I made "Millie's Cookies" last night. Gift bags?

Discussion in 'Cookies' started by -Daniel-, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. -Daniel-

    -Daniel- Well-Known Member

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    Apparently "Millie's" is a bakery chain in the UK, I'm not familiar with them but wanted to make cookies and this recipe came with lots of 5 star reviews on the BBC Good Food website. Here's the link: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1580654/millies-cookies-recipe

    I of course changed the regular chocolate chips for some M&Ms, as I like the colour :) They tasted lovely, but I have a few questions for the wonderful bakers here! :)

    1 - they came out in rough shapes. Is there a way to get them to spread to perfect circle?
    2 - Bags! I folded up some baking parchment, stuck on a label and wrapped some ribbon around so I could give them as a gift to a date I was meeting (date went well!). Have any of you made gift bags before? What would you suggest as a way to keep them fresh?

    [​IMG]
    cookies.JPG cookies.JPG
     
    -Daniel-, Nov 9, 2017
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  2. -Daniel-

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    I love your homemade bag! I think that's more personal than any bought packaging.

    Generally, chocolate chip cookies are a drop type cookie and meant to be irregular. Even rolled into a cylinder and sliced and baked, they're likely to spread irregularly. Did you do that or form the walnut-sized balls? Did you flatten the balls out a bit?

    The brown sugar as well as the butter make it a soft, unstructured bake. The ones in the BBC picture look a little overpuffy, and thus maybe more rounded. I see that they cream the butter and sugars, which makes for more of a cake-like texture in the baked cookie. Also, using self-raising flour means baking powder instead of just baking soda.

    Americans are often split between preferring a thinner, crisper cookie or a more fudgy, dense version. Here's an article on Serious Eats that goes through what happens when you cream the butter versus using melted butter (which is common for the denser cookies), what the white/brown sugars contribute, etc.

    M&M's do look pretty in cookies. They don't slice too well, though. I'd be tempted to just press them into the tops of the cookies so they all show up nicely. :)
     
    Apocalypso, Nov 10, 2017
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  3. -Daniel-

    -Daniel- Well-Known Member

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    I used a 1/8 cup measuring spoon to choose the mixture and put them in this shape, so it was round and not a perfect "ball" (like a flat breakfast muffin or scone).

    And I've just realised I didn't use self raising flour! Haha, I used regular flour and forgot to put any type of raising agent in... well they worked out ok, I reckon I'll stick to regular flour in the future
     
    -Daniel-, Nov 10, 2017
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  4. -Daniel-

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Ah, that's something. Like I said, they look kind of like typical American-style homemade chocolate chip cookies, which are often not leavened a whole lot so they stay chewier.

    They look yummy!
     
    Apocalypso, Nov 10, 2017
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  5. -Daniel-

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Home bake cookies! That was a lovely gesture.

    Regarding your question on how to achieve a more uniform shape, there’s a couple of things you can try.

    Chill the dough for at least an hour before baking.

    Reduce the oven temperature slightly to 175°C.

    Using an squeeze handle ice cream scoop

    The rest allows the flour and sugar to fully hydrate, and the fat to solidify. Both butter and eggs contain water. A freshly mixed dough contains a lot of free water. So the deal is kind of a hodgepodge of some hydrated flour and sugar and some free water. Hydrated flour and sugar spreads at a different rate than dough with free water.

    Higher temperature sets the dough faster, not giving the cookie enough time to fully spread.

    An ice cream scoop provides uniform portions and shapes the dough into a hemisphere. As soon as the butter starts to melt, the dough will begin to pool at the bottom of the dough ball as it bakes from the outside toward the center. The melting of the hemisphere gives a uniform shape.

    Below are pic I took when I was developing a cookie recipe. They capture how the cookies come out at different temperature.

    Regarding keeping cookies fresh:

    Cool completely to allow all moisture to dissipate.

    Separate cookies by soft moist texture and crisp texture. You cannot store a moist cookie with a crisp cookie. If stored together the crisp cookie will absorb moisture from the soft cookies. And the crisp cookies will soften.

    Store cookies by type in tight containers until ready to use.

    When gifting cookies:

    All same type of cookie: I place in cellphone bags, then remove the air with a straw.

    Variety of cookies: I use tins to keep them fresh. I line with parchment paper. I cut strips of card stock to use as dividers and to provide some insulation between stacks of cookies in the tIn. I place cookies in tIn by type. So crisp cookies like wafers, shortbread, biscotti in one tIn. Snickerdoodles, sugar, ginger cookies in a separate tIn.

    Type of ice scoop to portion dough
    CA414F2A-4D9D-4AF5-A68E-E7F2C3C5FEFD.jpeg

    How dough melts, pools, and spreads
    C8C6353D-4175-4110-85B9-A71F2037559B.jpeg

    Affect of temperature on shape. The cookie baked at 350° was twice baked for extra caramel flavor. The cookies were made from the same batch of dough. Chilled overnight.
    E2D3E366-9689-4D87-B105-D411633989A3.jpeg

    How portioning and temperature create uniformity in final product. Dough is from the same batch cookies above. But these were baked after 30 minute chill at 350°.
    12177EDD-62A0-4C3B-A27B-641B6D295731.jpeg
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 10, 2017
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  6. -Daniel-

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff as always, NorCalBaker! I learned something indeed.

    P.S., Daniel, was that the play of The Lion King?
     
    Apocalypso, Nov 10, 2017
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  7. -Daniel-

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, I LOOOVE using my ice cream scoops for measuring!!! Things come out so much better when they are perfectly sized and measured.

    I know most things we can "eyeball", but sometimes recipes have to be exact in order to get the outcome we want, and like Norcalbaker, I found that using scoops is one of the best ways to get that exact measurement.

    And I agree, that homemade gift bag is perfect! And as a cookie gift receiver, for me, I feel more special seeing a "rough" homemade cookie like this, than a flat, even one. a "rough" looking cookie to me, means someone likes me enough to have spent time in the kitchen, using their time and efforts to show me that they like me. I mean, you can't get more special than that, can you?

    In a "gimme, gimme, gimme", "me, me, me" world, I feel out of place, because I see the few people out there who like to take the time in the kitchen to create something special for the people and friends they have, and these people just grab, eat, and off they go. No thank you or appreciation for the hard work that person did for them.
    When I see this, I feel like I'm the one whose been kicked in the stomach. It's a sad thing to see someone get deflated like that, so if someone takes the time out of their lives to stand in the kitchen for a few hours to make me something, I sure as hell am gonna make one big fuss over it!!!!

    Sorry........I get off on "tangents" this time of year..............
    :oops:
     
    ChesterV, Nov 12, 2017
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  8. -Daniel-

    -Daniel- Well-Known Member

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    Yes! The show was brilliant, the costumes were out of this world and the cast were brilliant singers. I'd love to see it in english though.

    ChesterV- I love nothing more than baking something as a gift. I've found my friends and families have always really appreciated the thought and effort, even when the bake hasn't turned out perfectly.
     
    -Daniel-, Nov 12, 2017
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