Cooking Through Ratio: Doughs and Batters – More Cookies

Freshly Baked Peanut Butter Cookies
Freshly Baked Peanut Butter Cookies

It’s cookie night again tonight in my apartment.  I promised Cassie I would make her some for a care package to be mailed and by request made peanut butter cookies based on a recipe she found and has tasted. How does this fit with Michael Ruhlman’s cookie ratio you ask?

A cookie is a cookie. Cookies have different ingredients, but the requirement of sugar, fat and flour remain constant. These core ingredients, re-worked allow for variations on cookies allowing you to create cookies that are crispy, chewy, soft, hard, plain,  or chocolate and much more. The interesting thing about this cookie ratio is that it not only uses brown sugar instead of white, but the moisture and fat come from a combination of milk, shortening and an egg. Additional flavorings were added, but again the core remained the same.

I made everything in my stand mixer bowl as described and combined the ingredients using the paddle attachment. Once combined, I scooped tablespoon sized portions onto cookie sheets and baked them. 7 impatient minutes later and I was in peanut butter heaven.

Peanut Butter Cookies Cooling
Peanut Butter Cookies Cooling

The cookies are great and markedly different than the first batch of cookies I made last week. They are softer, chewier and more flavorful. There is a subtle balance of sweet along with the peanut butter and funny enough old mister shortening adds his unmistakable texture and moisture to the party. I’ll have to say one thing, working with butter and shortening is a nightmare. They make everything sticky and hard to clean, but the final product makes up for the hassle to some extent.

I am eager to substitute butter for the shortening the next time around which is actually the opposite of what is usually done to see how the change in fat affects the overall result. Butter having some water along with the fat should change things up a bit also. If only Alton Brown was around to help me do some quick math. I’ll have to wait for a day in the future and earlier hour to fully understand this ratio and how the changes in the basic ingredients lent themselves to producing this very different and very delicious final result.

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1 Comment

  1. I loved Michael’s Ruhlmans ratio idea, but I find it does not translate into any sort of reality – baking and cooking just can’t be boiled down to a few simple ratio’s.

    See, I grabbed a bunch of my favorite recipes and tried to match them to one his ratios and it never worked.

    There are rules, sure, to contend with. But after that, each recipe is world unto itself.

    Still, it would have been nice if it worked.


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