Friday, 31 July 2015

The Tough Cookie's Dulce de Leche Cookies

OCD Panic Rating: 1/5
Handwashes: 1

My first proper cooking experience in my new flat of course involved cookies.  They're my thing.  Having a jar of dulce de leche in need of finishing, this recipe from seemed like a perfect way to lose my new kitchen virginity.  After all, cookie recipes are generally foolproof, making them perfect for getting to grips with the foibles of a new oven,  Ingredients were bought, the recipe was followed, and this was the result:

How good do these look?!  Soft and thick and full of chocolate chunks.  Chunks not chips, please note: once you've used chunks, you won't go back.  I got the light levels a bit wrong so you can't see the caramel colour that the dulce de leche gives.  You'll have to trust me that they looked mouthwateringly awesome.  The recipe noted that they are quite thick cookies, with a more cakey than biscuity texture to them.  Mine certainly did not have a crumbly texture, so they're not dunkers.  I wonder if this is because much of the sugar is replaced with dulce de leche, creating a stickier dough.  

This replacement also reduced the sweetness of the cookies quite dramatically.  In fact, they tasted a little...weird.  They had a dark, kind of treacly flavour, which almost turned to bitterness with the inclusion of the dark chocolate.  I do like a contrast in my sweet treats - the salt in the caramel, the zing of raspberry with the chocolate - so using white chocolate chunks might have better cut through this darker flavour.  As they were, they weren't unpleasant to eat; they just weren't that moreish.

None of the other reviews of this recipe note the same problem, so I'm willing to lay the whole blame on myself here.  Since moving house I have eaten a lot of shop-bought cookies, so I have probably developed a taste for the very sweet, very sugary varieties.  I've also never cooked with dulce de leche before.  If I had, maybe I'd have been prepared for the way it cooks and tastes when baked.

The good news is that the recipe was supremely easy to follow and I think I could easily adapt it to better suit my tastes.  Even better, the oven worked logically and well, baking the cookies in the time and fashion expected by the recipe.  It passed this simple test.  I'll have to push it harder next time.

Key Points:

  • When working with new ingredients, try to learn about them in advance.  
  • Be prepared to tinker with cooking times when you get a new oven.  Like all tech, it will have its quirks.

Win Rating: 3/5.  They'll never be my go-to cookies but they were strangely satisfying.

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