Culinary Sense

Adventures with Food and Life

Plated Desserts: Cookies

Hi Folks,

soooo, cookies are yummy, and in this class, we made some unusual ones. These are not regular chocolate chip cookies.

For example, macaroons. In general, a macaroon is a small cookie made with eggs (egg whites) and almond paste (main ingredients), and they have a crispy outside and soft inside.

The batter is more fluid than solid, so it is filled into a pastry bag and piped onto baking sheets. You want to make them as smooth as possible, without leaving a little tip on the top of the cookie. Above, you can see pinkish macaroons, possibly with raspberry flavor.

Here, I am finishing a project by adding raspberry mousse to the macaroons and sticking them together to make a kind of sandwich.

These particular macaroons were used for one of our regular Friday tours. NECI has tours almost every Friday for prospective students.

Here is another macaroon project I worked on, this time coconut macaroons. You have to be very accurate with the amount of ingredients, and in professional bakeries, we use scales for accuracy. Measuring ingredients by weight is more reliable than measuring by volume (with cup and spoon measures). For example, one cup of sifted flour weighs around 4 oz, whereas one cup of unsifted flour weighs about 4.5 oz. When working with large batch amounts, what seems like a tiny amount is automatically increased exponentially.

Again, the batter is very fluid, so I pipe the macaroon shape onto the baking sheet (lined with parchment paper). Unfortunately, I put the batter in the cooler temporarily, and then it got too cold and hard, which made it almost impossible to pipe. The form you see here is called “rosette”.

Here are the finished coconut macaroons, baked to perfection!

Another exciting project I got to do were spritz cookies. My German audience will recognize these as “Spritzgebaeck”, commonly used at Christmas for “Guatzle”. In any case, I hadn’t made these since probably 1991, when I first moved back to Germany to live with my German grandmother.

These particular spritz cookies are espresso-flavored (next to chocolate, my favorite flavor for sweet things). In the above photo, you can see Chef expertly piping the cookies from the pastry bag onto the lined baking sheet.

Here, again the “rosette” form. I am quite proud of these, since I was able to make them pretty uniform. I made about seven trays full of these, and the froze them for later use!

And now, for your entertainment, more photos of cookies.

I can’t remember exactly what kind of cookies these are, but I think they might include peanut butter, and they are definitely dipped and drizzled in chocolate.

How about some ladyfingers? For some reason, I always thought ladyfingers could only be made in a factory, but of course, they can be made from scratch, by YOU!

The batter is a very light batter using mostly egg yolks, whites, and sugar (meringue).

Chef pipes the ladyfinger shape very quickly onto the baking sheet.

Once you’ve piped them, you have to bake them immediately, otherwise they will deflate and lose their shape. They are also sprinkled with a small amount of powdered sugar.

Here is the same batter, but in a typical cookie shape.

These little cookies are used in another project. Here, we are coating them in chocolate.

We fill them with chocolate pastry cream, and make a sandwich, which is then drizzled with white chocolate. I like how they are glossy – this is achieved by the chocolate coating, which is a type of ganache, but has a certain ratio of chocolate, cream, and syrup.

This concludes the cookies post. Although I am not typically a fan of cookies, I do enjoy little cookies that are enhanced by adding a chocolate glaze, or filling them with some kind of pastry cream.

~ Carolynn

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