Development of a Cookie

I recently read through Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. Quite enjoyed it. The premise is that the basics of cooking can be summarized in the form of basic ratios of liquid, egg, flour, sugar, fat, etc. He gives basic formulas for things like pancakes, quick bread, different sauces, cakes and cookies. Then he expands the basic ratios and gives ideas for tweaking and enhancing.

For example, the author gives a basic cookie ratio as 1-2-3, 1 part sugar to 2 parts butter to 3 parts flour (all measured by weight, not volume). Simply, the 1-2-3 cookie dough recipe looks like:

2 ounces sugar (about 4 1/2 tablespoons)
4 ounces butter (1 stick)
6 ounces flour (1 to 1- 1/4 cups)

Now, that’s all well and good, but I can’t use sugar or wheat flour, and I thought some salt and vanilla would be nice too. And egg. (These are all ideas he suggests, but he was merely giving a very basic recipe to jump-start the creative process.) So I decided to try a half recipe and tweak as follows:

1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 ounces butter
1/2 cup almond flour
pinch of salt
tiny bit of vanilla extract
some raisins

Result: Tasty. Very tasty. A fun mother-son activity. But dreadfully un-formed by the end of cooking. Too much liquid, as I suspected might be the case with honey instead of sugar. These needed some serious help in the shape department (And I neglected to get pictures, but just imagine cookies bleeding all over the pan). I suspected more flour would help, and perhaps an egg, but I needed to double the recipe so I didn’t over-do the egg (half-eggs are hard to measure ;-D). So then I tried:

4 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cup almond flour
3 tablespoons honey
1/8 t salt
1/2 t vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup raisins

(Yields about 2 dozen small cookies. Baked at 350 degrees on buttered cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.)

Oh yum. Such form. Such taste. They looked like. . . cookies. They tasted lightly sweet, like a muffin or a breakfast cookie (but definitely a cookie texture – just don’t expect as sweet as a “regular” cookie). Yay!

But then I had a dangerous idea. I could make these in my toaster oven! My toaster oven tray would fit half of the batch at a time, since the batches are so small. I wouldn’t have to heat up the whole house or use much electricity. So many fewer reasons NOT to make cookies. Is this a good or bad thing? 😉

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hannahpi
    Jun 14, 2011 @ 12:08:23

    MMMMMM!
    Those do look a bit different from the ones I made subbing pb for the butter.

    Reply

  2. Sarah
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 15:23:00

    Toaster ovens are one of the best things ever invented. I once made a loaf of bread in are toaster oven.

    Reply

  3. susanegk
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 16:25:54

    I’ve heard you can bake bread in there, but I haven’t tried it yet! Did it turn out?

    Reply

  4. Sarah
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 17:20:30

    yea…i had this one extra guy that would have had to be in the oven all by itself and it seemed like a waste of energy for the oven to bake on loaf, so i popped it in the toaster oven….it got a little bit t0o brown on the top (maybe black) it did cook it, but I wouldn’t recommend it in general. We ate it and it tasted fine one you cut the black off of the top part. haha

    Reply

  5. susanegk
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 19:08:49

    Hmm. Black part = not cool. I bet there is an art to baking break in the toaster oven, and I bet the particular toaster oven factors a lot into it. I know one woman online who regularly does it, so I would assume she wouldn’t be doing it regularly if she got black :-D. I’ll have to experiment. The cookies, anyway, turned out great in it. And I made croutons in the toaster oven too, last week. They worked out great, but took forever (50 minutes, as opposed to 30 minutes in the regular oven).

    Reply

  6. Sarah
    Jun 16, 2011 @ 22:08:24

    oooooh…that sounds like fun….well you should experiment with the bread in the toaster oven and let me know how that turns out.

    Reply

  7. Trackback: Dessert for Dinner « Sororal Adventures

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