Tag Archives: aquafaba

Tate’s Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies

On this blog, I’ve written about a lot of the unusual recipes that I’ve made. There was the maple syrup taffy. The mini sweet potato cheesecakes. The lime cornmeal cookies. The different cookies with potato chips in them. Adorable little teddy bears in marshmallow hot tubs. And while I’ve definitely made some more traditional recipes, I haven’t actually written about good ol’ regular chocolate chip cookies. One time I made salted chocolate chip cookies, but that was really the closest I’ve done.

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So, I thought I would do something unusual and make something regular. 🙂 I decided to make chocolate chip cookies. Since everybody and their grandmother has a chocolate chip cookie recipe, which recipe to use could have been a difficult decision. Luckily for me, I had an easy answer. Since I was making them for my friend’s birthday, I thought I would make something he would particularly enjoy.

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He’s a big fan of Tate’s cookies. Now, generally I’m a big advocate of homemade cookies. (Wonder what would have given you that idea?) But if you’re looking to buy cookies that someone else made, you can’t go wrong with Tate’s. For example, in a previous incarnation of one of my gaming groups, we consumed an exceptional amount of them. They’re a NY State specialty, but you can get them all over the place. And since the birthday boy really enjoys them, I thought it would be cool to make some for him, as I have the cookbook from Tate’s. Well, as it turns out, I have a cookbook of theirs, but not the cookbook with this recipe. So I had to find it elsewhere. (Thank you, internet!)

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They were pretty easy to put together. I mean, they’re chocolate chip cookies after all. A few recipe notes: I didn’t have salted butter, just unsalted, so I added extra salt to compensate. I didn’t use eggs. I used aquafaba instead. And it turns out that the 2 cups of chocolate chips was a whole bag.

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I baked them on baking sheets covered in parchment paper. I used three sheets and rotated them in and out of the oven through the process, using one or two sheets per batch. I used my handy-dandy cookie scoop to make the cookies, but that made the cookies too big. So I split the scoops of dough roughly in half, which was about right. I ended up with 46 cookies. (The recipe is supposed to make 54, so I guess mine were a little bigger.)

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I baked the first batch for 12 minutes, which wasn’t quite enough. I baked the second batch for 14 minutes which seemed just right. For the next batch, I also baked them for 14 minutes, but that was too much for these. Some might have been a little smaller. It’s also possible that opening and closing the oven to check a couple of times during the previous batch might have cooled it down a little, which made for the longer time. The last batch was in for 13 minutes which was just right.

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They smelled delicious while baking. That is, for a while they smelled really good, but as with any smell, after a while you get used to it. At one point I went into another room and came back and I could notice the difference. It was like walking into a giant cookie. And while they were cooling, I stepped outside for a couple of minutes. When I came back into the apartment, the scent hit me like a ton of bricks. Err, cookies. It was fantastic.

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Tate’s cookies are known for being big, flat, and crispy. And delicious. Some of these turned out more like Tate’s cookies and some less. I tried one that was closer to the Tate’s ideal and one that was further from that. The further one was good, but had just a hint of Tate’s-ness. (Yes, that’s a word now.) The closer one was also good. It was not exactly like a Tate’s cookie, but it was close. It was buttery, crispy, thin, and delicious.

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I brought some into work for the birthday boy, who happens to be not just a friend but also a coworker. But due to both of us being out of the office for one thing or another for a few days, it wasn’t until several days after his birthday that the cookies made it in. By that point it was also another coworker’s birthday. So, the cookies ended up being for two birthdays. Huzzah! More merriment! More celebration! More omnomnomnomnom.

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They both appreciated the gesture, and really loved the cookies. In fact they loved them so much they, and everyone really, came back for more and more. I mentioned to the Tate’s fan about using their recipe. He said mine were even better. (As he pointed out, one advantage mine had is that they were fresh.) Everyone else loved them as well. I brought in about a dozen and a half, and they were gone very quickly. So quickly in fact that I didn’t really get to make my dessert rounds. So I brought in a bunch more the next day. Those also disappeared quickly. People kept telling me over and over again how good they were. I would have to put these pretty high up on the list of recipes enjoyed by my coworkers.

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They were good, simple, buttery, crispy cookies. I didn’t happen to mention that they were egg-free, and I don’t think anyone had any idea. Aquafaba is generally such a good substitute that no one can tell the difference. Plus, they were just really good cookies. I’m glad I made them. It makes me want to try some more simple recipes.

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Do you have any favorite recipes that wow the crowds but are super simple to make? Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe? A favorite style of chocolate chip cookie? Have you been experimenting with aquafaba or other egg substitutes? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Recipe courtesy of Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook via Bon Appétit.

