May 23, 2015

Butterfinger Cookies & Cookie Science Experimentation

My friend is an incredible baker, and her butterfinger cookies are AMAZING. I bought some from her back in the fall when she had a fundraiser, and I gave them to my brother. His reaction was priceless, and I knew that I had to make something that made people react that way --- I needed a perfect cookie recipe. 

I posted a browned butter chocolate chip cookie recipe a while back, but browning butter is kind of an annoying process (you have to brown it, then add ice cubes and wait for it to cool, and blah blah blah). I wanted to make a good cookie that didn't require that step, so after watching a TED Talk video (#nerdalert) and reading several articles, I had an idea of what certain ingredients/steps influenced the outcome (the cookie), and wanted to experiment myself.

IMPORTANT TIP: always use butter that's been softened to room temperature and an egg that's been sitting at room temperature! 
so for the first experiment, I baked a few cookies immediately after making the dough. 

I took chunks of cookie dough and rolled them all into balls. I flattened all of them except for the middle one (one of my greatest fears when baking is that the cookies are going to puff up and not flatten out --- i do not like cake-y cookies :P)
flattened out: they seemed crispier and less chewy (no cracks on top)
not flattened out: I kept this rolled up as a ball and it did flatten out! the edges seemed to be slightly taller than the center (very slightly) and there were cracks. Also, since the cookie had to flatten out itself, I think it retained a bit of softness/moisture and wasn't as "crispy".

i took the leftover dough and rolled it up into a log (this dough is not sticky at all! it's very easy to handle), wrapped it well with wax paper and cling wrap, and refrigerated it.

for the second test, I refrigerated the dough for about 2 hours. I sliced four slices, but took one slice and rolled it into a ball:
the one that was rolled into a ball looked the best!it had the cracks and felt slightly chewier and less crispy than the ones that were simply sliced. so my take away: keep the cookies rolled into a ball!

third experiment: cast iron skillet

I flattened the cookie dough into a greased cast iron skillet. I baked for the same amount of time as the other cookies in the above tray and when I took it out, the cookie dough looked like it was about to overflow from the skillet! However, after letting it cool, it quickly deflated and settled.

Recipe: Butterfinger Cookies

3/4 cup of butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup of brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup of granulated sugar

1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups of flour
2 tsp of corn starch
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt

1 cup (or more) of chopped butterfinger candy bars


1. Cream the butter for a minute. Add the sugars and cream until fluffy (about 3-4 minutes)
2. Add the egg and vanilla; mix for another minute.
3. Sift the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
4. Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Mix to incorporate, but don't overmix!
5. Fold in the chopped butterfinger bars. 
6. Refrigerate and bake later, or preheat the oven to 350*F and roll the cookie dough into even sized balls.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for a minute on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

xoxo, han

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