Saturday, November 10, 2012

To chill or not to chill...that is the question.

I recently purchased Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery cookbook, and it is To.Die.For.  Rarely do I open a cookbook and IMMEDIATELY want to make EVERY item in it!  Alas, this one does just that.  And to my surprise (it has a big section dedicated to bread making - a new arena for me), I'm VERY interested in trying some of the breads!  This most likely has to do with the fact that i'm very much in love with a French Brioche bread that costs a small fortune, and i've been thinking about trying to make one myself.  Alas, there is a very lovely recipe for Brioche that i'm going to try shortly.

The common theme in many of his recipes, no matter what type (cookies, doughs, etc.), is refrigerating the dough either for a couple of hours or overnight.  I'm discovering that the 'serious' pastry chefs plan their items very much in advance (taking into account chilling times, etc.) and allot the appropriate time for chilling.  The recipes themselves aren't that different from others that i've seen, what's different is the chilling time.  'They' say that allowing doughs (of any kind) to chill and 'relax' allows the dough to absorb the ingredients to their fullest, which then, in turn, makes the flavors in the dough more intense.  I don't doubt this for a second.  Even your traditional chocolate chip cookie dough, if you allow the dough to chill overnight, will produce a tastier cookie - go ahead, give it a whirl ;).

Next on my agenda is to try a peanut butter cookie in said above cookbook called 'Better Nutters'.  The recipe is modeled after Nutter Butters (an old favorite cookie of mine).  It calls for roasting peanuts, beating and mixing butters of sorts along with dry ingredients, and then, of course, chilling the dough (for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days).  You then cut rounds from the chilled dough, freeze the rounds for 2 hours, bake them (frozen), and then make a peanut buttercream where you sandwich two cookies together filled with the buttercream.  YUM!

I'll keep you updated on the progress and, of course, post the recipe.  So far i've only roasted the peanuts (but the house already smells delish!).

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