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Lime Cornmeal Cookies

Someone deserves a prize for coming up with the idea of using cornmeal in cookies. I’m not talking Nobel Peace Prize level of prize, but something would be nice. It was an excellent idea, and it surely wasn’t mine. I don’t think I would have even tried it if not for the proliferation of recipes I found. (Who knew there were so many?) I just wanted to make something with cornmeal, as I had wanted to use up the cornmeal I had gotten for the chess pie. In that search, I practically ran headfirst into this recipe. Figuratively, of course. Spoiler alert: it turned out to be an excellent cookie, but it didn’t use up that much cornmeal.

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I had walked out the door to go grocery shopping without having looked recently at the recipe, and without having it with me. Silly me. I knew I needed limes, but not how many. I got a bag of organic limes, and I figured I could use the rest another time if needed. Actually, while making it, before even tasting them my wife suggested I make a double recipe. In retrospect it would have been a good idea, but I wanted to try them out once first. I only ended up using two limes, but that’s okay. (I wonder what I’ll do with the rest of the limes?)

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I didn’t have eggs handy, and I didn’t want to get any just for this so I used aquafaba. It’s an egg substitute, and it’s really just the liquid left from a can of beans. It works great, it doesn’t taste like beans in the final product, and you would never know it’s in there. (You can read more about my previous adventures with aquafaba here.) And, as a special bonus, we ended up using the beans for dinner that night as well. (We made a slightly modified version of the White Bean Fritters recipe here.) Yay planning! Yay synchronicity!

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So I zested and squeezed one lime at the beginning of the recipe. I got just about 2 tbsps zest and plenty of juice. I used 1 tbsp zest in the recipe and the other almost tbsp for the sugar mix for rolling. I used 1 tbsp juice as needed and saved the rest for later.

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It was easy to put together. I chilled the dough right in the mixing bowl. It took some finagling to get the dough into a 12 inch roll. I wrapped it up in wax paper and kept squeezing, squishing, and measuring until I got it to the right size. It wasn’t exactly round, but it was close enough. I wrapped plastic wrap around the wax paper.

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I had started it early in the day as it needed to rest in the fridge for a while (1 hour and then 8 more hours). I almost put it in the freezer for less time or took it out sooner, but I ended up getting caught up in other stuff so I wasn’t ready for it until the full time frame had passed anyway.

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After its time chilling, I took it out of the fridge. I then mixed up the sugar and reserved zest. It didn’t seem like a lot. I removed the plastic wrap and unrolled the wax paper. I poured the sugar mix out and rolled the dough in it, but since it wasn’t quite round, it needed some assistance. I ended up scooping up the sugar mix with my hands and pouring it over the dough. Then I patted it in, rotated the dough, and repeated. It turns out it was a lot. Plenty in fact.

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With the dough all ready, I started cutting slices. I had an idea of how big they should be after making the world peace cookies. It was a pretty similar setup all around.

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The first round I baked for about 10 minutes. They didn’t seem quite done, so I baked them for another 30 seconds or so. That first round might have been a tad bit undercooked. The second round got a tad bit overcooked, as I got caught up in something right when I should have taken them out. The third round was better (spot on, I think) which was about 11 minutes. Despite the differences in baking times, they were all good in the end.

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I let them cool, and I made the glaze. I zested another lime and juiced it. I used up all the zest as the recipe asked for, but between that lime and the juice I had left from the first one, there was plenty of juice. I used 3 tbsps plus a few more tsps to get it to the right consistency.

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I put wax paper under the cooling rack and spooned the glaze on. The first few got maybe a bit too much, which left not quite as much for the last few, but they all got covered in the end. A little uneven but okay. I’m glad I put down wax paper as it was a big ol’ mess underneath. I let them cool.

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After they cooled, we tried them. Wow. The lime was awesome. They have a nice texture, a little crunchy but still chewy. You can taste the cornmeal, and it works very well. The cookie is not super sweet, but the glaze is pretty sweet. They go well together. With the lime in the cookie, surrounding the cookie, and in the glaze, if you don’t like lime, this is not the right cookie for you. I wasn’t expecting these to be anything special, so I was pleasantly surprised. They were really good.

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The next day, after sitting in the fridge overnight, the glaze was much less sticky. Since that made it easier to travel with them, I decided to bring some in to work. Everyone at work really enjoyed them. One person referred to them as “crack”. After tasting one and enjoying it immensely, someone who was visiting from another office was very jealous upon finding out that I made baked goods regularly. There was some discussion again about stealing me for that office.

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So I would highly recommend these. They’re very good. And they’re easy, even with the lime zesting and juicing. The glaze is a little sweet, so if you want something less sweet, you could probably put in less sugar. But they’re very good as is. Do you have any good recipes with lime to share? I’d love to hear them!

