Christmas was very good for me this year. In addition to plenty of quality time with many of my favourite people, I was also lucky enough to land some pretty swell gifts, including a few tantalizing cookbooks. Among them was this one:
Meet Dorie’s Cookies. Yes, a cookbook exclusively about cookies – I LOVE it! In fact, this book contains more than just your traditional cookie: it has brownies, bars, madeleines, and lots of other nice things – but everything is generally cookie-like in nature and, by golly, the recipes looked darned good.
I’ll get back to Dorie and her cookies in a moment – but first, I want to talk about Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter.
I adore Trader Joe’s (please, oh please, let us have TJ’s in Canada one day), and I have often heard about the infamous cookie butter, but I’d never tried it myself. Before Christmas, I did a cross-border run to the Bellingham Trader Joe’s and I picked a jar on a whim to give to my friend, Jessica. I’m not sure why I had the inclination to do so – I’ve never talked about the cookie butter with Jessica, but she shares my affinity for delicious treats and I figured if it was something I wanted, it was something she’d probably like. As I wrapped it with her other gifts, I’m not going to lie: a tiny part of me wanted to keep it for myself.
You can probably guess what happened. Jessica gave me Trader Joe’s cookie butter for Christmas, too. No joke. The weirdest part is that this is not the first time we’ve gotten each other identical Christmas gifts. I am so, so grateful for our friendship and our ability to read each other’s minds.
After finally tasting the cookie butter, I can tell you that the rumours are true: it is absolutely delicious. It’s a sweet, gingery spread the texture of smooth peanut butter but with slightly crunchy morsels, and it is dangerously addicting. I loved it – but aside from eating it out of the jar with a spoon, I wasn’t sure how to use it.
Now back to Dorie’s. As I flipped through the recipes, tackling the impossible task of deciding which to conquer first, I came across this one for Chocolate Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies. After a bit of research, I discovered that Biscoff is the exact same thing as TJ’s cookie butter. Boom: I had my first recipe.
This is a wonderful, weird recipe that uses all kinds of good stuff: the gingery cookie butter, of course, but also oatmeal, cocoa powder, and chunks of chocolate. I knew I couldn’t go wrong.
I love cookies because, generally, they are pretty easy to make. (I’m sure that will come back to haunt me as I tackle some of the more complex recipes in this book). This one is no exception: whisk the dry, cream the butter and sugar (and cookie butter), add an egg, add the dry stuff, then add the chopped chocolate.
I should note here my New Year’s resolution for baking: I hereby vow to ditch measuring cups, where possible, and to solely rely on my food scale instead. I know – I should have been doing it this way all along. Now, I will.
This recipe directs you to stash the dough in the fridge for a couple of hours before baking. I read the preamble stuff in this book and my takeaway is this: if Dorie writes out a specific instruction (like pop the dough in the fridge), she does it for a reason – don’t ignore her. Another tip I liked: after preheating the oven, leave it alone for an additional 10 to 15 minutes to get it nice and hot. Since cookies don’t bake for long, the right temperature makes a big difference.
I used an ice cream scoop to produce uniform mounds of dough, then, as directed, I rolled each into a ball and squished it a little flat with the bottom of a jar. The instructions said to space the cookies about an inch apart, which ended up being about right – I had a few that spread to touch, but most kept to their own nicely.
Dorie says to let the cookies cool for 3 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack. When I tried at the 3 minute mark, they were still too soft. I let them sit about 10 minutes total before moving them.
These cookies taste not quite like any cookie I’ve ever had before. The oatmeal gives texture, but I wouldn’t call them an oatmeal cookie. The cookie butter is almost undetectable flavour-wise – they don’t taste like the gingery cookie spread, but there is a little something in them that’s different that would be hard to put your finger on if you didn’t know the ingredient list. The cookies are definitely chocolatey – just the right amount.
If you follow the directions exactly, as I did, you’ll end up with an absolutely perfect cookie consistency: firm but soft and chewy, just begging to be paired with a glass of milk. Best of all, my final product looked identical to the picture in the cookbook itself – always a good sign.
Based on my first batch of cookies from Dorie’s Cookies, I have a strong feeling I’m going to have quite a nice time baking my way through this book. More cookies coming your way soon!