Some cookies are better when you leave them out of the oven.
It would seem like they’d be about the same, doesn’t it? Tasty dough equals tasty cookie, right? But there’s something about the application of heat that just ... changes things.
I have a recipe for honey cookies. The dough is out of this world. When they’re in the oven, the smell attracts neighbors. But the cookie itself? It’s so-so. For me, chocolate chip cookie dough is the end all, be all.
Until my recent introduction to Amanda Hay’s Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies at The Advocate’s Munch Madness contest, no chocolate chip cookie tasted as good to me as its dough. Those cookies, it should be noted, are just this side of dough — soft and buttery perfection. I ate myself silly. Those cookies were haunting me a few days after that contest, but I had a distinct lack of motivation to get to the store and buy chocolate chips and vanilla pudding.
I was forced to make do with what I had on hand: walnuts, butter, sugar, buttermilk and honey. I dug up a copy of an old recipe and started tinkering, adding honey and plopping the walnuts straight into the cookie versus rolling a glazed cookie into chopped nuts.
The result was a fine-grained, light dough that smelled like comfort itself. In a rare occasion, the cookie itself was even better.
A puffy, walnutty pillow of a cookie with a delicate crumb that was buttery but not heavy, with just enough sweet to balance and even enhance the slight bitterness that’s the walnut’s calling card and the twang of the buttermilk.
I left off the recipe’s glaze, opting instead to keep the cookie’s clean texture and flavor, and it was the right decision. Any more sugar — and certainly the kind dissolved in milk to make a glaze — might have ruined the cookie’s texture and taste.