In another note, a recent discussion on the Cook's Illustrated fan page on Facebook caught my eye. They asked people what kind of salt they used in their kitchens and for what purposes. I was pleased to see so many people who have switched to using kosher salt and sea salt in their cooking. But, I was equally surprised to see how many people used these in cooking applications but switched back to iodized table salt for baking. Really? You'll notice that I normally indicate the use of kosher salt in my recipes (sometimes I do forget to specify). Unless I specifically talk about table salt you can be sure I'm using kosher salt.
The reason is simple. Table salt with added iodine can have a distinct chemical taste at times. In baked goods this can become very apparent. Table salt, because it is higher in sodium also tastes more "salty" on the tongue. Generally, when we're baking we add salt not to make things "salty" but to perk up the flavors. Try this experiment, take a pinch of kosher salt and sprinkle it in a glass of chocolate milk and stir it up. Then taste it alongside a plain glass of milk. You'll be surprised to find the chocolate flavor in the milk with a pinch of kosher salt is much more prominent and complex than the plain glass. If you repeat this with regular iodized table salt you'll certainly detect a little "salty" taste and possibly a chemical aftertaste.
So, if you're using table salt in your baked goods, switch out to either kosher salt or sea salt. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the difference in your baking!
Yesterday, I decided to make some Triple Treat Cookies while I was waiting on my shipment of raw peanuts to arrive by UPS (more on this in another post). These wonderful cookies are simply delicious and perfect for afternoon milk and cookies - whether your 8 or 80! I love these cookies and will probably be keeping a jar full around the house for snacking. Michael has even been grabbing them when he walks by the table - and he usually only eats one or two cookies just to give his opinion!
You can put anything in these you want. This makes them perfect for using up the "leftovers" from other baking projects. Traditionally, these include chocolate chips, peanut butter morsels, and chopped peanuts. In my case I decided to use up the remnants of some semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.
Recipe: Triple Treat Cookies
Summary: Delicious peanut butter based cookies with chocolate chips and other add ins. Perfect for afternoon milk and cookies whether you're 8 or 80!
- 1 cup vegetable shortening, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 oz. white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Stir in peanut butter until smooth.
- In separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Mix into wet ingredients until combined and dough comes together. Stir in walnuts, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.
- Using a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 tsp.) drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Using the bottom of a small glass or prep bowl dipped in white sugar, gently flatten the balls of dough slightly. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or just until bottom edges begin to brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. Store sealed for up to 5-7 days.
Prep time: 10 min
You can use whatever add-ins you like for this recipe as well as fewer or more than called for in the recipe. Simply adjust your amounts accordingly.
Cook time: 12 min
Total time: 22 min
Number of servings (yield): 10 dozen cookies
Meal type: snack
Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)Copyright © Buck Bannister & Sugar Pies.
Recipe adapted by