Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cookie Party at BakeLAB + Secret Tips for a Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

When a former Clementine and Providence/La Mill pastry chef opens a bakery ... Well, you can be sure she'll make some good stuff. But Kristin Feuer, a Le Cordon Bleu graduate, goes beyond. With painstaking experimentation, Kristin at BakeLAB has perfected cookies.

Timed perfectly on National Chocolate Chip Cookie day, BakeLAB held a cookie party for some media and bloggers. All girls. It's a dessert party, mister.

Kristin Feuer (right) and her partner Jill (left)

I meant to just eat a little bit of cookies, I really did. But then ... they were unexpectedly good. I mean, ridiculously good.

From the iced oatmeal cookies that are like an upscale Mother's cookie...

... to the best ginger molasses cookies I've ever had.
It's the moistness of the inside of the cookie, juxtaposed with the nice sugar crackle on the outer layer. It's that chewiness, that nice gingery fragrance.

Of course, it won't be a proper Nat'l Chocolate Chip Cookie Day without chocolate chip cookies.
Kristin has perfected these chocolate chip cookies. Kristin demonstrated to us how to make them, giving us secret tips along the way and the science behind them. These are things you and I never think about while baking a cookie, but Kristin has spend all her time doing just that. This is a BakeLAB after all! (More on these tips later!)

Ultimately, it was the Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie that everyone raved about. Peanut Butter Sandwich? Yes, she makes it with a dollop of cookie dough, topped with peanut butter, and topped that again with cookie dough. Sandwich, see?
Now it's chewy cookie dough, creamy peanut butter center, and that nice sugar crackle crust. Oh, my ...

Bakelab also sells cupcakes, cakes, etc, all decorated with Kristin's cool artistic sensibilities -- their awesome science-themed shirts and aprons can attest to this.
I didn't get to try any of their cupcake/cake, but considering their amazing cookies, these are probably pretty good as well. I am inclined to order their Shark Attack! cupcake that's decorated with a sharkfin-shaped fondant ...

After we stuffed ourselves with these little morsels, Kristin and Jill took us to their kitchen/"lab" and gave us a little demo to make the perfect cookies.
You don't need a special recipe of list of ingredients to make way better cookies than you've ever made before. She made chocolate chip cookies using the basic recipes you can find on the back of any mass-produced chocolate chip packages.
The key is the little things Kristin had discovered after countless experimentations. Luckily, you don't have to go through the same effort and trials as she shared these amazing tips with us:
  1. Don't cream the butter & sugar any longer than 1 1/2 minutes. Too much air from overcreaming=a flat cookie.
  2. Beat the dough for a quick "one, two" count just beyond the point when the flour is incorporated. You'll make a little more gluten for plumper cookies.
  3. Chilling the dough overnight allows subtle nutty and toffee flavors to develop.
  4. Bake cookies from frozen dough; cookies will be much rounder.
  5. Pull cookies from the oven when there is still a pale circle in the middle of the cookie.

You can order BakeLAB's treats online at www.bakelab.com or www.foordoro.com or call (310) 330-9055. Cookies are $2 each with a minimum order of a dozen.

You can also find them at Yummy.com (in Playa Vista, Santa Monica, West Hollywood), Oaks Gourmet in Franklin Village, and the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

Oh, they're also holding a series of classes in the summer from cookie baking to decorating to S'mores! http://tinyurl.com/gotclass


Daniel S.

Great write-up and pictures! I love the tips and I'm planning to make a batch of cookies next weekend for a party. Thanks!

Banana Wonder

Yum. You just reminded me how bad I want one of those pb cookies. Damn.


Best. Cookies. EVER.

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