The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What's the difference between cake/cookies

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ClimbHi's picture
ClimbHi

What's the difference between cake/cookies

Backstory: A local (?) baker supplies cookies, etc. to many of the local coffee shops here in da "Burgh. One of the treats they make is a carrot cake cookie with cream cheese icing -- needless to say, what's not to like?


My wife, a super baker, agreed to attempt to replicate these gems. She's done pretty well by starting with a carrot cake recipe and cutting down on the liquids, but she's still not there. Still too "cake-like".


How would you convert a cake recipe into cookies that have a bit of crunch as opposed to a more brownie-like texture? Enquiring wastelines want to know!

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

...and I think this is one of them.  Cookies don't always have to be crunchy; in fact, many of them aren't even chewy.  There are sponge cookies which are simply sponge cake batter either piped or dropped onto cookie sheets.  Cookies with sour cream or buttermilk in the batter are soft, cake-like cookies.  The list goes on.

rainwater's picture
rainwater

More butter and sugar creamed together before adding dry ingredients.....I would start somewhere near the usual chocolate chip cookie recipe  found on the back of most bags of chocolate chips.....Omit the chocolate chips, add a guess amount of grated carrots or carrot pulp (which would tend to maybe add too much moisture) processed in a food processor.  Some chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts), and use carrot cake spices....cinnamon, nutmeg...etc....Oh! try a pinch of cardamon....this adds interest to spice mixes. 


For softer cookies, bake less...for crunchier cookies, bake longer.....


....and if this works....send me the recipe!

ClimbHi's picture
ClimbHi

Oooh -- I like the sounds of this. Kinda Alton Brown/Shirley Courier stuff. And what could possibly be wrong with "more butter and sugar creamed together"? LOL!


As for recipe, she starts with her normal carrot cake recipe (which I don't have in front of me) which is killer. Lots of good stuff like chopped nuts, rasins, carrots, coconut, etc.


Methinks I'll get the recipe and post it here and see what folks think.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That would take the moisture out!  :)

ClimbHi's picture
ClimbHi

Yep -- she does that. It helps a lot, but not QUITE there yet.


ClimbHi
Pittsburgh, PA

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

 


This sounds like one of those challenges I'd love to try out. I'd need some carrots, though...hrm.


I think that, if you wanted a slightly crunchy cookie, you'd want to do things as rainwater suggested. I'd suggest using an organic heirloom variety carrot if you can, or at least get some from the farmer's market. They tend to have better flavor and you'd definitely want it to come out in the cookies.


I'd grate the carrots and use them in place of chocolate chips...maybe something like this?


1 cup butter


1 cup dark brown sugar


1 egg


1/2 tsp vanilla


2.5 cups flour


1 tsp baking powder


1 tsp baking soda


1 tsp cinnamon


1/4 tsp ginger


1/4 tsp nutmeg


1/8 tsp cloves


1 tsp salt


1 cup grated carrot, pat dry


Hrm. My grandmother is coming over here in a little bit. I may have to take her car and go get some carrots. :D

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I can't believe I did this, but...I'm home with a bag of baby carrots. I figure that I'll get the really good ones after I figure out whether or not this is even going to work. Wish me luck!


Edit: After baking, they're a little cakier than I wanted but with a nice, crisp outside and a tender inside. I think I like them this way. The problem I have so far is that I can't really taste the carrot, which I end up liking about my own carrot cake.


Back to the drawing board? Probably. But I'm definitely going to be eating all these. :D

ClimbHi's picture
ClimbHi

(Before I proceed, I need to say my wife feels these are perfect. I'm the one who's looking to "de-cake" these a bit more. ;-)


MARY-JO'S FAMOUS CARROT CAKE COOKIES


2 sticks butter, room temp.
1-3/4 C brown sugar
1-3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1 Tblsp. Vanilla Extract
1 C+ carrots, grated and well dried between paper towels for an hour or so.
1 C raisins, soaked then patted dry
1 C chopped walnuts
1 C grated coconut
2-1/4 C flour, AP
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tblsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
pinch salt


Mix flour, b. soda, cinn, cloves & salt. Cream butter & sugars. Add eggs 1 at a time while mixing. Add vanilla while mixing. Add the flour mixture to this. Fold in carrots, coconut, rasins, nuts & carrots. Form into golf ball sized balls on cookie sheet -- these'll spread out to 3" or 4".  Bake at 350 (non-convection) for 15-17 minutes. Let cool. Ice with cream cheese icing.


