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

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cookie Ideas 1

It's not like I haven't written about cookies and cookie ideas already, but I decided to organize entries about cookie experiments, since they deserve a category of their own.

I find that when it comes to baking and cooking, as much as I absolutely love cakes and cupcakes, I really have a fascination with making cookies and candies, especially when it comes to the many different results that can come about just from boiling and preparing different concoctions of sugar mixtures. It's really a science I hope to eventually master because last week, I tried making some Haitian pralines and although I followed the recipe well (until the end), I think I did something wrong at the end of the process. What I came out with were more like praline caramels or caramel praline rather than actual traditionally-textured pralines. LOL!

They were still very tasty with a praline flavor, but just NOT texture appropriate. They were awesome as caramels, though.

So just like with my attempt with fudge years ago, I am going to have to try making pralines again to to bring out the proper result.  As it often said, practice makes perfect. If I looked back at what I did wrong, I think I did not allow the mixture to cool down enough toward the end. The mixture still had a gloss when I poured it out into spoonfuls on a cooling tray and the mixture was supposed to have a matte look to it.

Amway, this entry is about cookies. So let's get writing about the cookie ideas I went out today and purchased -some- ingredients for (I wasn't able to find everything I needed during today's shopping trip).

I am the oldest of three. My sister is in her late teens and she's been taking my cookies to school with her. She reports that many of the kids are eating the cookies and asking about them, when she brings them on campus, so much so that they've made requests for her to bring more. To me that sounds like an opportunity to put my "virtual" bakery into motion for this situation and offer a custom cookie menu for students and teachers to order from.

Inside Info: I legally own an actual bakeshop called Sweet Curiosities. I began setting up the foundation and paperwork for this bakery (a registered LLC) early last year, so once in awhile I'll sell baked goods under my bakeshop name. My goal is to be in business full-time and actively but right now I am in transitional mode. I am looking into culinary school in Canada (hopefully I get in as I recently finished the application process) for a pastry program. I feel like I need a bit more breaking in and professional experience/training, although I've been told by a lot of people that I am a good self-taught baker.

Cookie Flavor & Design Inspirations:

 ^Cotton Candy (love everything about this stuff!)

^Citrus fruits; The Big Three (Orange, lemon and lime)

^Strawberries and cream (always a good flavor combination)

^Stained glass (wonderful effect for cookie design)

Four cookie flavors/recipes that I have been thinking of experimenting with lately (based on the inspirations above) are:
  1. Cotton Candy Cookies (pink-colored, pink sugar topped butter cookies with cotton candy flavoring and cotton candy crystal bits baked and melted into the dough)
  2. Triple Citrus Cookies (cookie sticks composed of three thin cookie flavor layers: orange, lemon and lime; flavored and zest-enriched royal icing included on top of each cookie for extra taste)
  3. Strawberry Creme Cookies (reddish-pink cookies made with strawberry powder for a tangy sweet taste and dried strawberries in the dough for texture and flavor. Each cookie will have a hidden chunky strawberry jam/vanilla white chocolate blended center)
  4. Princess Cookies (stained glass cookies with pink, blue, purple and green hard candy centers)
I am not sure how each of these will turn out, but that's the essence and fun of experimenting. I even thought of a recipe using Nerds candy but still working on how that could come together. LOL

I will report back on this blog each time I've completed a recipe...with pictures and description of the results (whether they are successful or not). This blog is about adventure, so that's what adventuring is all about, too.

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