Archive for Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Institute shares technique to making Mudslide Cookies

October 6, 2004


— The rich and chewy Mudslide Cookie has become a best-selling treat at The Culinary Institute of America's Apple Pie Bakery Cafe on the Hyde Park, N.Y., campus. With its deep chocolate taste, nutty crunch and brownie-like texture, it's not surprising that customers return for more. Served with a tall glass of cold milk, these cookies provide a sinfully tasty escape any time of day.

Mudslide Cookies get their name from their soft, almost pourable, batter. The cookies are classified as drop cookies, although the batter is loose as compared to batters that are firm enough to hold their shape when portioned onto a cookie sheet.

Chef Peter Greweling, professor in baking and pastry arts at the CIA, recommends filling a scoop or measuring cup with the suggested amount of dough and leveling it off, when you are making these cookies.

"Ice cream scoops with thumb levers are ideal for portioning medium or large cookies, such as Mudslides," he says.

When melting the chocolate for this recipe, chop it finely to speed the melting process and to prevent scorching.

If you are melting chocolate in the microwave, be aware that chocolate tends to overheat quickly. To avoid overheating, place the chopped chocolate in a nonmetal bowl and set the power to low. Microwave the chocolate in 15- to 20-second intervals until it appears slightly glossy but still holds its shape. Stir the chocolate to evenly distribute the heat. If necessary, continue to melt it in the microwave.

Baking cookies such as Mudslides should be done in batches. The cookie sheet should be at room temperature when portioning batter onto the pan. Otherwise, the cookie dough might start to bake before it goes into the oven.

When you are baking in batches, portion out the batter for the later batches onto sheets of parchment paper in preparation. This allows you to quickly slide the baked cookies off the cookie sheet and slide the parchment filled with unbaked cookies onto the sheet.

Place the cookie sheet directly into the oven. Check the cookies for even doneness as they bake. Switch the pans from the bottom to the top rack and rotate them if it appears the cookies are baking unevenly.

This recipe is from The Culinary Institute of America's cookbook, "Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America," scheduled for publication this month.

Mudslide Cookies


Flourless cooking spray for greasing

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon powdered instant coffee

1 tablespoon boiling water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

7 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

7 large eggs

2 3/4 cups sugar

2 cups chopped walnuts

1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside. Combine the instant coffee and boiling water to make a paste. Blend in the vanilla extract.

Melt the chopped unsweetened chocolate, chopped bittersweet chocolate and the butter in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave in 15- to 20-second intervals. Gently stir to blend.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the eggs, sugar and coffee paste mixture on high speed until light in texture and thick, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture with the machine running on medium speed. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until just blended. Mix in the walnuts and chocolate chips until blended. Scrape down the bowl as needed during mixing to blend evenly.

Using a 1/4-cup measure as a scoop, fill it with dough, level it, and drop the dough onto a prepared cookie sheet, leaving 3 to 4 inches between the cookies. In batches, bake until the cookies are cracked on top but still slightly moist, rotating the pans as necessary to bake evenly, 14 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the cookie sheet before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 24 large cookies.

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