Monday, July 21, 2008

My thoughts about perfection, chocolate and chili pepper

I hope you're not tired of cookies yet, because today I've got more for you. As you have probably read allready, last week the NY Times published an article by David Leite, about the perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie. The 3 main differences between their recipe and most recipes are a) a resting period of at least 36 hours in the fridge before baking, b) good quality chocolate disks instead of chips and c) a sprinkling of sea salt. A lot of people have been experimenting the "perfect cookie" and of course I didn't want to miss out. So now it's the time I tell you that I did this solely for the cientific reasons, because it's my duty as a pastry chef to be updated with all the new stuff. It's also the time you pretend to believe all that. Deep down we all now I did the cookies because I wanted to eat them, right?

The recipe can be found here.

I've followed it exactly except for the chocolate. I couldn't find the disks asked for, so I got a good thin chocolate bar and cut it into squares about the size of the disks. Because I wanted to check how different the dough would be after resting in the fridge I baked one right away.

I didn't bake the others at 36 hours because I'm crazy but not crazy enough to wake up at 4 am to bake cookies.

The cookies were great, very good really. The fact that the chocolate was very good of course it influences the overall flavour. My thoughts about the all 36 hours resting rule, well I did notice a slighty flavour difference but only in the raw dough. The main difference was the texture, as you can probably see in the picture, the second cookie spreaded less than the first resulting in a chewier interior. Very very good cookie!

It was a fun experiment but it didn't end there...

See that dark cookie? No, that's not overbaked, that's a chocolate chili pepper adaptation of the NY Times cookie!

The day I've baked the cookies I was working from home, trying new ice-cream flavours. At work they asked me for a Chocolate-chili ice-cream, so I had those ingredients laying arround in the kitchen and couldn't help adding them to a bit of the raw cookie dough.

The CCCCC (chocolate-chili chocolate chip cookies) were great as well, they spreaded less than the non-chocolate ones, so they've become densier almost like a fudgy brownie. I liked the hint of hotness from the chilli pepper, but here's a tip: Don't tell your friends you put salt and pepper in your cookies, they will look at you in a strange way (or if you're me, stranger than usual anyway).

CCCCC (for 2 huge cookies)

  • 200 gr (3.5 oz) raw cookie dough
  • 30 gr (1 oz) melted dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp chilli powder

Mix the raw dough with the rest of the ingredients and divide it in 2, shape 2 cookies, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake as in the recipe.

Now about the chocolate-chili ice-cream, I've experimented with raw chili peppers, dried chilis and chili powder. At the end I've used a combo of powder and dried and the ice-cream turned out just as I wanted.

But as I can't give the recipe I'm not going to be mean and show you a picture of it...

Or am I?...


noble pig said...

That's interesting...the whole waiting period. Like you said the flavors didn't really develop more but the texture. Aging cookie dough like fine wine...I like that.

Tanya said...

I've never heard of "aging" cookie dough. The only reason I let cookie dough sit in the fridge is to let the dough firm up so that it doesn't spread too much once I bake them.

I experimented with chocolate and chiles a couple months ago and I was surprised by how much I loved it. Those cookies look really good! I'm gonna have to try that out!

Shreya said...

A very interesting read, your post made! I really liked the info, and CCCCC is something totally new to me. Lovely pics:-)

Adam said...

So resting the dough really does make a difference? Very cool. I like chewier cookies too, so I would definitely go that route too.

The 5 C cookies look great too. I probably wouldn't mention the pepper either, but a little spice in your life never hurts right? :)

Katrina said...

Your cookies look great! I'm not sure it really changed the taste of the cookie to chill them for 36+ hours, but I did love them! This will probably be my go-to recipe when I'm giving treats away and want to impress people (or if I'm just dying for a really good ccc and can't get to New York for Jacques or Levains! Two totally different cookies and both de-lish! My husband would probably like the added chili flavor, he loves spicy food.
Darn it, now you're making me want another NY Times cookie. I will resist. It's too stinking hot to bake today!
Thank goodness for pudding and ice cream! And yes, I want some of your ice cream, too!

