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Topic: What makes a cookie a cookie?  (Read 1664 times)
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Kuruku
« on: May 02, 2005 10:22:29 PM »

I've been experimenting w/cookie recipes lately and was wondering -- what ingredients should I add/remove to make a cookie that's hard, but not crisp?

It's hard to explain the texture -- kind of like something made w/rice or chickpea flour, but w/regular flour.

What happens when you use fewer eggs? Or less soda/powder?
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thecatsaysquack
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2005 10:50:07 PM »

I would recommend looking up recipes for ginger snaps, which tend to be more robust, and comparing them to what you're using.

My other great idea is to try something we call the Pee Wee Scout cookie, after the kids book it came out of.  Basically, they're just the same recipe as you would normally use for normal chocolate chip cookies, but with a whole load of oatmeal and cornflakes/rice crispies thrown in.  Having the extra ingredients seems to make them a little harder than your average cookie.  The oatmeal and cereal also make it a little chewier, so you get that satisfying crunch without losing the chewiness, if that makes any sense.  I can find the recipe, if you'd like.  It's an instant favourite.
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McAuliflower
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2005 11:25:16 PM »

Maybe also try looking at cracker recipes...

this doesn't entirely address your wanting a hard cookie, but I like comparing Alton Brown's cookie recipes for varying types of chocolate chip cookies:

the chewy:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_13617,00.html

the puffy:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_13616,00.html

the thin:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_13615,00.html

I really enjoy the chewy ones Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2005 12:32:57 AM »

I think you're describing what we call "biscuits".  I always think of cookies as being very American, soft and chewy.  Try googling "biscuit" (and it's not the American kind of biscuit, which is weird and scone-like from what I can tell, not that I've ever eaten one)

The home cook's Bible in NZ is the Edmonds Cookbook, it's been around for over 100 years.  Here's a biscuit recipe from it:

Basic Biscuits
125g butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
2 cups standard flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy.  Add egg, beating well.  Sift flour and baking powder together and mix into creamed mixture.  Roll heaped teaspoonsful of mixture into balls and place on an oven tray.  Flatten slightly with a floured fork.  Bake at 190 C for about 12 minutes or until pale golden.

Sorry about the metric measurements, but I'm sure you can figure it out!
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geoffreyv
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2005 08:00:43 AM »

brown sugar contains more moisture and will make your cookies softer. white sugar is more dry and will make your cookie crisper.

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Kuruku
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2005 11:40:11 AM »

Wow, this really helps -- thanks to all of you. I really  can't stand chewy cookies, but I don't like ones that shatter like glass when you bite into them, either (like Weight Watchers cookies, ew).

I am going to try those biscuits -- they seem to be more along the lines of what I was looking for.

I also made this recipe last night, and while it's kind of dense and 'cakey' it's more along the lines of what I was looking for: http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/service/nm_cookie_recipe.jhtml
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sarahdotcom
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2005 01:37:00 PM »

I forgot to mention that you can add whatever you like to that basic biscuit recipe to give it some flavour.
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littleweasel
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2005 10:35:55 PM »

Wow, this really helps -- thanks to all of you. I really  can't stand chewy cookies, but I don't like ones that shatter like glass when you bite into them, either (like Weight Watchers cookies, ew).

I am going to try those biscuits -- they seem to be more along the lines of what I was looking for.

I also made this recipe last night, and while it's kind of dense and 'cakey' it's more along the lines of what I was looking for: http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/service/nm_cookie_recipe.jhtml


That recipe looks like a good one!  I like brown sugar in my cookies, but i also think that butter is key.  Many cookies that i have had made with shorteing do, as you said "shatter".  Another thing to take into consideration is how you measure your flour and how long you mix it in....

I have read that a cup of flour can range anywhere from about 3-5 ounces, so if you really pack it in the measuring cup, your cookies will be harder.  Flour should be added after all wet ingredients, and mixed in just to incorporate, otherwise you will activate the gluten in the flour, leading the cookies to become more bread/cake like

Sorry for the long post, but you made me remember how much i miss making cookies!
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sarahdotcom
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2005 11:31:34 PM »

Generally, when you're measuring flour, it shouldn't be packed at all, which is why you level it with a knife to avoid packing it down too much. Sugar on the other hand should be packed down as much as possible.
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tinytallgirl
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2005 11:28:38 AM »

I know this is a teaser, but my hubby was a student in the Patisserie Program (pastry) at the Le Cordon Bleu Academy in Pasadana.  Wow...the slighest change of methods and ingredients make a Huge difference.

I never looked at a chocolate chip cookie the same way again.  We gave them out for Chrismakah gifts last year and it was a hit! 

Try looking up the Culinary Institute of America and Cook's Library (montly publication).  They have fantastic methods and recipes!
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What the deuce?
McAuliflower
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2005 04:00:35 PM »

Try looking up the Culinary Institute of America and Cook's Library (montly publication).  They have fantastic methods and recipes!

Mmm, good idea!

the CIA dessert archive: http://www2.ciachef.edu/press/recipes/dessert_index.html

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save your fork- there's pie! http://www.browniepointsblog.com
Kuruku
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2005 10:46:50 AM »

For some reason I just really dislike chewy cookies. An old roommate of mine made ones that were raw inside all the time and they were vile.

McAuliflower, your blog is incredible!
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McAuliflower
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2005 10:43:32 PM »

For some reason I just really dislike chewy cookies. An old roommate of mine made ones that were raw inside all the time and they were vile.

McAuliflower, your blog is incredible!

*blush* thanks!  It's my latest enduring obsession.

I agree... chewy that equals raw is yucky.  I like overcooked chewy (like the corners of brownie pans)... but I digress Smiley

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save your fork- there's pie! http://www.browniepointsblog.com
tinytallgirl
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2005 10:41:56 AM »

Quote
I like overcooked chewy (like the corners of brownie pans)... but I digress Smiley
Quote

This is also my favorite part of the brownie...I leave the center for everyone else and fight them off for the crunchy chewy sides and corners.  lol.
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What the deuce?
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