Icing:
3 oz. cr. cheese room temp
4 oz butter, melted
1 tsp Vanilla
Powered sugar to desired consistency -- around 3 - 4 cups.


Whad'ya think?


ClimbHi
Pittsburgh, PA

jeb's picture
jeb

I was taught that one of the ways to get chewier cookies was to take the cookie sheet out of the oven with a couple of minutes left in baking, and drop it onto the counter to collapse the cookies, then stick it back in the oven for its remaining time.

ClimbHi's picture
ClimbHi

Sounds like this would be worth trying -- take the "poof" outa the cookies mid-bake.


ClimbHi
Pittsburgh, PA

rainwater's picture
rainwater

Oh...I forgot to mention....I always cut the sugar, which is usually a combination of brown sugar and regular sugar, in my chocolate chip cookie dough.....about 1/2, or 1/3 as much sugar....I would especially use a recipe calling for some brown sugar for a carrot cookie.  I use the same amount of butter that the recipe calls for......that's the best part!  I think the cookies taste better with less sugar...and the carrots are sweet....Now that I think about it....chocolate chips are sweeter than carrots....so cut the sugar by 1/4 or 1/3.  Also.....something that would go great with carrot (cake) cookies is dried fruit, such as dried apricots.....

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How about taking the dried grated carrots and letting them toast a little in a frying pan using a little bit of the butter to bring out the carrot flavour?  A little sugar too?  Then cool and stir into the dough.  More carrots perhaps?  With pine nuts?  Dried apple or a spoon of vinegar?


Mini

ClimbHi's picture
ClimbHi

Hmmm . . that's interesting. Might add some "toastyness" as well as further reducing moisture. But what would vinegar do for ya?


ClimbHi
Pittsburgh, PA

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Cookies are crisper because the flour particles are coated with fat rather than water so the starch doesn't come out. Very little liquid is used. A little liquid will liquify and distribute the sugar and the liquid then dries out in the oven to give a hard crunch.The little liquid in the butter also causes a formation of enough starch from the flour which then hardens in the oven to help shape the cookie. I wouldn't soak the raisins too long as they can be too moist and really affect the texture.


I'd try by creaming butter and flour and sugar,then adding cooked,grated carrots that are squeezed dry.(Microwave for a few minutes in a covered bowl)Beat it well until very creamy/light. Then add flavors/spices.  Brown sugar will make a chewier cookie or use some honey,corn syrup or  molasses-depending on the flavor you want.


3 1/2 c sugar seems like an awful lot of sugar for the butter/flour amounts.

ClimbHi's picture
ClimbHi

We're still hot on the trail of the perfect carrot cake cookie -- we'll give these suggestions a try next time.


ClimbHi
Pittsburgh, PA

bluemirage21's picture
bluemirage21

If you're going for more of a crunchy cookie, I would suggest replacing some of the brown sugar with some liquid sweeteners such as honey, molasses, agave syrup, or maple syrup.  This should get you closer!  Also, the amount of sugar and butter that are present is likely contributing to the cake-y-ness.  Try straight up reducing?

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I remember Alton Brown doing a show about cookies a while back, In particular, he discusses how to modify the ingredients to change the cookies from thick and cakey, to thin and crispy. The episode is up on youtube, here is part 1


 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB-KVveLp3k

madison57's picture
madison57

I have a cookie recipe that I would like to make a cake with.  Do I only need to add more liquid? Help!!

Thanks