Brilynn said...

I will never tire of cookies, NEVER!!!
I've seen this recipe all over the place now so clearly I will have to try it. These look great!

Prudy said...

Count on clumbsy cookie to take the best cookie and then make it even better! I'm trying yours first!

Cakespy said...

You must be kidding. Of COURSE I am not tired of cookies!! I love the chili pepper addition.

BTW A friend of mine tried pan-frying the cookies when they realized their oven was broken--I hear they came out fantastically!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Cathy- I liked how you imediatly connected it with wine!

Tanya- I had tried chocolate and chilies as well before but not in cookies. They were quite good!

Shreya- Thank you, I hope you read the NY Times article, that was very interesting.

Adam- Of course! We sure need some spice!

Katrina- The bad think about this cookie is seeing the dough in the fridge everytime you open it and think you still have some hours to go before bake them!

Brilynn- That's why I made them as well, I kept seeing them all arround. I'm glad I did!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Prudy- Lol! You can try them at the same time!

Cakespy- Wow, I must try that! I've seen once someone doing cookies in a pannini maker and they looked great as well!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

I like the whole waiting period produces yummy cookies and is convenient for those who want to munch on them for the next couple days!

Lina said...

you are the cookie professor. I learned something new today! I want to eat one of your cookies!

A_and_N said...

Seriously.....waiting for the dough is new to me! I thought only yeast based doughs are to be waited upon. Strange! But the cookies were worth the wait, werent they ;)

And just out of curiousity, why did you add chilli powder to the chocolate?

Kevin said...

Those cookies look good! I really like the sound of adding chili to the chocolate chip cookies. I will have to try it.

Leslie said...

I totally agree with the need to put the dough in the fridge. I havent dont it for a full 36 hours.I usually do mine for about 3 or 4 and I think it does the trick to help prevent spreading and makes the centers nice and gooey!!I made my fav Chocolate Chip cookies a while back ..but have yet to post about them. I guess I should!!
These look yummy!

Dragon said...

I'm going to have to try the chocolate and chili cookies. They sound so intriguing. I always chill my cookie dough, not 41 hours but at least an hour. :)

Dee said...

I'm so so glad you made these! I saw them on Orangette's blog and have bookmarked them, but the 36 hour wait seemed just too long! I was going to skip the wait, but now I won't. Thanks for the tip :)

I've added spice to my peanut butter cookies, but never to chocolate. Great idea!

abigail barnes said...

i love your blog! so many cookies to try, so little time. i have never made a successful chocolate chip cookie, always flat... these are first on my baking list for the week!

Jude said...

Didn't think techniques for making bread would work for cookies. Read that article recently and I definitely will try it soon.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rita! I saved that NYTimes article too. Didn't try it yet but now after your recommendation i think i will. Sounds fantastic and i love the way you tweaked the recipe. :-)

The NYTimes magazine published 3 really good chocolate chip cookie recipes about a two years ago and to this day i still use those. You can check it out to further your cookie studies. I blogged about it last year. :-)

cakebrain said...

That sounds like a fun experiment! I also have the recipe in my to-do list and am glad that you tried it out so I know it'll be a good one! I kind of get the same effect when I make a triple batch of cookies and freeze them in logs. The dough dries out a bit more and the cookie's flavour is much better!

jodycakes said...

Mmmm...I just bought some chips this evening 'cos I craved CCC - and voila...your recipe!
i will try the recipe as well...
I had a customer in LA that ordered my Chili Chocolate cake once a month...GREAT combo!!
Thanks for sharing!!!

morgana said...

I love this kind of experiments but I'm so frustrated... I'd love to bake and bake and bake but who's gonna eat mountains of cookies? Maybe it's time to stablish a new NGO, something like "no frontier cookies" (NFC) or so.

