BPA 100: Brownies and Cookies...Yumm

BPA 100
Day 8, Tuesday

Brownies and Caramel Topping, Citrus Ring and Strassburger cookies

Fudgy Brownies
4 oz butter
1.5 oz water
9 oz sugar
pinch salt
5 oz eggs
¼ tsp vanilla
13 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
5 oz bread flour
1/8 tsp baking powder

Brownies are extremely easy and simple to make. They have more liquid than other cookies, and like bar cookies bake in a pan and are cut after. They are high in sugar and fat which make them very dense and fudgy. For a more cake like brownie, whip the eggs and sugar together incorporating more air and making for a lighter batter.

Begin by melting the chocolate over a double boiler. Looking at the melted chocolate you can see it still holds its shape slightly which means it is lower in cocoa butter and higher in cocoa mass, giving a greater chocolate flavor.

In another pot heat the water, sugar, butter and salt. In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs and vanilla together. Pour the melted butter mixture into the eggs by tempering; adding a small amount of the hot to the cold liquids and whisking, bringing up the temperature before adding the rest of the hot liquid. This keeps the eggs from scrambling or partially cooking.

Add the chocolate, making sure no water or condensation from the bowl gets in with it. Use a spatula so the chocolate does not get caught on the whisk; it is an expensive ingredient and you want to get the most out of it. Heating the water and butter prevents the chocolate from seizing when added.

Sift the flours and baking powder onto a parchment sheet and sprinkle a little on top of the chocolate mixture. Cut and fold and add the remaining flour. There is a little bit of leavening in these brownies.

Make sure when mixing to get rid of all the lumps of flour. Lightly spray a quarter sheet pan with pan spray and line with parchment. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake at 350 degrees F with the grid rack on the bottom because it is high in sugar.

Don’t bake it all the way through, you want some crumbs to come out on the knife. Some carry over baking will occur and you want the brownies to be fudgy and not dry.
Citrus Ring cookies

7 oz butter
2 oz powdered sugar
6 oz cake flour
1 ¼ oz cornstarch
1 ea egg white
½ oz orange juice
½ t lemon extract
½ t lime zest- omitted today
½ t lemon zest

Use the creaming method for these bag/ spritz cookies. Make sure the butter is softened, if it is not the dough will have trouble coming together and also will not flow from the piping bag. The zest can go with the orange juice or with the butter. Extracts are mostly alcohol based and will evaporate quickly so it is best to measure just before adding to the dough.

Begin creaming on speed 1. These cookies will have a larger spread because of the powdered sugar. Add the sugar and cream for a little bit. The cornstarch helps cut the protein content and makes a softer bite. Add the zest if non added yet, lemon extract, and orange juice to the creaming butter.

The egg white makes a crisper cookie and bite than if the whole egg was added. Move the mixer up to speed 2. You want a lot of air added since there is no leavener in the cookie; but if it is too light and fluffy it will loose its shape in baking. You want the dough to be between a pate sucree and chocolate chip cookie dough. When adding the egg you want a high speed to make a good emulsion. Wait until it comes back together before adding more egg.

It is better to mix in the flour by hand because there is more control over the amount of mixing. Transfer the butter to a mixing bowl and slowly add the flour. Cut and fold the mixture. The zest gives a little color to the cookie.

Have the piping bag ready with tip #824. You want a 1 ½” piped disc. You can make an outline by dipping a ring cutter into flour. There are various shapes you can make such as a rosette, S shape, or other sized discs. These bake around 18-20 minutes for 375 degrees F.
Caramel Pecan Topping (For Brownies)

6 oz granulated sugar
1 ½ oz glucose or corn syrup
3 fl oz water
6 fl oz heavy cream
2 oz softened butter
6 oz toasted pecans
½ fl oz vanilla extract
In a saucepan combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Toast the nuts with salt if you are not baking them. The salt is good to balance the sweetness of the caramel.
The water and sugar will come to a boil; the corn syrup will keep the sugar from crystallizing. Don’t touch it until it gets a golden brown color. The nuts should be warm. As the sugar boils the bubbles get smaller.

When you see the desired color, add the butter. The temperature of the cream really doesn’t matter; it can be made with warm or cold cream and still make a nice caramel. When there is coloration in the middle you can begin stirring to get an even coloration throughout. Turn the heat off and drop in the butter and stir.

Add the cream; big bubbles will form because of the amount of moisture in the cream. Turn the heat back on to make sure to evaporate some liquid and to make sure everything is well mixed. It will get a dark color. Bring the caramel back to a boil and add the nuts.

Pour it and spread across the top of the brownies. As it cools it will set.
Strassburger Cookies – ½ recipe
Full recipe in Friberg

340 g butter
8 oz powdered sugar
1.5 egg yolks
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb 4 oz cake flour
1 tsp cardamom
This recipe follows the same M.O.P. as the citrus ring cookies.

Cream the butter and sugar until they are lighter.

Slowly add the eggs and egg yolks, waiting until the mixture comes back together before adding more egg. Scrape the bowl often to be sure all the butter is incorporated with the eggs. The speed should be at 2 (4-6 on a Kitchen Aid) for a good emulsion to form. Sift the flour and cardamom onto parchment. Remove the paddle and bowl from the mixer. Gently fold in the flour. Tactile dough will form.

Put this into the piping bag and pipe rings, rosettes, or S shapes. Bake at 350 degrees F in the convection oven. When cooled dip the cookies in Pate a Glacer and then sprinkle with croquant.

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