Monthly Archives: June 2009

Skor Bar Cookies

 

Bagged-and-ready-to-go

This recipe was created by Daphna Rabinovich, a talented baker I worked with at the David Wood Food Shop in Toronto.  She used chocolate chips and walnuts in her version.  I chop up bittersweet chocolate into chunks and omit the nuts.  This is a very fast and easy recipe, great for those times when you want something decadent and homemade but don’t have alot of time.

What you need:

skor-bar-mise-en-place

4 Skor Bars coarsely chopped                                      
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a 10 x 15 inch cookie sheet (with sides) with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2.  Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. 

creaming-butter-and-sugar

2.  Beat in vanilla and salt.  Add flour, Skor Bars and chocolate chunks. Mix briefly until just combined.

3.  Dump dough into prepared pan. 

dump-into-pan

4.  Press dough evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.

pressed-into-pan

5.  Remove from oven and while still warm, score dough with a sharp knife.  I usually do 5 rows down and 7 rows across for 35 cookies.  Put pan on a rack to cool. 

baked

 

 6.  When totally cool, turn out onto a cutting board, peel off parchment and finish cutting into squares.

cut-into-squares-3

Week # 7 Dueling Ciabattas

Cook's Ciabatta on left, BBA Ciabatta on right.

At one time I subscribed to about 13 different magazines, most of them food related.  However, over time I have let most of them lapse because I just never had time to read them.  Now I only get Gourmet and Cook’s Illustrated. Even with just those two, I am still behind in my reading.  However, in this instance being behind happened to be a good thing.  Last week I picked up the March/April issue of Cook’s Illustrated and began to look at the Table of Contents. And there on page 22 was an article titled “Authentic Rustic Ciabatta”.  How about that?  In the very same week I was about to tackle the Bread Baker’s Apprentice version of ciabatta!As I read through both versions I began to compare and saw that these were two very different breads.  The BBA bread used bread flour, while Cook’s called for all-purpose. Both recipes call for a starter of some type but the ratio of starter to flour in the final dough differs.  In the BBA version, the ratio is approximately  2:1 (16 ounces biga: 9 ounces bread flour).  In the Cook’s  version, the ratio is about 1:1 (9 ounces biga: 10 ounces all-purpose flour).   The shaping method in the Cook’s version is also quite different.  They propose a method which reminded me of making puff pastry, where you fold and turn the dough about 16 times.

I was intrigued.  I had never made Ciabatta before and was very curious to see which one I’d prefer.  In order to make this as scientific as possible, I decided to make them at approximately the same time. This is where it got interesting. Note to self (and others who may try this), if you are testing two recipes, do them sequentially, not simultaneously.  I got a bit mixed up in the instructions and ended up using the Cook’s instructions on the BBA dough.

Day One was a breeze!   I made the Poolish for the BBA version and let it sit on the counter for 4 hours and then put it in the fridge overnight.  I made the Cook’s Biga and let it sit overnight on the counter for 12 hours.

BBA Poolish after overnight in fridge