March 15th, 2011

Hello Cookie Lovers!

How are you? I hope that you’ve been baking all kinds of cookies at home for loved ones and yourself as often as possible. This issue of Smart Cookies humbly marks my return from a two-year hiatus. I am so grateful and excited to be able to communicate with you again.

Thank you for staying with, particularly Jacalyn Miller of North Calgary, Canada, who was so kind to have sent me her concern.

The following items are in this e-zine issue:

  1. Recipe Comparison – Fried Florentine vs. Fried Frappe
  2. Searching for The Perfect Flour Substitute
  3. Cookie Answers

Recipe Comparison

This segment is to give you a general idea of possible taste and texture cookies might have before you actually bake them. It is not to suggest that one recipe is better or worse than the other.

R1 – Fried Love Knots
R2 – Fried Frappe

1 cup = 8oz = 16 Tbsp = 48 tsp
1 whole egg is approximately 2 oz.
1 yolk is about 0.5 oz.
1 egg white is equivalent to about 1.5 oz.

Amount Baker’s %
R 1 R 2 R 1 R 2
All purpose flour 2 c 1 c 100% 100%
Sugar 1 tsp 1 Tbsp 1% 6.25%
Unsalted butter 2 Tbsp 1 Tbsp 6.25% 6.25%
Eggs 4 oz 0 oz
Egg Yolk 1 oz 0 oz

From the above simple analysis, fried love knots certainly have a softer texture and less sweet than fried frappe. Eggs and extra egg yolks act as an emulsifier making homemade cookies much tender.

Searching for The Perfect Flour Substitute

Baking edible and appealing gluten-free cookies is quite a challenging task. Home bakers need good flour substitute that can provide structure and texture without leaving homemade cookies dry, crumbly, gritty or off-flavored. We all know that it is very difficult to replicate the effect of gluten that exists in wheat-based flour.

Rice starch, potato starch, almond flour and xanthan gum are four known key ingredients in gluten-free cookies. These ingredients are somewhat effective in maintaining shape, texture, and taste of a normal wheat-based cookie.

Recently, a newly developed blend of flour substitute is capable of converting recipes for regular homemade cookies to gluten-free on a 1:1 wheat-based flour to blend substitution. It usually makes up approximately 25% of any gluten-free cookie formula, and includes sorghum flour, unmodified corn starch, a cold water swelling modified food starch, and a film forming modified food starch.

Sorghum flour, milled from white grain sorghum, is neutral in flavor, dark brown to red to white in color. Kafirin is its gluten-free protein.

Originated in Africa and India, grain sorghum is one of the oldest known grains and very drought-tolerant. In the United States (US), it grows in Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

Although relative new to US human food consumption, sorghum flour does offer advantages to gluten-free baked goods including homemade cookies. Become familiar with its characteristics and don’t be afraid to use it.

Cookie Answers

During my absence, visitors of the site sent in a few questions that I like to take this opportunity to answer them.

  1. Madge asked, “These meringues are soft because the sugar to egg whites ratio is 1. You can certainly vary the amount of sugar to create a texture that will better suit your palate. How would you vary it to make them crunchier? More sugar or less? thanks!”

    Madge, for this recipe, you can make the meringues crunchier by lessen the amount of sugar. As you know, sugar is a tenderizer, and egg white is a structure builder, containing 90% water and 10% protein.

  2. “Hi! We have a small commercial bakery operation in Russia and ………… I read somewhere about the optimal fat percentage should be but cannot recall what that is – either 72 or 82 percent. Would very much appreciate any input on this. Thank you in advance, Karl S. Fantasy Foods”

    Karl, the perfect formula for homemade cookies is 1 part sugar, 2 parts fat, and 3 parts flour. You can, however, use any kind of sugar, any kind of fat, and any kind of flour to create your own cookies. Of course, taste, texture, and flavor would certainly vary depending on qualities of your chosen ingredients.

  3. Barbara asked, “I have a recipe that calls for rolling out the dough however the dough is too crumbly. What can I add or do to make the cookie dough easily rollable?”

    Barbara, slightly increase the amount of fluid or fat in your cookie formula to prevent dough from being too crumbly for rolling.

Until next time ……..Keep on baking!

Published date: March 15, 2011

Copyright 2011 by Trinh Lieu. All right reserved