I think I have made this pretty clear over the course of my life but if there is one thing I despise, and I mean absolutely, positively loath, it’s crunchy cookies. I HATE them. Yuck. Gross. Blah.
So I can say with 100% certainty that the outcome of these cookies was not, under any circumstance, intentional. To tell you the truth I wanted to throw them in the garbage. One minute they were a soft, butter mess so I put them back in the oven. Next thing I knew, bam! they were like gingersnaps. Except with oats. Oatmeal non-ginger snaps. Why I am experiencing such failure with the cookies in the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, you tell me! All I can say is I’m not happy about it.
This is what it’s like to be a perfectionist. Everyone else thought they were fine. I mean if you give people cookies, chances are they are going to eat them without complaints. But me, I wanted to burn these cookies. Put them on a flaming stick and run screaming like a maniac around the neighbourhood. Believe me, I wasn’t far from doing just that. However, I managed to stop the ensuing temper tantrum and move on with my life. Because we all know there are more important things in this world than the perfect cookie. But not many.
White Chocolate Oat Crisps
Adapted from Thomas Keller’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
155g (5.5 ounces) salted butter, room temperature (if you are using unsalted add an additional 3.6g or 1 1/4 tsp. of salt)
69g (1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp.) white sugar
140g (1/2 cup plus 3 1/2 tbsp.) light brown sugar
62g (1) egg
7.7g (1 1/4 tsp) vanilla paste (I used extract)
144g (1 cup plus 1 tsp.) AP flour
7.4g (1 1/2 tsp.) baking soda
155g (2 cups) rolled oats
156g (1 cup) white chocolate chips
First cream together the butter and 2 sugars. Once the ingredients are fully incorporated add the egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined.
Now here’s where I have mixed feelings. Do I tell you what I did, or do I tell you what the book says you should do? Supposedly you should refrigerate the dough for half an hour. But then it says to take it out, form the cookies and let it come to room temperature before baking. Contradictory no? I’m assuming that the primary reason for this step is to make the dough easier to work with, not to chill the butter to prevent it from spreading all over the place (because once you bring it back to room temp it’s still going to spread).
Because I didn’t work the butter into a soft, melty mess I skipped the refrigeration step and proceeded with baking. For me this batch of dough made over 2 dozen cookies (unlike the 6 very large cookies the book suggests). Seriously how big would those cookies be? Just like the first batch of his chocolate chip cookies I made, these spread like crazy so don’t make the same mistake I did (TWICE!) and spread them out for goodness sake!
Anyways they took about 14-15 minutes in a 325F oven. Given the crunchiness that I achieved I would say that 12-13 would be plenty.
So here I am having made 2 different cookie recipes out of the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook (you can find the other one here). And honestly (not to mention, unfortunately) both have been a bit of a letdown. So what’s the issue here? Well first and foremost, I’m willing to accept that it could be me. Maybe my lack of willingness to follow the recipe to a T is the detrimental factor here. But I’m more inclined to think that it’s a combination of the ingredient ratios and method that just doesn’t work in a home kitchen.
Point A) There is a shit ton of butter in these cookies. Seriously there’s more butter than there is flour. Structurally when they bake, they just turn into little cookie pancakes. How to solve this dilemma? You could chill the dough and bake it straight from the fridge (NOT letting it come to room temperature) so that the butter doesn’t melt the minute it hits the oven. Also, why the heck are these things baked at 325F? That’s pretty low and slow for cookies, which gives them plenty of time to keep spreading and spreading….and spreading. So jack it up to 350F-375F and I think that would make a world of difference.
Point B) To convect or not to convect? What I’m really getting at here is that most people don’t have convection ovens at home. Looking back at Point A, this just means more time in the oven = more lousy spreading. I know the book gives times for both types of ovens but the fact is, a conventional oven takes longer and this seems to be a cookie killer.
Point C) Cookie size. I’m not sure who is going to take this recipe and actually just make 6 cookies out of it. If I’m going to the effort to bake something, I am surely going to make a lot more than 6 of it. However bigger cookies means more dough to heat up and cook, which could reduce the spread factor (this also accounts for the 325F cook temp because anything higher and they would burn before cooking through). Or it could severely increase it because there’s more that could potentially spread.
Where does this leave us? Well actually I’m not sure if any of you care as passionately as I do about this. Where does this leave me? Frankly quite disheartened and not wanting to try out any more of TK’s cookie recipes anytime soon. I think I will stick to these. Hardly any butter and I’m not missing it either.