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FoodMan

"Baking: From My Home to Yours" (Part 2)

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Dorie...if you are still lurking around...what do you think would happen if I halfed the sugar in the banana bundt recipe? Love it the way it is but trying to reduce sugar every way I can, so I'm curious.


Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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I made the Chunky PB and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters and while I love the texture and the spread was perfect leaving them just the right thickness, I really didn't like the spices in them so I've got a great excuse to bake them again. I'm sure I won't have any problem finding someone to help me eat the first batch. :)


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Badiane, it's never a good idea to drastically reduce a basic ingredient in a recipe, and cutting the sugar in half is pretty drastic. I'm really not sure how the cake would come out with only half the sugar, since the sugar affects the texture of the cake as well as the flavor. If you've got more willpower than I have, you could keep the full amount of sugar and eat only half the amount of cake. :biggrin:

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Badiane, it's never a good idea to drastically reduce a basic ingredient in a recipe, and cutting the sugar in half is pretty drastic.  I'm really not sure how the cake would come out with only half the sugar, since the sugar affects the texture of the cake as well as the flavor.  If you've got more willpower than I have, you could keep the full amount of sugar and eat only half the amount of cake.  :biggrin:

*lol* Willpower!? I don't think I have that gene. I figured it was a bad idea...just wanted to know how bad :-) I'm always looking for a way to have my cake and eat it to, as it were. Of course now it's in the back of my head and I do have four bananas...it wouldn't be a total waste because believe me, if I leave it in the coffee room at work, someone will eat it even if it tastes and smells like swamp gas. But then again, you DID write the book...and who am I to argue with that?! Maybe if I just reduce it by a quarter...I will let you know what happens! Thank you!


Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

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I made the World Peace cookies for a Super Bowl party I attended. They were all gone before the end of the first half of the game.

I was discussing the recipe with a woman at the party and when she found out there weren't any eggs in the cookie, she said "Oh my God, you could just eat the dough!" :laugh:

I ended up chopping up some Scharffen Berger chocolate bars I found at Trader Joe's for the chocolate "chips" in the recipe. It was probably overkill, but it made for a heckuva great cookie.

My only problem with the cookie is that they turned out quite flat. I didn't get the thick cookies pictured in earlier posts in this discussion by Patrick S and fanny_the_fairy. I made the dough on Saturday and baked them on Sunday so the dough was definitely chilled. They literally went from the refrigerator to the cookie sheet. I'm thinking now that I may have sliced them too thin to begin with, trying to get more cookies out of the dough. I ended up with about 34 cookies total.

Still, it was an amazingly good cookie. Thanks, Dorie!


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I was discussing the recipe with a woman at the party and when she found out there weren't any eggs in the cookie, she said "Oh my God, you could just eat the dough!"  :laugh:

I ended up chopping up some Scharffen Berger chocolate bars I found at Trader Joe's for the chocolate "chips" in the recipe. It was probably overkill, but it made for a heckuva great cookie.

You mean you're not supposed to eat cookie dough if it's got eggs in it? :hmmm: I didn't get that memo. :unsure:

Scharffen Berger? :laugh: In a moment of madness and craving World Peace cookies, I chopped up the last of my stash of Valrhona! :rolleyes:

Amazing cookies though. :laugh:


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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I certainly understand why anyone would be willing to give up the last of their most treasured chocolate for World Peace Cookies -- they're pretty swell. I've often thought that if (heaven forbid) Pierre Herme, the cookie's creator, did nothing else he would deserve the Legion of Honor medal for these alone.

Actually, I always use the best chocolate I've got in the house when I make these cookies becuase I think they deserve it!

Toliver, about your cookies -- I'm assuming they were thin, yes? I have had the cookies seriously flatten out on me when the oven was too hot. Check that your oven is really at 325F. Also, even if you're in a hurry, these are best made one sheet at a time.

An idea for getting more cookies out of the recipe: Instead of cutting the cookies thinner, divide the dough into thirds and make three skinny rolls instead of two chubbier rolls, then cut the dough into the regular 1/2-inch thick rounds to bake.

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Toliver, about your cookies -- I'm assuming they were thin, yes?  I have had the cookies seriously flatten out on me when the oven was too hot.  Check that your oven is really at 325F.  Also, even if you're in a hurry, these are best made one sheet at a time.

An idea for getting more cookies out of the recipe:  Instead of cutting the cookies thinner, divide the dough into thirds and make three skinny rolls instead of two chubbier rolls, then cut the dough into the regular 1/2-inch thick rounds to bake.

Thanks, Dorie. Yes, my cookies ended up quite thin/flat. I will have to check my oven for proper calibration. I also realize now that I didn't cut them at the recommended 1/2". Think 1/4". That'll teach me to keep a ruler in the kitchen!

As for getting more cookies out of the recipe, do you think there'd be a problem with just doubling the recipe?

The texture of the cookie is quite interesting. The dough holds together with just a prayer, long enough to bake them. And then when you bite into one of the baked cookies, it reverts back to its crumbly chaotic state.

And the salt adds an interesting counterpoint to all the sweetness.

It's a crowd pleaser.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Everything just seems to go better when my husband and 15-year-old son can assume a Korova/World Peace dough log or 2 in the freezer.

I've made the last couple batches w/Maldon salt--really good.


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ● Twitter Instagram

 

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Regarding the World Peace Cookies, I had a heckuva time trying to find Dutch-process Cocoa! I can't believe grocery stores don't carry it anymore. I take that back, one store had an eleven dollar box imported from Europe. :hmmm:


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Regarding the World Peace Cookies, I had a heckuva time trying to find Dutch-process Cocoa!  I can't believe grocery stores don't carry it anymore. I take that back, one store had an eleven dollar box imported from Europe. :hmmm:

World Peace cookies need Dutch-process cocoa? I've been meaning to make these for awhile, but haven't really read through the ingredients closely yet. Dang. I was just looking at Dutch-process in the store this weekend but I didn't think I needed it.


