Sometime last week, I was watching Twitter when a conversation developed concerning cooking as an art form. Argumentative as I am by nature, I immediately thought, “There’s nothing that creative about cooking!”
Argumentative as I am by nature, I immediately thought, “That’s stupid! Of course there is! For instance, I could probably imagine an incredible new kind of cookie and thereby make the world a better place.”
Now, that inner dialogue is ridiculous in any number of ways, but I share it to explain how it came to pass that I spent my entire afternoon on Sunday working in the kitchen. In the end, I created an expensive kind of cookie that looks like beef jerky and tastes like candied brownies.
I also got to spend several hours making messes with my five-year-old daughter and letting her lick batter from the stirring spoons (while also teaching proper kitchen hygiene–we went through a lot of spoons). In every way, I consider the afternoon a stirring victory.
Well…in every way but one. The cookies would be more popular, I think, if they didn’t look quite so much like beef jerky. I did an excellent job of creating the flavor profile, it’s just in the mechanical technique of baking where I stumbled.
So maybe someone out there can refine my process and make a better version of the cookie. Here’s my recipe, dedicated without reservation to the public domain (as is my wont).
- 1-1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup caramel syrup
- 3/4 cup marshmallow creme
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2-1/4 cup flour (unsifted)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
On a double-boiler, melt together chocolate chips, caramel syrup, and marshmallow creme, along with 1 tsp salt. Once mixed, keep at a low simmer so it will easily pour.
Beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, then slowly mix in the candycreme. Add flour, baking soda, and 1/2 tsp of salt.
Preheat over to 375 degrees. Bake cookies in tablespoon-sized globs for approximately 10 minutes.
When I tried baking them as globs on a cookie sheet, they spread out to a pancake-size pool, then swelled up to a very impressive pillowy texture, then ultimately collapsed into a circular candycrisp. They were still delicious in that form, but not terribly cookie-like.
Hoping to solve that, I tried making a mega-cookie in a pie tin. I filled it to about 1/3 depth with the dough, and cooked it for 10 minutes at 375. When I checked on it, the dough had risen again, so that it threatened the top of the tin, and the outer edges looked crisped but it was still quite clearly liquid in the center. I gave it another five minutes, and when I checked again it had collapsed like a bad souffle. The cookie in the bottom of the dish (about 1/4-inch thick, and deliciously gooey) had a brown/black cracked texture that looked like the landscape from some post-apocalyptic horror. Very cool.
I next tried it in a muffin tin, hoping that smaller puddles of dough would behave better, but they didn’t. I just ended up with twelve post-apocalyptic horrors instead of one.
Trish thinks I probably could have solved the problem by adding more flour (since I just adapted a chocolate chip cookie recipe, but added a liquid candycreme in place of the dry chocolate chips). We also considered freezing and chopping up the candycreme to use like chips instead of pouring it in as a liquid. I’d also considered making normal cookies and dredging them in the candycreme, as is sometimes done with pretzels in melted chocolate or almond bark.
Now that I’ve made the attempt, I think a better option would be to blend the candycreme into a brownie batter recipe instead of cookie dough. Then again, I don’t know enough about brownie batter to say that with any strong conviction. I merely present these alternatives as recommendations for future experimenters.