Saturday, December 29, 2012

cream cheese chocolate snacking cookies.


"Dear cream cheese chocolate snacking cookies,

Why are you so hard to photograph flatteringly? Why are you so flat, so 2D, so boringly uniform in colour?

Regards,
Amanda"

- is what I would like to write if cookies were granted the power to process thoughts and speak, and if they had their very own cookie magazine with the usual monthly issues containing in them, an Ask Auntie Cookie forum.

No, seriously.

I find the average cookie so uninspiring, it's really hard to compose an interesting shot. I must have deleted at least 20 pictures before I could settle on these few, and even so, I'm not proud of them. I'm ashamed. Partly because these pictures were derived from random positioning of the camera with the shutter button pressed while harboring a devil-may-care attitude.

Maybe I should put in more effort and thought for cookies' photo shoots. I should get a nice tablecloth with matching plates and utensils, and place some of the ingredients that went into the cookies sporadically in and around.

Or not. Too much trouble.

Bah.

I really admire bloggers who go all-out to take food photos- apart from the thoughtfully-chosen backdrop, plates, forks, spoons, cups and whatever, they even spill a bit of their precious milkshake, topple over a bag of flour or crumble relevant candy bars to highlight their presence. Me? I would balk at the clean up and ingredients lost. But that's just practical side of me.

Wait... where am I going? I thought I was talking about cookies. Let's get back to that.


These cookies differentiate themselves from the average double chocolate cookie because of the cream cheese in them. The cream cheese... um... the cream cheese... I'm not sure what role it plays? Even though I pounced upon one, or two, 136 seconds after they came out of the oven? Just kidding.

Honestly speaking, I feel that the difference the cream cheese makes is very subtle. I would say that it makes the chocolate flavour a bit milder. With all the dark chocolate the batter contains, the resulting cookies should have a slightly bitter chocolate flavour. The cream cheese tones down the bitterness so that it isn't so harsh, like something you would expect from a milk chocolate cookie but less sweet. It's hard to accurately describe but it's something along those lines.

The "snacking" in their name is, according to the guys at Baked, because you would find it very hard to stop at one, and would keep going back for them at any time of the day. I'll take it as they mean that these cookies are downright delicious, but I would also allude it to another factor: their flavour is peculiar enough for you to keep sampling cookie after cookie to try to place a finger on that taste.

P.S. I find saying "cream cheese chocolate snacking cookies" weird. I rather much prefer "chocolate cream cheese snacking cookies". Don't you think so too?


Cream Cheese Chocolate Snacking Cookies
makes 24 to 36 large ones
adapted from Baked Elements

I actually added the melted chocolate just before adding the flour mixture because I was afraid that adding it after would cause the flour to be overworked but I've written the original instructions here.

4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
3 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled
8 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) semisweet chocolate chips

Cream the cream cheese, butter and sugars together until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until just incorporated.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder together. Add the dry ingredients to the cream cheese mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and chocolate chips and stir until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for about (at least) 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare two baking sheets.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 1 1/2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies are set.

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