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked.

Chocolate Potato Chip Cookie Bars

Welcome to another special birthday edition of Needs Baked! I like baking for people. It’s fun. It’s a great gift. And people generally love it to pieces. You might remember the things I’ve made for different people’s birthdays. Like this cake, or this pie, or these cupcakes.

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So this time it was for a new friend’s birthday. I wanted to make something, but I don’t know him all that well yet. I consulted someone who knows him better. She said he had no real preferences, but he likes chocolate. As far as chocolate goes, this recipe is one I’ve had my eye on for a while. It’s salty, it’s sweet. It’s snacky, it’s desserty. And it’s not your average dessert. So it seemed like a good choice.

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

I still had no eggs, but I had plenty of aquafaba left from last week’s recipe, so I used that here. I wanted to avoid using the mixer, as I didn’t want to clean it. (It was late and my regular dishwasher was fast asleep.) So I melted the butter to make it easier to incorporate. I know that’s cheating a little bit, but I hope you’ll forgive me. I accidentally melted it too much. It was very liquidy, so it made the resultant mixture very liquidy. (Don’t worry, it turned out okay.)

Fresh out of the oven.

Fresh out of the oven.

The recipe calls for a tablespoon of vanilla. At first I thought that was a misprint. So I tried it with a teaspoon. After testing, it seemed okay to add more, so I ended up using a whole tablespoon after all. As a side benefit, I finally made it to my last bottle of vanilla! I know that sounds weird, so let me explain. At one point I had three bottles of vanilla, which is more than anyone should probably have unless you’re running a secret underground vanilla league. It all started off innocently enough. I had one, but I wanted to get ahead of it before I ran out, so I got some more. I then promptly forgot that I had already bought some more and got more again. So you can see I wasn’t trying to corner the market on vanilla. It was purely accidental. But I finally finished my last extra bottle and am now on my last bottle. Which is a big deal, considering you only use like a teaspoon or so for a recipe. Which means I made a lot of recipes to use up that much vanilla. Yay me! (It’s the little things.)

If you look closely, you can see the chips.

If you look closely, you can see the chips.

It was fun crushing all the potato chips. I didn’t know quite how much I would need to crush. I crushed just what I had in the bag. It turned out to be almost exactly the right amount. I was just a tiny bit shy of the amount for the top.

Mmm. Chocolate topping.

Mmm. Chocolate topping.

Putting it into the baking dish, it was a little greasy. That’s because the butter hadn’t combined properly (see melting above), but it was fun smooshing it in nonetheless. (Yes, smooshing is an industry term.) It looked and smelled lovely as it was baking. It came out with a nice golden color. I let it cool on a cooling rack.

See how it spreads? Nice and smooth.

See how it spreads? Nice and smooth.

Then I made the topping. That was fun, too: melty, melty, smooshy, smooshy. I ended up microwaving it for 1 1/2 minutes. It ended up almost like frosting. There was plenty to go around, and it was smooth and easy to spread.

More chips on top. Because, why not?

More chips on top. Because, why not?

I tried to press in the potato chips on top (easier said than done), as I had a feeling many would fall off while eating. It was a challenge, but it was definitely the way to go. At this point, I put it in the fridge to set. It was late (I had started on it late), so I let it set overnight. Overall, it was very easy and fun to make.

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The next day, I took it out while we went out grocery shopping. (You can’t make cookies without getting groceries sometime.) By the time we got back, it had gotten to room temperature. Much easier to cut it that way. The recipe said you should get 16-20 cookies out of it, but it seemed like they would be very big cookies. For my millionaire’s shortbread, I would get 50 cookies out of something that big. These probably weren’t going to be as rich, but still. I ended up with 30. I cut them a little unevenly, but that was okay as some people like bigger cookies and some like smaller.

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We were bringing them to the birthday boy’s celebration later that evening, but we needed to try them first. You know, to make sure they were okay. The lengths I go to for quality control. 😉

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They’re nice. Rich, buttery, and not overly sweet. My chief taste tester said it was kinda like birthday cake (which is fitting). It’s a moist cookie and the fudge topping is like frosting. It reminded her of childhood. I definitely enjoyed the salty with the sweet. And there was a nice texture difference. Yum!

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How did they go over? Quite well. The birthday boy was very touched. He really enjoyed them. Another guest described them as “like a picnic in my mouth”. My wife was right. People at parties at bars really like desserts. And everyone seemed to particularly enjoy the chocolate and potato chips together, so it was definitely a good choice.

