Ultra Thick and Soft Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Ultra Thick and Soft Peanut Butter M&M Cookies- Baker BettieI have been hearing about people putting cornstarch in their cookies for some time now. Everyone claiming that it makes the cookies ridiculously soft and fudgy. This has been nagging at me. Everyone who’s tried it swears by it, but nobody ever talks about why! So I finally decided to give it a go, and of course, it does work! Surprisingly well. These cookies turned out to be some of the softest, most dense and fudgy cookies I have ever baked.

I was thinking about the science behind this the other day and trying to do some research as to why cornstarch has this effect in baked goods. And while I haven’t found one definitive answer, this is what I’ve concluded: We know that cornstarch and flour are both starches or course, and their main purpose in baking is the hold structure. However, flour has gluten in it and this gluten reduces the thickening power of flour. Therefore, cornstarch is about twice as powerful of a thickening agent compared to flour. By adding some cornstarch to the mixture you can have a dough that has far more liquid and fat in it compared to the flour and it will still hold it’s shape. Liquid and fat create moistness and softness in a cookie, so this is my theory. The cookie will be able to stand tall and hold it’s shape because of the thickening power of cornstarch while having a high ratio of fat and liquid. I’m sure there are more in depth sciency things behind it, but I love having these epiphanies!

… 

Read More »

Cake Donuts with Chocolate Ganache

Cake Donuts with Chocolate Ganache- Baker Bettie

Good morning!

I can’t even tell you how excited I am to get up in the mornings right now. It’s even hard for me to go to sleep at night! Because all I can think about is all these exciting things happening with the blog and VRAI Magazine and I can’t wait to start my day everyday to get to work.

We made the decision very recently that I would work for myself full time. Making money from the blog, working toward building the magazine into a business, and putting effort into various other projects that will eventually be profitable. Hopefully. And it all just feels like a dream. A dream come true. I get up every single morning absolutely ecstatic to get to work. And I promise you, I am working hard. Like really hard. It’s difficult for me to step away sometimes. But I’m working on being strict with myself for a few hours in the evening so my husband and I can finally spend some quality time together.

Cake Donuts with Chocolate Ganache- Baker Bettie

Each day I have been getting up bright and early and getting right to work on my to do list which involves answering emails and comments on the blog, editing photos, writing blog posts or magazine copy, editing other magazine articles, keeping up with social media, writing recipes, baking/testing recipes, food styling, and photographing. And repeat. Pretty sweet deal, eh?! I think so.

It’s also really nice to be able to keep up with the house a little better. When you work from home you can put a load of laundry in while you work! And if I’m prepping a recipe to be tested, I can go ahead and prep stuff for dinner too! It’s so amazing!

… 

Read More »

Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream- Baker BettieThe second the weather starts warming up my mind is on a one way track towards summer. I’m ready for sundresses, strappy sandals, days that never end, and permission to eat lots of ice cream. Not that you really need permission for that. But it just feels less guilty in the summer. It’s like, “Hey! It’s 120 degrees so I’m going to eat some damn ice cream!” I’m already trying to push that summer mode. I haven’t broken out the sundresses yet, it is only in the 50s and 60s, but I’m pretty darn close to just doing it.

Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream- Baker BettieThis is my first homemade ice cream batch of the season. It definitely won’t be my last. Having an ice cream maker is awesomely dangerous. If you don’t have one, I’m sorry. But you can totally get the one I have for just $50! No pressure or anything. But seriously, you should get one. They even come in different colors, so… there’s that.

… 

Read More »

10 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes You Need in Your Life

10 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes You Need in Your Life

I’m sure you may have guessed by now, with my constant posting this week, that I am finished with culinary school! I promise I won’t flood your inboxes every week like I did this week, but I missed blogging and you all so much!

In case you missed it, I declared this week Chocolate Chip Cookie Week, in celebration of me being done with school and getting back in the blogging game full time! The week started off with a little torturing by me teaching you math with The Basic’s of Baker’s Percentages. I tried to bribe you all through the post by promising you cookies. Lots of cookies. And I delivered with Thin and Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies on Tuesday, Thick and Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies on Wednesday, and Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies on Thursday!

And today I am here to finish up the cookie love with a list of 10 chocolate chip cookie recipes that you need in your life! Or maybe I need them in my life and so I’m going to force it on you too. But I’m guessing you won’t protest too much! Hope you have all had a great week! Happy Friday!

… 

Read More »

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies- Baker BettieAnd so we’ve come full circle in this chocolate chip cookie game. The week started with me torturing tutoring you with math. But I promised you the math would lead us to lots of cookies. And didn’t I deliver? We’ve reviewed cookies of the thin and crispy variety, and cookies that are cakey and thick. So here we are today with these beautiful ladies. These soft and gooey and chewy thangs. Probably my favorite of the three! But I think I need to go do some more scientific taste testing just to be sure.

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies- Baker Bettie

Alright, let’s get into the science and math shall we?!

Creating soft and chewy cookies relies heavily on moisture content. And a big part of keeping that moisture content in the cookie is by using a sugar that is highly hygroscopic. If you remember from the thin and crispy cookie post, we talked about how sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs and holds onto moisture. So we opted to use granulated sugar for the crispy cookies because it is less hygroscopic than other sugars. We wanted the moisture to evaporate and create a crisp cookie. But today, we want the opposite! We want a sugar that is going to hold onto that moisture so that our cookies are really moist and chewy!

Molasses is a highly hygroscopic sugar. And you know what has molasses in it? Brown sugar! And you know what has even MORE molasses in it? Dark brown sugar! So for these chewy cookies we are using all brown sugar and preferably, all dark brown sugar.

… 

Read More »

Thick and Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thick and Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies- Baker BettieI’m back today for Chocolate Chip Cookie week with the polar opposite of yesterday’s cookie. Yesterday we explored the paper thin and ultra crispy chocolate chip cookie. But today we are going thick and cakey and airy! So just take everything you learned yesterday and reverse it, right? Well, kind of.

With our thin and crispy cookie we talked about a high ratio of sugar and fat. Well in this instance, yes, we are going in reverse. A lower percentage of fat and sugar will produce a fatter cookie. The cookie will coagulate more quickly and spread less. Remember how we talked about butter and sugar melting causing the cookie to spread? We are trying to reduce that here!

For the purposes of this demonstration, I used butter as the fat in all of the recipes. However, shortening would produce an even fluffier and softer cookie because it melts more slowly than butter. Shortening also contains more water content and will produce steam when it melts causing more rise. You can substitute the same amount of shortening for the butter if desired in this recipe.

Thick and Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies- Baker Bettie

The ratio of eggs in this cookie is also higher than in our thin and crispy recipe. This is for several reasons. Eggs also contain water that will evaporate and produce steam which will help our cookie rise. The protein in the eggs also help with cookie coagulation and will keep a thicker shape.

… 

Read More »