(Happy-Go-Lucky Memoirs of a Foodie and her Husband)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chocapocalypse Cookies, and Our Goose is Cooked


So yeah, I apparently haven't been here since October 2013.  That's what....about 4 months?  Oops.  ;)

Aaaanyways, first up is a quick update on the goose endeavor.  In October, we were planning a goose adventure.  Of course, we weren't able to cook the goose when we wanted to, but did end up doing it for Thanksgiving with a great group of friends.  We decided to go truly traditional and old fashioned, so that our Thanksgiving dinner last year consisted of roasted goose, venison stew, various veggies, and....some turkey for back up.

The review of the goose goes thusly:

  • Not as gamey as one might expect, especially considering the one we had was free-range farm raised (i.e. pretty much wild caught).
  • Basically all dark meat.
  • Not a ton of meat on it; good thing we had other proteins ready for the meal.
  • Texture-wise, it was more like veal or steak than poultry.
  • And (I think) the best thing of all -- we were able to render about 3 full cups of fat from it during the roasting process.  Which we have since been using for various purposes such as frying breakfast potatoes, roasting brussels sprouts, etc., and that's a damn yummy proposition!

AND NOW, on to the cookies!

Last night, we went to Alton Brown's Edible Inevitable Tour, which btw was awesome.  So very, very spectacularly awesome.  Hehe.  In honor of the occasion, we decided to bake one of AB's final Good Eats recipes, which in my opinion, might also be one of his most complicated (you know how AB can be sometimes):  It's called Chocapocalypse Cookies.

We followed the recipe to the letter, but I will re-post it here anyways.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 ounces of 54-percent bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces of 70-percent bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 ounces of 40-percent milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces of cocoa nibs
Photo by Kris Jarrett

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the 54-percent bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate in a medium glass mixing bowl and microwave on high for two 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval. If still not smooth heat for 10 additional seconds at a time and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool to 90 degrees F, approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together, and set aside.
  3. Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until combined and looks like wet sand, about 2 minutes.
  4. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix to combine. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until integrated. Add the 70-percent bittersweet chocolate, 40-percent milk chocolate and the cocoa nibs and mix until combined.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Scoop the dough using a 1 1/4-inch-diameter disher or ice cream scoop onto parchment-lined half-sheet pans, placing 2 inches apart, 12 cookies per pan. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, rotating after 5 minutes. Do not over-bake; the cookies may look wet and doughy.
  9. Cool the cookies on the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer on the parchment paper to a cooling rack to cool completely.

THE REVIEW

First of all, this was obviously a bit of an involved process, with all the different very specific kinds of chocolate that needed to be obtained.  But like with all recipes, as long as you do your mise en place ahead of time, it all comes together pretty smoothly.  And I did get a blister from chopping up all the big chunks of chocolate.  Lol.

Number two -- At first, we weren't sure we really liked these cookies because when they came out of the oven all hot and gooey (when cookies are usually at their very best), the cocoa nibs were still really firm and crunchy, which was kind of weird.  Other than that, they are delicious.  But after sitting for a few hours, the nibs seemed to soften up while the rest of the cookie retained it's nice cake/brownie-like texture.  Even the next day, the cookies themselves remain soft with still non-distractingly crunchy nibs.

Will we make these again?  Sure, why not.  But I might switch out the nibs for regular chocolate chips.  Another thing to consider is the cost....the four different kinds of chocolate that are needed can get a little pricey, but once in a while we have to splurge, right?  =)

I love A.B.

UPDATE, February 18 -- a full three days after making these cookies and they are still mostly soft....certainly not nearly as crunchified as you'd expect homemade cookies to be this long after being baked.  Woohoo.

SECOND UPDATE, February 19 -- I made a few more of these cookies this morning, using a small portion of the dough that I had kept in the fridge with plans of baking them for my boss.  The nibs weren't crunchy immediately upon coming out of the oven, like in the original batch.  I guess they were able to soften up just by being in the raw dough in the fridge....not necessarily needing to be baked for that softening to happen.  Neat.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Duck, duck....GOOSE!

I don't have a lot to write today.  I am just aiming to get back to cooking more and blogging about it.

Because it's been far, far, far too long.

To the title above....we've cooked duck before, and quite successfully if I do say so myself.  But I didn't blog about it because life got in the way....too busy, too focused on other things, insert excuse here, blah blah, etc.

Now, today, I am looking for ideas for cooking a whole goose because, well, we have one in the freezer and, sooner or later we'll be getting another delivery from our poultry CSA and will need to make room.  We should have time to do this goose adventure next weekend.

So what say you?  How have/would you cook a whole goose?

Muchos grassyass in advance!