Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pastry School- Cookies

How was pastry school?  It was GREAT!  I can't wait to go back again.  It was a VERY hard week on the family, but Husband handled everything like a pro.  I learned a lot about the science of baking- how ingredients function in a recipe, methods of mixing, how to fix mistakes.  I was really kind of sad to not go back on Monday morning.
Day 1 was mostly lecture.  We went over the ingredients and their functions, as well as mixing processes.  We made Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Chip cookies that first day.  Here are photos of our hunks of dough.
The cookies we made.
The photo below shows a great way to store cookie dough in the freezer.  You form the dough into a log, label it, then slice and bake what you need.
I just made a batch of chocolate chip  today.  I scooped out the dough in portions onto a piece of parchment, and froze the portions.  I'll put them in a ziplock bag- should do that soon!- and take out as many as I need, and bake them off.  In this class, we talked a lot about how fast things go stale, how long you can safely keep batter or finished products in the fridge, and how long in the freezer.  A chocolate chip cookie a couple hours out of the oven is WAY better than one that's 3 days old.  So I like the idea of having a stash of dough in the freezer for cookie emergencies- a common occurrence around here.

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