September 2, 2010

Cherry Cream Cookies on a Whim {Webisode #39}

What’s Going on Today: Taking advantage of last week without preschool obligations (!)
Naptime Goals: Prepare dough for Cherry & Cream Cookies, test two recipes for the book.
Tonight’s Menu: Two book recipes (I can’t tell you which ones!), Caesar Salad, Cherry & Cream Cookies for dessert.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: I don’t think she understands what I mean when I say “you are starting school next week,” but she seems excited about it.

There is nothing I love more then stumbling across a recipe that grips me with such excitement I shift around my schedule to make it straight away. I am doing a lot of cooking during naptime these days, since I am hard at work on the book, but I still need to make room for spontaneity.

Last week I was studiously reading my new issue of Bon Appetit and came across an article about Christina Tosi, the pastry chef at Momofuku Milk Bar, and her indulgent recipes. With words like Crack Pie, Chocolate-Malt Cake and Blueberry & Cream Cookies springing off the pages it was all I could do not to drop everything and make all three right then and there. I love desserts like these, ones that are unfussy and indulgent with a child-like quality, and I was thrilled to see that someone at such a high-end restaurant shared this sentiment.

Here you’ll see that I decided to do a riff on Tosi’s cookie recipe, using dried cherries instead of blueberries. I also opted to make it more Naptime Chef-friendly, cutting the chilling time by two-thirds. Of course, if you want to chill the dough for 24 hours or more, feel free to do so. I decided to work with my usual time table, mixing dough during naptime and baking it after my daughter went to sleep. I could have, however, waited to bake them the following day at naptime if I’d preferred. Tosi’s recipe calls for a few large cookies, but I like small drop cookies for home eating. I played with the baking time to compensate for the smaller cookie size and it worked like a charm.

Cherry Cream Cookies

The speed at which these disappeared from the OXO Good Grips container on my kitchen counter has to be a record-breaker for my household. The chewy texture and smooth milky taste was so unique all three of us went nuts. Each cookie perfectly encapsulates the flavors of cherries, cream and butter. My daughter is a berry nut and kept asking begging and pleading for more, often negotiating them as a reward for my requests that she pick her her toys and use her “indoor voice.” I couldn’t blame here for trying, we all were looking for excuses to have just one more.

Recipe

Cherry & Cream Cookies

adapted from Christina Tosi for Bon Appetit

Ingredients

Milk Crumbs:

¾ c. nonfat dry milk powder
½ c. all-purpose flour
3 T. cornstarch
¾ t. Kosher salt
6 T. unsalted butter, melted

Cookies:

2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ c. sugar
1 ½ c. plus 2 T. light brown sugar
½ c. plus 2 T. light corn syrup
large eggs
5 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. Kosher salt
1 ½ c. Milk Crumbs (see recipe above)
1 ½ c. dried cherries

Instructions

  1. For the Milk Crumbs: Preheat oven to 275ºF. Line a large jelly roll pan with parchment. Combine milk powder, flour, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Toss evenly to mix. Add the butter, stir it with a fork until clusters form. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until crumbs are dry and crumbly, but still pale. Allow to cool on a baking sheet. These can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  2. For the Cookies: In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine butter, sugars and corn syrup. Beat on medium-high speeds until fluffy and pale, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, beat on medium-high until mixture is very pale and sugar is dissolved. About 10 minutes. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, beat on low speed until just incorportaed. Add Milk Crumbs, beat again until just incorporated. Stir in cherries with a spatula until evenly distributed. Dough will be sticky!
  3. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line two jelly roll pans with parchment or silpat. Drop by round teaspoonfull onto baked sheets and bake cookies until golden and just set in the center. About 10-13 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

These would taste great with dried blueberries, per the original recipe, or chocolate chips. They can also be made in the larger sizes per the original recipe if you want to go all out.

Naptime Stopwatch

Making the Milk Crumbs takes about 14 minutes. Making the batter takes about 20 minutes.

Naptime Reviews

These truly unique cookies were the hit of the block. I gave some to neighbors and my husband’s co-workers, they adored them.