First, if you haven't ever flipped through it, first of all, it's big. Very big. It has gorgeous pictures and amazing intros by all three contributors. I read each of them and was immediately struck by how brilliant each of these chefs is. Totally made me want to go to culinary or pastry school. If only being a chef of any sort kept regular working hours! Anyway, it's a beautiful book, both in pictures and words. I still haven't finished reading all of the recipes and I just can't wait to give them a shot.
So back to the recipes! I chose these cookies because chocolate chip is always my favorite kind of cookie and I figured I might as well ease into this cookbook. While none of the recipes I've read through seem hard, they are definitely long and all involve weighing ingredients on a scale, rather than measuring volume with cups and spoons. They're also detailed recipes - lots of steps. Not hard, but it takes a little longer to make these than, say, the recipe on the back of the Tollhouse chocolate chip bag.
I enjoy baking, but where I feel fine taking liberties with recipes for main courses and side dishes, I most definitely do NOT feel comfortable changing anything when it comes to baking. With that in mind, I really appreciated the exactness that comes with weighing your measurements, but weight measurements definitely require more prep work. I now understand and appreciate mise en place cooking in a way I didn't previously.
Each recipe has both weighted measurements and approximate volume measurements. A note to anyone who may go on to purchase this book or who may be attempting to start weighing ingredients: I saw that this called for 60g of eggs. For some reason, I thought that equated to 3 eggs (I have no idea why). So, I cracked three eggs, scrambled them, strained them, and weighed out 60g. I'm guessing that probably weighed about the same as just been one egg. That means I was left with a bowl of scrambled eggs and I just wasn't really in the mood for a random plate of scrambled eggs to go along with my brisket and cookies. Anyway, I'm assuming what might help for estimations in the future would be weighing the whole egg first and then subtracting a gram or two to account for the weight of the shell. Then compare with what the recipe calls for and continue adding eggs to the scale until you reach a few grams higher than your desired weight.
Anyway, here's the spread of ingredients:
And here's the finished product:
In total, I think I probably spent 45 minutes to an hour prepping the dough. I wasn't really timing myself, so this is a guess. Were they better than my old recipe? I would say yes - they definitely taste more "professional" and have a little something extra that my other chocolate chip recipes don't have (I think that thing is molasses, but I'm not sure. Could just be the whole combination of ingredients). The recipe also is supposed to only make 6 GIANT cookies. I halved each one to make 12, and the cookies were still WAY bigger than what I would normally make with my regular cookie recipe. This is a pic of a measured ball of dough:
It's hard to tell in the "final product" picture how big the cookies actually are. To put things in perspective, here's a pic of one on a regular salad plate:
Yeah, it pretty much takes up the entire plate. That makes them sort of fun and, I would imagine, a nice gift for someone in need of a baked good. I wrapped up two and gave them to a co-worker for her and her husband to try. Consensus: her husband ate both before she could try one, so I guess they were good!