When I made the amazing One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies last week, I froze a portion of the dough for science!
I was hoping for two things: to minimize the number of cookies the original batch made so we weren’t inundated with chocolate chip cookies for days AND to give mt some instant cookie goodness on a moment’s notice. Freezer–>Oven–>My Mouth.
I formed the dough into a roll shape, wrapped it up and stuck it in the freezer. Yesterday, I took it out, sliced it up, and popped it in the oven.
And then…there was sadness:
Burnt. My fault..I forgot about them and didn’t hear the timer go off. I had half the dough left, so I sliced up the remainder:
Meh. Maybe this dough just isn’t meant to go from freezer to oven. The cookies were well done at the edges and barely baked in the center. Perhaps if I cut the dough into smaller chunks? Or let it thaw on the counter for a few minutes before putting it in the oven? Anybody have any secret tips?
I’ve made quite a few batches of my favorite buttermilk biscuits in the last couple of weeks but was it possible they could be even better??
First, I tried a hybrid of the Smitten Kitchen and Alton Brown–mostly the smitten kitchen all butter but with just a little of it replaced with shortening to keep the dough easier to work with. They were good and the dough was certainly easier to work with but they just weren’t great, so I went back to all-butter.
Something really new was needed, so I went searching and found a random recipe on food.com that had some significant differences: sugar on top, less butter and more buttermilk, and a higher baking temperature. It sounded a little like madness but I went for it in the name of science and biscuits.
The dough felt familiar coming together but was much stickier than either Smitten Kitchens or Alton Browns. After cutting the biscuits, I had to kind of peel them off the board which I’m sure didn’t do any favors to their texture. Then came the really crazy part. The recipe called for a HALF A CUP of sugar to be sprinkled on top of the biscuits. What is this? A muffin? I couldn’t bring myself to do it and only managed to sprinkle about 1 tablespoon over the 9.
I knew all along these biscuits would be weird but I was hoping to learn some type of lesson from them. What did I learn?
–More butter and less buttermilk makes for an easier to work dough and a more tender biscuit. These were surprisingly tough despite barely working the dough.
–Sugar on top is madness. I was hoping it would lend some magnificent amount of golden brown coloring to the top of my biscuits. All it did was add a weird sugar-cookie crunch to the top; I can’t even imagine what they would have been like if I had used the entire 1/2 cup.
–Finally, 450 is too high for biscuits. The little wispy edges were dark before the actual biscuits had much color to them at all.
I’m back to using the Smitten Kitchen recipe for now but, even though this batch of biscuits was really odd, I think the new techniques were still worth trying.
Watching cooking shows is a bit of a problem for me. I watch someone make something and I instantly want to make it as well. Until they invent a system that allows me to push a button and have Bobby Flay show up at my door with whatever I was just watching him cook, I’ll have to make do with making things myself.
The latest need-to-have dish is called ebelskiver. Bobby–you made them look so easy! They practically cooked themselves! Bobby Flay lied to me though–these require quite a learning curve on the technique front and my batch was pretty much 90% failure. The batter was easy to put together despite my poor egg-whipping choices. Two egg whites to stiff peaks? Lets do that by hand, shall we? A very, very sore shoulder later, it was ready to put them in the pan.
This is where the complications come in. You are supposed to use two sticks to flip these upside down in the pan so they can finish cooking and form the nice little spherical shape. NOPE. This was not easy and, by the time I got the technique up to very baby novice level, my ebelskivers were burnt. This was still better than the first batch that I couldn’t manage to flip at all and had to dig out of the pan with a spoon.
We still ate them. They were ok but, obviously, would have been better if I had been able to flip them more quickly and effectively.
Next time, lower heat so I have a little more time to flip them.
Not every new recipe is a winner right off the bat. Some muffins are dry, some cookies are too crisp, and some main dishes just aren’t amazing.
I saw this recipe from Mom on Timeout the other day while googling around for muffin recipes (as you do, right?). We are a peanut butter loving family and jelly seemed like a great thing to add to muffins in lieu of chocolate chips. I had all the stuff on hand, so I whipped up a batch with the help of my son.
They sure did look delicious and they smelled even better once they came out of the oven. Jelly is delicous–but warm jelly? yes, please. We each grabbed one as soon as they were cool enough to eat.
In the end, they were just ok. The jelly ends up centralized in a single bite or two on the top of the muffin. This left the peanut butter only section a little dry and sad compared to the amazingness of the jelly-soaked top. I have some ideas to improve these muffins–swirling the jelly throughout the entire muffin batter, subbing brown sugar for white to add some more moisture…. The upside of a peanut butter and jelly muffin is so promising that its worth it to work on.
I’ll be making another batch of these soon and post an updated recipe!
Do you usually work with a recipe that doesn’t turn out as tasty as you had hoped? Or do you abandon it and find a new one? I love seeing the process of adjustment so if you have gone through this, share your secrets with me!