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So, easy and fun recipe? Check. Delicious results? Check. An ingenious way to get your daily recommended allowance of snack foods all together? Check. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes. And if you have any other salty and sweet recipes up your sleeve, feel free to share!

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Recipe courtesy of A Spicy Perspective.

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

When someone gets a new job, people will often celebrate with dinners and drinks. I imagine in the olden days, or maybe in some industries, that people might give them a new briefcase. I like to celebrate with baked goods.

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This week’s recipe is one such set of celebratory baked goods. These are new job cookies. (Kinda like new car smell, except you eat them, and they’re really hard to drive.) My wife started a new job. Yay! It’s really exciting and interesting, and if you see her, you should ask her about it.

Aquafaba.

Aquafaba.

The cookies, while not as exciting and interesting as her job, are pretty darn good. They’re also pretty easy, what I would call weeknight cookies. By that I mean you can make them on a weeknight, which I did. It was about an hour from start to finish.

D'oh!

D’oh!

Now, if you look closely at the first picture, you might notice a can of garbanzo beans, aka chickpeas. But don’t let that fool you, there are no chickpeas in the cookies. Well, not exactly. I didn’t have any eggs, and since the recipe only called for one egg, it didn’t make sense to get a whole package. So, I decided to try something I had heard of. It’s a vegan egg substitute called aquafaba.

Cookie scoops make easy work out of forming cookies.

Cookie scoops make easy work out of forming cookies.

Don’t let the fancy name fool you. Aquafaba is just the name given to the liquid from a can of chickpeas (or any other bean) that you would normally just discard. I know it sounds weird, but everyone was raving about it. So even though I’m not vegan, I thought I would give it a shot. 3 tbsp of aquafaba equals one egg. The consistency is actually strangely similar to egg whites. And, I hope I don’t spoil the surprise up front by saying so, but it worked out great.

Unbaked cookie close-up.

Unbaked cookie close-up.

Even though I didn’t use eggs, the cookies were not vegan. I used butter, but otherwise they would have been vegan. Vegan butter substitutes are easy to find, so you could easily make these cookies vegan if you wanted to.

Aren't they pretty?

Aren’t they pretty?

I also thought it was awesome that the cookies had to bake at 360 °F. That’s right, 360. Because 350 just wasn’t hot enough. These cookies weren’t too cool for school, they were too hot to trot.

Omnomnomnomnom.

Omnomnomnomnom.

I made a few changes to the recipe, mostly based on what I had on hand. In case you’re following along with the original recipe (linked below), I thought I’d point out some of the changes. I melted the butter before using it, because I thought I would mix the cookies by hand. (I ended up using the hand mixer anyway.) I didn’t have any turbinado sugar, so I used more regular sugar. I was 3 grams short on brown sugar, so I used more regular sugar for that as well. I used sea salt not table salt in the cookies.

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I sometimes use chopped up chocolate as a substitute for chocolate chips. Interestingly enough, this time it was the other way around, as I didn’t have any chocolate bars to chop up, but I did have chocolate chips. I barely had to mix the butter and sugar. The dough did not look crumbly when the recipe said it would. It actually looked fine.

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I used a bigger (2 tbsp) cookie scoop to make the cookies. (The one I got from the competition.) I didn’t fill it quite all the way, but mostly. It made things much easier. And it made the cookies look all pretty and such. I baked them for 12 minutes and ended up with 18 cookies.

Baked cookie close-up. Check out that salt.

Baked cookie close-up. Check out that salt.

Keen-eyed observers might notice there aren’t 18 cookies in the pictures. That’s not because I can’t count, it’s because we ate a few before they were all done baking. (I had made them one sheet at a time.) They were still a little bit warm when we ate them.

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They were nice and gooey on the inside and a little crisp on the outside. They were quite yummy. “These are so good,” my wife kept repeating. There was yummy chocolate with the salt as a nice counterpoint. You would never have known there was anything even remotely related to a chickpea in them. In short, they were delicious.

Cookies like to smile. :)

Cookies like to smile. 🙂

One more thing about the chocolate. You might not be able to tell from the pictures, but these cookies had a lot of chocolate in them. They were hard to pick up without getting chocolate on your hands. As my wife said, “These are chocolate lover’s cookies.” The amount of chocolate to cookie was “a good ratio” as she described it.

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So, if you’re looking for an interesting variation on ye olde favorite chocolate chip cookie, this is definitely worth checking out. If you like a chocolate chip cookie with lots of chocolate, this is definitely worth checking out. And if you’re looking for an egg substitute for any reason, I can heartily recommend aquafaba. And if you’ve got any other interesting chocolate chip cookie variations or egg substitutes, let me know!

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Recipe courtesy of smitten kitchen.