Simply Sensational Cookies

by Susan Salzman
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nancybaggat-bookFinding random emails in my in box, requesting a review(basically asking if I want “free” stuff) of a product, kitchen gadget, or cookbook always ignites my curiosity.

I get request quite often, but the reality is, is that between family, menu planning, my kid’s schedule, my consulting clients, and work, there is not much down time to sit in a chair and read a cookbook. I used to be able to do that regularly, but now when I do find myself stealing a few of those moments, I embrace them and hang on to them as long as possible.

However, when I saw what book I was being offered, it didn’t take me long to respond with an enthusiastic YES! Nancy Bagget’s new book; Simply Sensational Cookies is filled with many classics but with a twist.

And as I read through the book, there were several that I earmarked, knowing that I could convert them into a gluten free version. An added bonus to this book is that all of the photography is shot by the art and mastery of Todd and Diane.

Great recipes, mouth watering photography, and new inspiration.

chocolatebarA few months back my client (and friend) brought me back this amazing bar of chocolate from a trip to Paris. I had been saving it for a special occasion. When I read this recipe I knew immediately that I not only wanted to test it, but that I finally had an opportunity to use this delicious ingredient.

Often when I find a recipe I want to make, I put it aside and put it on my weekend “to-do” list. Not this one. I kind of dropped everything and got busy in the kitchen. Replacing the traditional AP flour with amaranth flour, brown rice flour, and tapioca starch was a brilliant combination and I am proud to admit that I nailed this cookie on it’s first take.

They were so good that they disappeared before the night was over and the begging began for a repeat performance. The large chunks of chocolate laced throughout the already chocolaty cookie, in my opinion, is the winning ingredient. These cookies are a cross between a brownie, souffle, and flourless chocolate cake, they are an attention getter and a cookie that is going to be a staple in our cookie jar.

After making the second batch, I hid a few in the freezer – right next to the pre-scooped pumpkin spice ice cream. An idea was born. The scoops of ice cream were the perfect size for these particular cookies. With ten cookies stashed away, I had just enough ice cream to make 5 little sandwiches. One for each of my boys and me! Raise your hand if you like the combo of chocolate and pumpkin. My hand is up, is yours?

The cover of this book says it all. If there is one book you want to buy for yourself this holiday season, or for someone you love, this is the book to put at the top of your list.

Bouchon Bakery – Double Chocolate Chippers

cookie chocolatechipper2Ingredients:
1 1/4 ounce | 35 grams | 1/4 cup Amaranth Flour
1 1/4 ounce | 35 grams | 1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
1 1/4 ounce | 35 grams | 1/4 cup Tapioca starch
1 3/4 ounces | 48 grams | 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened, unprocessed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
5 ounces | 142 grams | 10 tablespoons unsalted, organic butter (room temperature)
5 ounces | 140 grams | 2/3 cups muscovado sugar
2 tablespoons maple sugar
2 teaspoons molasses
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, organic
3 1/2 ounces | 98 grams | 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks
3 1/2 ounces | 98 grams | 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line four rimmed baking sheets with parchment sheets.

Sift amaranth flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder, and Celtic sea salt, into a medium bowl. Set aside.

Using your electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the muscovado sugar, maple sugar, molasses, and vanilla extract. Cream thoroughly, about 2 minutes. Add egg and combine. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients. Stir in the chopped chocolate chunks and chips.

Using a 2 tablespoon ice cream scooper, place balls of dough on prepared sheets, 2 inches apart (about 8 per sheet). Bake 8 – 12 minutes, rotating pans half way through (top to bottom, back to front).

Cool completely on wire racks before removing from the parchment (this is a very moist cookie and if you remove to early, the center of the cookie will stick to the sheets – trust me!). These are best eaten the day they are made. However, we loved them stored in the fridge, eaten cold!

Note: If you bake using traditional AP flour, replace the amaranth flour, brown rice flour, and tapioca starch with 3/4 cup of unbleached flour.

Yield: 42 3″ cookies


Susan Salzman writes The Urban Baker blog to explore her dedication to good food in the hope of adding beauty to the lives of her family and friends.  

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