Me encantan estos experimentos. Si por mí fuera me pasaría el día haciendo galletas y bizcochos, experimentando con nuevos sabores, colores, formas... Pero claro ¿quién se come luego todo eso? A lo mejor es el momento de fundar una nueva ONG. Algo del tipo "galletas sin fronteras"... Como decimos en España "se me va la pinza" ;-)

Gracias por el artículo, lo de dejar la masa más de un día en la nevera puede que funcione también para otro tipo de galletas.

Emiline said...

Everyone has been baking these cookies! It's cookie madness! They look great.

I'm not sure it's worth the wait to bake the cookies after 24 hours.

Dhanggit said...

chocolate and chili pepper ..this is sooo great! yummy

Teanna said...

I am actually going to be trying the aged cookie dough recipe this week! Yours looks delicious! And I want to dive right into your chocolate chili ice cream!

I gave you an award over at my blog! Come on over and pick it up!

Krysta said...

i tried to do the nyt thing of resting the dough but i found that to be impossible. they are cookies waiting to be made, like now!

Jenny said...

Cool post, I always love checking in here! I'm so trying your tips!

Tartelette said...

The ice cream looks so velvety! Love it!

Emiline said...

You're tagged for a music meme!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Melody- Yes I think a lot of people allready did that anyway.

Lina- Lol, I like that title!

A&N- Chili and chocolate is a combo that became fashionable a while ago. There are a lot of chocolate flavored with chili lately. i quite like it actually.

Kevin- It gives it a nice/hot touch!

Leslie- I look forward for you post, I like seeing other's favourites!

Dragon- I hope you do try them!

Dee- I've seen peanut butter and chili somewhere, it looked very interesting.

Abigail- Thank you!!!! If you like puffy cookies look for a post called cookie madness, those are the puffiest ones I've got!

Jude- It's not really the same principle of making bread, but it does help in the texture!

Zen- Thank you so much for the link dear Zen, I actually remeber reading that post!

Cakebrain- I'm still digesting the wonderful cake you made!

Jody- Once a mounth the same cake? Lol!

Morgana- Si si se te va la pinza desde luego, jejeje!

Emiline- It's really cookie madness arround here! Thanks for the music tag, it sounds like fun!

Dhanggit- It's hot and yummy!

Teanna- Thank you so much, Let me go and look for it!

Krysta- Lol! So true!

Jenny- Thank you dear, you're so sweet!

Helen- I was actually happy with it and the boss as well, so that's what is counts, lol!

Erika said...

The cookies look great and the chili looks so interesting!

Zita said...

I always have this "ice box"cookies in my fridge just to have fresh baked cookies everytime my son want it, and yes I like the texture and the chewineess of it, but your CCCC is a must try :)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Erika- Thank you!

Zita- If I had cookie dough in my frigde allways I would be baking cookies everyday, lol!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

As much as I would like to try aging cookie dough, I don't think I would have the restraint to not either eat it or bake it right away! How can I let cookie dough just sit there in my refrigerator? I admire the fortitude of anyone who can do this.

Suzana said...

I'm so behind these days... I had no clue of what you were talking about!

É mesmo uma tristeza isto de não ter tempo para nada. Tenho de experimentar estas cookies, as tuas envelheceram bem! ;)

Bj grande

Ann said...

I made these too, as you know - and just was not all that impressed...oh well!

Maggie said...

I haven't made the NYT recipe but after reading it have played around with aging my own favorite chocolate chip cookie doughs. I'm still on the fence about whether it improves them. The downside is that there is cookie dough just calling my name in the fridge for 36 hours. How can I make it last so that any of it gets baked into cookies?

The ice cream looks delicious. I hope you can post a general idea recipe for it. I'd love to try it.

JessieB said...

I've experimented with chili in all my chocolate baking way before it became fashionable to do that-- not that this recipe is taking a fashionable route by any means. Chili goes with chocolate & always has-- just ask the Aztecs. But, the BEST chili in chocolate cookies like this is pure habanero chili powder. Use it sparingly-- for an entire batch of cookies (making 24 cookies) I only use 1/4 tsp and I have a high chili tolerance & like a good bite in my chili cookies. For those less tolerant but wanting to experiment, use about 1/16 of a tsp.