Friday, June 22, 2007

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Cookies/Biscuits whatever you wanna call it



Cookies or Biscuits?

What do you call them small round/triangle/square flat-ish not a cake nor a muffin thing baked with flour, butter, sugar and flavourings?

In Australia, they're call "bikkies" as in biscuits (not ecstacy). Cookies, well.. isn't that an American thing? That's the general consensus amongst my friends anyway. I suppose when you refer to biscuit as "the thing you dip into your soup or gravy" it makes a lot of sense to call a bikkie = a cookie.

Me? I think it depends on what it is. A chocolate cookie sounds heaps better than a chocolate biscuit no? A shortbread is a biscuit, something sandwiched with cream or jam should also be called a biscuit, as with anything coated with coconut. Anything else is free for all, except maybe macarons. Anyway, on this blog, any biscuit (that I make) with a chocolate content will be referred to as a cookie :D

Oh, incidentally the comic above is from this site called the Hindu Business Line. The article refers to a tax case between a business called Cookie Man (licensed from Cookie Man in Australia) in India vs the Indian Tax Commissioner. If I read it correctly, Cookie Man in India claimed that cookies were different from biscuit and as such should be entitled to claim a concession under something called a 'small scale industry' exemption. I think the equivalent term in Australia is "small business". Anyway, I'm no tax accountant or anything, but when you get technical like that to get off on paying tax.. well.. I think the word is "dodgy".

Chocolate Peanut butter chip cookies

First discovered at Jeanne's blog, I turned them into a chocolate version when I had a craving for chocolate and found that there wasn't any peanut butter in the pantry. I decided against buying a jar of peanut butter since we don't eat much peanut butter these days and substituted with the equivalent amount of melted dark chocolate. Favourite Brand Name Recipes (FBNR) has the original Hershey's brand recipe Double Peanut Butter Cookies as does Jeanne.

Here's my version:


Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
adapted from Hershey's Double Peanut Butter Cookies recipe

Chocolate Peanut butter chip cookiesIngredients

1 + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp bicarbonate soda (bicarb)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 62.5g) butter, softened
1/4 cup (62.5g) vegetable shortening
100g dark chocolate (I used 70% Cocoa)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 2/3 cups (one 10 0z. package) Reese's peanut butter chips
(optional - if you leave them out the cookies just won't be "double" peanut butter. Instead, press a single roasted peanut onto the top of each cookie before baking - Jeanne's tip)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190 deg C.
  2. Break chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over simmering hot water. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter, shortening, melted chocolate, sugars and egg.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating well. (at this point, the flour and butter mixture may separate into little pieces, but don't worry, just keep beating as they will "come back" together)
  6. Fold in peanut butter chips.
  7. Shape dough into 1-inch (2.5cm) balls.
  8. Place 2 inches apart (as they will expand while cooking) on a lined cookie sheet .
  9. Using a fork dipped in addititional granulated sugar, flatten balls to about a 1/4 inch thickness by pressing tines of fork in 2 different directions to make a criss-cross pattern.
  10. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set.
  11. Cool slightly, remove from baking sheet to wire rack to cool completely.

Can you see the peanut butter chip?

Verdict: Are you a fudgey-soft and chewey-centered biscuit/cookie person? If so, then You so don't know what you're missing out on! I'm sorry,.. these babies are not for you.

These babies are light, crisp and are the kind that just melts in your mouth cookies (my favourite kinda cookies!) The cookies itself aren't too sweet (because of the dark chocolate) and complements the rich peanut butter chips very well. I think next time I might add some hazelnuts to the recipe, then it'll be Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Hazelnut cookies. Nyum!!


Ed (29.06.2007):
If you live in Melbourne, you might be able to find peanut butter chips at the USA Foods, The All American Groceries in East Bentleigh.

USA Foods Melbourne
11 Nicholson Street
Bentleigh, Victoria
Australia 3204

*I guess you can always substitute the peanut butter chips with chocolate chips and substitute the amount of melted chocolate with peanut butter. It's a bit of a reverse Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies but it'll still work! :)

Chocolate Peanut butter chip cookies in a box

Monday, June 04, 2007

I heart Madeleines

Madeleines

Madeleine.

A lovely name to match them lovely little tea cakes.
It's perhaps a bit too early but I've already decided that if/when I have a daughter, I'm going to call her Madeleine. ;)
Up until the start of this year, I have never even tasted a madeleine. I've seen plenty of them, read about them and drooled over them but I've never really tasted them. The excuse used to be, "I haven't got a madeleine pan. Can't make one without a madeleine pan, that's just wrong".

Then it became, "What do you mean I have to leave it in the fridge to sit for 8hours!".

And eventually, when I finally got my fat arse into the kitchen to make them, it became.. "OMG.. why did I ever put off making these little cakes"

I have made madeleines 5 times since January when I finally got me a madeleine pan. 5 times and not once did they end up on this blog. Why not? you ask...

There are various reasons, but mostly because we just can't resist them! Alv and I would stuff one after another in our gobs and even when I've put away some for blogging, they would disappear when I get to them. So this time, I quickly declared that THEY WERE NOT TO BE CONSUMED until after I was done with them (for the blog you see.. all for sake of the blog).

There are plenty of madeleine recipes around, even ones that doesn't require sitting the dough overnight (just 30mins - 1hr) before baking them. But this is the one recipe that I keep going back to, even though there are at least 3 other recipes in the my ever increasing collection of cookbooks.

I no longer find the 8hr waiting period troublesome because it now means that I can prepare the dough mixture on Friday night, stick it in the fridge overnight and have freshly baked madeleines ready by lunch time Saturday. Mmmm.. who needs lunch when you have madeleines :)

Honey Madeleines
*adapted from this book

170g unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup full flavour honey (chestnut or any wildflower variety)
1.5 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

*extra butter for greasing
  1. Make brown butter by melting butter in a saucepan and cooking it until milk solids fall to the bottom and it turns rich hazelnut brown. Set aside and let it cool until room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl beat eggs, caster sugar, brown sugar and honey until pale and foamy.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt and fold into the batter.
  4. Fold in brown butter.
  5. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 8 hours. (At this point I generally just stick it in the fridge and go to bed)
  6. Preheat oven to 180deg and grease your madeleine pans with melted butter.
  7. Fill in madeleine pans about 1/2 or 3/4 full. Don't over fill or this will cause the batter to overflow during cooking and your madeleines will end up sticking together.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 8 to 10mins until the bumps rise.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5mins before removing them from the pan and repeating the process with the remaining batter.

Here's a chocolate variation of the above.

Chocolate Madeleines
*adapted from the above recipe

170g unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tbsp dutch cocoa powder
1.5 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

*extra butter for greasing
  1. Make brown butter by melting butter in a saucepan and cooking it until milk solids fall to the bottom and it turns rich hazelnut brown. Set aside and let it cool until room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl beat eggs, caster sugar and brown sugar until pale and foamy.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt and fold into the batter.
  4. Fold in cocoa powder, followed by brown butter.
  5. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 180deg and grease your madeleine pans with melted butter.
  7. Fill in madeleine pans about 1/2 or 3/4 full. Don't over fill or this will cause the batter to overflow during cooking and your madeleines will end up sticking together.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 8 to 10mins until the bumps rise.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5mins before removing them from the pan and repeating the process with the remaining batter.
Served with your favourite cup of coffee/tea and tuck into your favourite book. Ahh.. paradise :)


Just the way I like it