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Friday, July 1, 2016

Recipe: Cheddar Goldfish Cookies

Cheddar Goldfish Cookies

Recipe: Cheddar Goldfish Cookies



I love fishes 'cause they're so delicious!

Not everyone loves a sweet and savory combination. Some find the idea of Cheese in a Sugar Cookie to be an act of culinary confusion. Personally, I think a good mash-up can be pastry perfection. Sweet and salty... salty and sweet. One enhances the other creating a feedback loop of flavor that goes straight to the brain's happy center.

It was after sampling a Ritz Cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar that I contemplated the somewhat limitless possibilities in bringing savory flavors to otherwise sweet snacks.

This is more than just throwing Bacon on top of a Cupcake, as if competing on some tired food competition. "Oh my god, he put Bacon in there!" ... really?  Hasn't every contestant over the last three years pulled the exact same "CRAZY" stunt?

It took me about two minutes to settle on using Goldfish Crackers as the savory element of choice. They are a favorite snack from childhood. The Cheddar flavor is unmistakable - no subtle touches here. And they have the perfect dry, crumbly texture. Add those elements to a soft, chewy Sugar Cookie, and you're looking at one damn fine Cheddar Goldfish Cookie.

And as a little warning... this recipe calls for a little Cayenne Pepper in the mix. It's optional, but it's great. "Oh my god, he put Cayenne in there!"

Single Cheddar Goldfish Cookie
You would be a smiling too if you were in this Cookie!

Cheddar Goldfish Crackers in a Bowl
The Cheddar Goldfish Cookies combine the chewy sweetness of a soft Sugar Cookie with the cheesy goodness of crunchy Goldfish Crackers, one of my all-time-favorite snack foods.

To kick things off, the Goldfish Crackers are transformed into a "Crunch". Inspired by recipes from Momofuku Milk Bar, crushed Goldfish Crackers are combined with Sugar, Milk Powder and melted Butter. The mixture is then baked in a low temperature oven until it is slightly toasted and crispy. In this form, the Goldfish Crackers hold up better in the Cookie Dough, and they work extremely well as an outer coating to the Cheddar Goldfish Cookies.

Almost any crispy snack can be made into a "Crunch" by combining it with Sugar and melted Butter in equal parts by weight. The general balance between ingredients can be slightly adjusted to personal taste.

Crumbled Cheddar Goldfish Crackers
To make the Goldfish Cracker Crunch, begin by breaking up a bag of Goldfish Crackers into small pieces using your fingers. Do not crush the Goldfish Crackers into too fine a dust. Some larger pieces are good for texture. You want to make a Goldfish Crunch, not a Goldfish paste.

Combine the crushed Goldfish Crackers with Sugar, Milk Powder and Cayenne Pepper (if you wish!)

The heat from the Cayenne Pepper enhances the savory side of these Cookies, but it is optional. If you do use Cayenne Pepper, do not use too much! A little definitely goes a long way.

Melt the Butter and pour it over the dry ingredient mixture. Stir the ingredients together until well combined. 

Cheddar Goldfish Cracker Crunch
Spread the Goldfish Cracker Crunch in a thin layer on a silpat lined sheet tray, and bake it for about 20 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 degrees Celsius). The Goldfish Cracker Crunch is done when it becomes noticeably fragrant and is crispy when it cools.

The Goldfish Cracker Crunch will keep well for a week when stored at room temperature in an airtight container. If you do not use all of it to make the Cheddar Goldfish Cookies, save the leftovers. It is a great topping for Ice Cream!

Cheddar Goldfish Cracker Crunch Mixed into Cookie Dough
While the Goldfish Cracker Crunch cools, prepare the base Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough. It is a relatively simple mix that begins with creaming Butter and Sugar, individually adding Eggs until they are well incorporated, and then adding the dry ingredients, mixing until they are just incorporated (so as to not develop too much gluten).

Once the base Dough is prepared, gently stir in some of the Goldfish Cracker Crunch. Wrap the prepared Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to rest and chill for at least an hour (ideally overnight). Chilling the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough helps develop flavor. Just as important, it is easier to portion and roll the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough when it is chilled. It also limits spread during baking.

Rolling Cookies in Cheddar Goldfish Cracker Crunch
When the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough is well-chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).

Portion the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough into 35g portions (recommended size) and form each portion into a ball. Roll each ball in the remaining Goldfish Cracker Crunch, taking time to make sure the exteriors are well coated.

Unbaked Cheddar Goldfish Cookie
Arrange the balls of Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough on a parchment lined sheet tray. Baking on parchment will help to reduce the spread of the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie as they bake. Using a silpat is not recommended.

