Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cookies in the News

Did y'all hear Shirley O. Corriher on All Things Considered this evening? You have to listen to the audio as she sounds like a southern grandma telling stories, not a food scientist giving baking advice based on chemistry. She's promoting her new book, Bakewise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking, which I hear isn't quite as wonderful as her superbly wonderful Cookwise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed.

Corriher specifically addressed the inverse of one of Rebecca's concerns regarding the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe: what makes a chocolate chip cookie flat?

Like the author of the article which accompanied the NYTCCC recipe, Corriher considered the ingredients and conditions under which Ruth Graves Wakefield made the original Toll House chocolate chip cookies. Corriher concludes that the flour Wakefield used had higher protein levels, so to get thicker cookies use a flour with higher protein, like bread flour.

Now, if the converse is true, for Rebecca to get the two-dimensional cookies she craves, she might want to use only cake flour, which contains even less protein than all-purpose flour, rather than the NYTCCC's combination of cake flour and bread flour, which either is trying to get the best of both high and low protein or ends up splitting the difference, which means a nice average all-purpose would do just as well. These are experiments that will have to wait for another day.

I might have to test drive her Chocolate Crinkle Cookies first.

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