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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It was Super Bowl Sunday and the house was quiet and I had the kitchen to myself. I'd just read through oops' rundown of recipes and settled on the Brown Sugar Bundt Cake. I must agree--Wow! There is something magical about this cake. I used Bartlett pears, filberts,and golden raisins but I think most any fruit and nut combo would be delicious. I sprinkled with powdered sugar but a drizzle of a hard sauce type glaze might be good too.

So now I need to bake for Valentine's Day. Should it be Grandma's Sugar Cookies? Coconut Butter Thins? Dipped in chocolate? Snickery Squares? Can these be packed and mailed?

So many wonderful choices! I love this book, it sparks my creativity like nothing else.

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I believe Valrhona cocoa is Dutch processed. You can get it from New York Cake and Baking.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Regarding the World Peace Cookies, I had a heckuva time trying to find Dutch-process Cocoa!  I can't believe grocery stores don't carry it anymore. I take that back, one store had an eleven dollar box imported from Europe. :hmmm:

Hershey's make a dutch process cocoa. Its called Hershey's dark.

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Regarding the World Peace Cookies, I had a heckuva time trying to find Dutch-process Cocoa!  I can't believe grocery stores don't carry it anymore. I take that back, one store had an eleven dollar box imported from Europe. :hmmm:

Hershey's make a dutch process cocoa. Its called Hershey's dark.

Thanks for that. In both my local Vons and Albertson's, all they had for sale was either Hershey's Cocoa or Nestlés Cocoa. Neither was Dutch-processed. :angry:


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Toliver, I checked the recipe when I got home last night, and it doesn't specify dutch-process. And in the glossary at the back, Dorie states that either natural or dutch-process can be used interchangeably in all the recipes. Is there a reason why you used dutched cocoa in this recipe? Or is it personal preference? (forgive me if I'm being dense...)


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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There are times when the type of cocoa powder that you use will make a difference, but it is not a problem with the World Peace Cookies. I usually have Droste Cocoa, a Dutch-processed cocoa, in the cupboard and so that it what I use most often. When I have ScharffenBerger or Valrhona cocoas, I use them and have liked them most. That said, friends have given me World Peace Cookies made with natural (non-Dutched) cocoa from the supermarket and we've polished off the batches happily.

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This is interesting (from an older thread about cocoa)...

The new Cooks Illustrated has a piece on the difference between Dutch process and natural, and concluded to its suprise that there is no difference in the two cocoas when used for baking.  The authors expected that the more alkaline Dutch process could not be substituted for natural cocoa, and visa versa.  They found that it made no difference.  They also found that Dutch process always tasted better.

The only cocoa that my local grocery store carries is Fry's. When I want the good stuff I need to make a special trip to Meinhardt's or Gourmet Warehouse. I guess I'll have to stock up on some decent dutched cocoa now and do a little experimenting.


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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I believe in Alice Meidrich's Bittersweet (and probably her other books too), she goes into her belief that it does make quite a difference.

However, I pretty much ignore it when a recipe specifies, unless I'm totally out of cocoa and have to go to the store just to buy some. I have easy access to both, so if I'm buying it just for a recipe, then I'll usually buy what's specified (if I remember).

Back on topic, I made the molten chocolate cakes the other day. They were quite delicious, and easy to make, but I felt like the centers were a little...gummy? Tasted undercooked rather than gooey. Maybe I really just didn't bake it long enough. Or maybe I just prefer souffles to molten cakes.

I also made the bittersweet brownies, just as is. They were quite delicious, a sort of quintessential basic brownie, but very good. And even though I think the recipe says they only stay fresh for 2 days, we had them around for around 4, I think, and they were still moist and delicious by then.

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I use Dutched for everything, because the only non-Dutched cocoa I can find here is Hershey's. Nothing's ever gone wrong yet.

Alice Medrich thinks that non-Dutched has a livelier taste. She specifies in Bittersweet which recipes require non-Dutched.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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I use Dutched for everything, because the only non-Dutched cocoa I can find here is Hershey's. Nothing's ever gone wrong yet.

I usually use dutched too, but only because it's the most readily available. I've never done any taste comparisons between the two, but I think I may have to.

On topic? I made the black & white loaf on the weekend – it's amazingly rummy and chocolatey, with a wonderful texture. Yum. I'll definitely make it again. There's only about 1/4 of the loaf left – I'll try to take a pic later tonight. I've got a few more bananas that I can bake up this weekend, so I think I'll try the choco-nana loaf next.

I'm also thinking of making the sablé sandwich cookies (don't have the book here and I can't remember the proper name) with the chocolate ganache for valentine's day (heart-shaped, of course). I was thinking of using raspberry or strawberry jelly for a more valentine-y colour, but who am I kidding? Everyone I work with would prefer chocolate. :rolleyes:


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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I've had trouble with the applesauce spice bars; the texture came out a little rubbery, and they were extremely difficult to cut (rough, raggedy edges.) Has anyone else had this trouble? I am wondering if the problem is overbaking, overbeating, or irregular sized apple chunks...

they were delicious though. I can't get enough of the caramel topping.

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We received our copy of the book yesterday. I do have a problem and that is deciding which recipe to make first. The photos are out of this world and all the recipes read good.

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Welcome Barbara! I hope you're going to really, really enjoy baking from the book.

Lisa Antonia -- I can't explain the texture of your bars, but I think that cutting militarily precise bars is hard because the cake is soft and the apples are, as you said, irregular. Fortunately, this is not a dessert in which looks count for much -- I think the taste makes up for any raggedy edges.

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