If you wish, place a whole Goldfish Cracker at the center of each portioned Cheddar Goldfish Cookie. It adds a little whimsy (particularly if you get one that has a good smile).

Baked Cheddar Goldfish Cookie
Bake the Cheddar Goldfish Cookies for approximately 12-14 minutes or until they just begin to brown and become crispy at the edges. The centers should remain soft and chewy. Allow the Cheddar Goldfish Cookies to cool on the sheet tray.

The Cheddar Goldfish Cookies will keep well for up to a week when stored at room temperature in an airtight container. The Cheddar Goldfish Cookies can be frozen for a couple of months in an airtight container. Allow the Cookies to temper to room temperature before serving.






- The Recipe -




Cheddar Goldfish Cookies:


Yield1,300 (3 Dozen 35g Cookies)

Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough Ingredients:
  • Butter: 225g (1 Cup / 2 Sticks)
  • Sugar: 300g (1.5 Cups)
  • Glucose -or- Corn Syrup: 90g (3/8 Cup)
  • Vanilla Extract: 5g (1 Tsp)

  • Eggs: 100g (2x)

  • Bread Flour: 375g (3 Cups)
  • Baking Powder: 12g (2.5 Tsp)
  • Salt: 12g (2 Tsp)

  • Cheddar Goldfish Crunch: 210g (1.5 Cups)


Cheddar Goldfish Crunch*:
  • Goldfish Crackers: 185g (6.6oz Bag)
  • Sugar: 150g (0.75 Cup)
  • Milk Powder: 45g (2/3 Cup)
  • Cayenne Pepper (optional): 0.5 - 1.0 Tsp

  • Butter, melted: 170g (0.75 Cup / 1.5 Sticks)

* Inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar Crunch recipes





Directions:


Cheddar Goldfish Crunch:


Yield: 550g (~3 Cups)

1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135 degrees Celsius).

2. Place the Goldfish Crackers in a large mixing bowl and break them into pieces using your fingers.

Chef's Note: The Goldfish Crackers should not be broken into too fine a dust. Some bigger pieces are good for texture.

3. Add the Sugar, Milk Powder and Cayenne Pepper (optional). Stir the dry ingredients together until they are well combined.

Chef's Note: Ground Cayenne Pepper enhances the flavor of the Goldfish Crackers, but it should be used sparingly.

4. Melt the Butter and pour it over the Goldfish Cracker mixture. Stir the mixture until the Butter is evenly incorporated.

5. Spread the Goldfish Cracker Crunch in a thin layer on a parchment or silpat lined sheet tray.

6. Bake the Goldfish Cracker Crunch for approximately 20 minutes or until the Goldfish Cracker Crunch becomes fragrant and cools crispy.

Storage:
The Goldfish Cracker Crunch will keep well for a week when stored at room temperature in an airtight container.





Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough:


Yield: 1,300g (3 Dozen 35g Cookies

1. Prepare the Goldfish Cracker Crunch and let it cool. Set aside 210g (~1.5 Cups) of the Goldfish Cracker Crunch to use in the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough. Set aside the remaining Goldfish Cracker Crunch in a large bowl for coating the Cheddar Goldfish Cookies before baking.

2. Place the Butter, Sugar, Glucose (or Corn Syrup) and Vanilla Extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the ingredients smooth until they become light and airy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

3. With the mixer on medium speed, add the Eggs one at a time, waiting to add the next Egg only when the first Egg is fully incorporated and the mixture again becomes light and airy.

4. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the Bread Flour, Baking Powder and Salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two incorporations. Stop mixing the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough as soon as all of the ingredients come together.

Chef's Note: Over-mixing the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough after the Bread Flour has been added can develop too much gluten resulting in tough-textured Cookies.

5. Add the 210g of Goldfish Cracker Crunch and stir it into the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough until it is just combined.

6. Wrap the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to rest and chill for at least an hour (ideally overnight).

7. When the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough is rested and chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).

8. Portion the Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough into 35g balls. Roll each ball in the reserved Goldfish Cracker Crunch, coating the outside of each ball as completely as possible. Place the balls of Cheddar Goldfish Cookie Dough on a parchment lined sheet tray leaving a couple of inches of space between each Cookie.

9. Bake the Cheddar Goldfish Cookies for 12-14 minutes, rotating the sheet trays halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. The Cheddar Goldfish Cookies are done when the edges just begin to brown and become crispy. Allow the Cheddar Goldfish Cookies to cool on the sheet trays for several minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.

Storage:
The Cheddar Goldfish Cookies will keep well for up to a week when stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- The Cheddar Goldfish Cookies can be frozen for a couple of months in an airtight container. Allow the Cookies to temper to room temperature before serving.

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