Monday, September 8, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie-Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

Another first: my first week participating in the Tuesdays with Dorie baking extravaganza. And what a recipe to start of with. It's got chocolate; its got malt; its got Whoppers...what more could a girl ask for??

Actually I was quite relieved that my first recipe would be a fairly straight forward cookie assignment. I've looked through Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours and there are some intimidating feats of baking prowess in there! The Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops were just the thing to get me started: kept me on my toes, but didn't terrify me entirely.

Note: You will notice that link to the book takes you to Amazon. I actually bought my book from the used selections there on Amazon. I paid $4.72 plus $3.99 shipping. My book was described as "like new", and I can find absolutely nothing wrong with it. This is the fourth book I've gotten at a shockingly low price through Amazon's used book offerings, and I highly recommend considering this option when buying your books in the future.

After procuring my ingredients (complete with chocolate malt powder as my local grocery store didn't have the regular) I got down to business Sunday afternoon. I actually did my best to achieve a semblance of mise en place (I am always getting to some critical point and then reading, "Cut 10 apples into star shapes" or some such nonsense that pretty much ruins the recipe I've impatiently started. Not this time!).

See that tiny little glimpse of my hand in the corner? Look how fast I'm moving! Chopping whoppers like the wind! Took me like 10 minutes to halve these suckers. Chopping eventually gets faster, right?

Look at that mish mash of chocolate...I'm not sure Dorie would approve...or maybe she'd just be happy that the masses are baking and wouldn't worry so much that their chocolate didn't all come from the same family. I used 2 ounces of Dagoba's 74% New Moon bar (organic chocolate, YUM), 3.5 ounces of Ghirardelli's 72% Midnight Bar (also YUM) and 1/2 ounce of regular old Semi-sweet Bakers chocolate (nothing wrong with it from what I can tell!). I am somewhat of a candy collector, so its a very good thing for me to dispose of a bar or two every now and then to help whittle down my stash...and in some other way than me just sitting down and eating it. Sigh, good times...

Here we have the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla all mixed together. At this point Dorie says not to worry if the batter looks curdled. Thankfully mine never really looked curdled which is good because I would have worried.

Let's get us some dry ingredients in there. Dorie says it "will look more like fudge frosting than cookie dough--and that's fine". I'll say its fine...actually, ladies and gentlemen, cookies will not be necessary and Mr. Fudgie Frosting Batter have a little date with a spatula...sigh, ok, ok, I can't fail this mission...must actually bake some of this dough.

But first let's say hi to Abby and Andy the wonder turtles. Look at Abby there with dreams of flying high...using poor Andy as a launching point. Abby, you'll never get far if you push others down in your climb to the top.

Now for the whoppers and chunks of that mish mash chocolate. Do I seriously have to stick this in the oven? We could have such fun together, just me and this luscious one would have to know.

Will power out the whazoo, people, that's all I'm sayin. Here you see a portion of the finished product. I baked some of the cookies on regular sheet pans and some on an airbake pan, and I did notice quite a difference after they cooled and today when I took them to work. Those baked on the regular pan were puffier (examples seen in this picture), a bit crispy around the edges and cake-y in the middle, and I thought they tasted better than the very soft, flat, slightly fudge-y specimens from the airbake pan. However today, the crispy/cake-y lot had lost a lot of their flavor, were boring even, while the soft/fudge-y ones had gotten even better with a deeper, richer flavor. I wasn't complaining about having to eat either kind either day, mind you, but I did enjoy comparing the results from each pan. I should also say that due to a scheduling issue the airbake batch did have to sit out for about an hour before actually being baked, so I'm sure that had something to do with the texture difference, too.
These were not difficult to make, and the result was different than any cookie I'd had before because of the malt powder and whoppers. Definitely give these a try! (Or at least whip yourself up a batch of the batter and grab a spatula...)

What a delightful experience! I can't wait to for my next Tuesday with Dorie assignment!