I know what it takes to make the perfect cookie. I say this after owning a cookie shop, so I can. Right? Ok, let me rephrase: I know what it takes to make a really good cookie; it’s chocolate. Only the best chocolate. The kind you can just eat. That chocolate that makes you close your eyes as it slowly melts in your mouth. That is what is going to take your cookie from a 7 to a 10. If you’re using just any old bag of chocolate chips, you’ll get any old chocolate chip cookie. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for nostalgic Tollhouse chocolate chips. But if you’re looking to get a “wow” cookie, you’ll need to spend some money on good chocolate. I have literally fallen in love with Valrhona‘s chocolates. I’ve talked about them so many times that it would seem as if I’m working for the company, but I assure you, I am not. This is not a sponsored post. The wonderful people at Valrhona sent me a bag after I expressed my excitement.
Using the right shape of chocolate is also very important to a great cookie. There are chips, shards, chunks, feves, blocks, micro chips…. But I’m not going to talk about that in this post. Stay tuned for “What kinda shape you need for that cookie” post.
Valrhona came out with a line of fruit and nut couvetures called INSPIRATION in flavors like Passion Fruit, Almond, and Strawberry. Firstly, the color of the Strawberry feves are shocking. Just the most beautiful deep rose red hue that’s achieved naturally using strawberry powder…like, real strawberries. And even more, they somehow taste exactly like the color. Sweet, creamy, tangy, powerful, and bright. It’s one of those things you put in your mouth and after a few seconds you’re wide eyed and shocked at how something so small can have so much flavor. Couvetures usually have a high amount of cocoa butter in them for a high gloss finish and are normally used for covering sweets and cakes. But when I saw them I was instantly moved and wanted to put them in a cookie since my life is made up of, “will this cookie?”. I’m still working on getting some Cheez It & Corn cookies right.
The “cream” part of this cookie is from the cookie dough base. I used milk powder, vanilla bean paste, and cream of tarter to achieve that flavor you would get from box cookie mix, or my personal favorite, snickerdoodle cookies. I didn’t want it to overpower the flavor of the chocolate. I could talk your ear off about this chocolate but you really just need to try it for yourself. I promise you, this is not a sponsered post. BUT if you really really don’t want to get some, (who are you and why are we friends), this cookie dough base will work really nice with any type of chocolate you have on hand. Even white chocolate (wow, really, who are you and we’re not friends).
STRAWBERRIES & CREAM COOKIES
MAKES ABOUT 40 MINI COOKIES
185 g (1 stick plus 5 tbsp) room temperature unsalted butter
245 g (1 1/4 cup) sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
330 g (2 2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
55 g (1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp) skim milk powder
5 g (1 tsp) baking soda
7 g (1 ¼) tsp cream of tartar
4 g (3/4 tsp) Diamond Crystal Kosher salt (or less if using a different brand)
350 g (3+ cups) Valrhona STRAWBERRY INSPIRATION baking chocolate féves
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and continue mixing on medium speed for another 5 minutes., scraping down the sides as needed
Sift the flour, skim milk powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt into a large bowl and combine. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low until just combined. Add the chocolate discs and mix on slow so that the paddle breaks them up a bit but should still have large pieces of chocolate.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1-ounce capacity ice cream disher (scoop with release), scoop out the dough and place them on the baking sheet. Wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for no less than 12 hours. This will allow the glutens in the flour to relax and will give you a tender soft cookie. Do not skip this step.
At this point you can bake 1 or bake all 40. Keep the cookie dough balls in a zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Pre-heat the oven to 325˚F (160˚C) and line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat. Space the frozen cookie dough balls at least 2 inches apart to allow for them to spread. Bake for 11-13 minutes until the edges are just beginning to brown. They will still look fairly unbaked, which is perfect. Each oven is different and baking time and temperatures will vary depending on your oven.