate.

If anyone reading ever wants a recipe, please feel free to email me or send me a message.

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