I mentioned the other day Christina Marguiles was at my work library speaking about her new cookbook. She was very informative, just like the book. Since her background is as a food scientist she is able to tell you why things happen or need to happen in order for your baking to turn out correctly. She talked about some of her key tips in the book about how to avoid cookies from over spreading and how to get the perfect shiny crackly top on your brownies.
What is the best way to measure flour, aside from weighing it? You are probably well aware of the one scoop and scrape method, where you use the back of a knife or flat edge to scrap off the excess. This actually isn't the best method. She says you should spoon into your cup using a small spoon due to potential compression or lack of when scooping from a container or bag. Depending on the amounts of cups you need in a recipe you could be adding up to another half cup, affecting texture, weight and dryness. She also talks about the importance of weighing ingredients and how 1 cup is not always 8 oz, a common mistake some can make.
Her book is in-depth but concise and full of awesome recipes, tips and advice. She even discuss key ingredients and what is better than the other butter vs. lard, brown sugar vs. white, even hand mixer vs stand mixer. There is just a lot of great information. I can't wait to bake everything in this book.
I decided to start with a cookie, as this is the first chapter in the book.
Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies(Adapted from Scientifically Sweet)
- 1 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted room temp butter
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tbsp molasses.
- 1 large egg
- 5 oz dark chocolate chips.
- Granulated sugar for sprinkling.
1) In a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
2) In a large bowl or mixer bowl cream butter. Add brown sugar and spices and beat together until well combined.
3) Add molasses and combine. Add egg and combine.
4) Fold the flour mixture into wet mixture until almost combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Do not over mix.
5) Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment/silpat.
6) Using a mini scoop place rounds on the prepared sheets. . Flatten slightly with hands, sprinkle lightly with some granulated sugar. Bake for about 10 minutes, surface is slightly cracked and still soft. Let cool for 1 minute on baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
These cookies were wonderful. Neither the gingerbread or the chocolate over powers the cookie and they just blend together nicely. So far I am very pleased with this cookbook.
MEG's RATING : D-EEEE-LICIOUS!