Hye Thyme Cafe: Reese's Guajillo Pepper Banana Cookies - FAILED

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Reese's Guajillo Pepper Banana Cookies - FAILED

I baked these cookies right after making the Chicken Stew the other night. Because I ended up throwing them away (so I wouldn't eat them all), I wasn't going to post them, but then I decided I should. Who knows, maybe it will spark an idea for one of you, or maybe it will make you feel better about one of your own experiments that went awry ... or, maybe you've got a great fix for me for the next time around. Anyhow, I've shared other failures, so why should this one be different? I really did like the flavor. It was the texture that was an issue. They had a nice crisp around the edges and got chewy as you got toward the middle, but they fell apart. That's why I pitched them - I wasn't going to feed them to others when they wouldn't hold together - and I really would have eaten them all!!

What gave me the idea for the flavor combination? It was partially the result of standing in a long checkout line. You know, where they keep all the lovely "impulse buy" items. The Reese's  Minis were my impulse buy that afternoon. We also had a few over-ripe bananas in the fruit bowl, and I had just received a packet of chile pepper samples from Marx Foods. I figured if peanut butter and banana go together, peanut butter and chocolate go together, bananas and chocolate go together, and chilies and chocolate go together, I'd throw caution to the wind and heap all four together to see what happened.

Because this is a food blog, and wanting to try something different, I got it in my head to use all oats, omitting flour altogether. That was probably one of my problems right there. Since these were a baked cookie, without the gluten from the flour, I needed some sort of replacement?? For texture purposes, I decided to pulverize some of the oats into a "flour" and use some whole. Regardless of what I try the next time around, I did realize that I had made a very basic mistake in measuring. When I processed the oats into a flour, I measured them out before processing them. I should have done that afterward to get the volume I was aiming for. 

The only reason I used two kinds of oats is that I only had about a half cup of old-fashioned.

1 1/2 c old-fashioned oats
1 T granulated dried guajillo chilies *
1 1/2 c quick oats
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 stick (8T) butter
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanlla
2 bananas
2 2.5 oz bags of mini-Reese's

Thinking the food processor blade would be too high to do a good job on the oats, I decided to run them through the coffee/spice grinder, which made me think to throw the chilies in with them (spices...chilies...). As an aside, it was my first time using this particular grinder, the Cuisinart Grind Central, and I thought it did a really good job. The only drawback was that it shot some of the grinds right up over the edge of the bowl.  They were contained under the cover, so once I dumped the contents of the grinder bowl into my mixing bowl, I just tilted the grinder to tap in the stray oats.  

I added the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to the oat mixture and set that aside.

In a separate bowl, I creamed together the butter and sugars, then added in the eggs and vanilla, followed by the banana. When baking with bananas, I usually mash them with a fork. Every once in a while, I'll break out the pastry cutter, but on this day, I happened to have a knife in front of me, so I just grabbed the knife and mini-diced the bananas. Kinda weird, I know.

I then mixed the dry ingredients into the wet, rough chopped the Reese's and stirred those in at the end.

 See all the little flecks of chile peppers?  Mmmmm!

I always bake on parchment, so I scooped the dough onto a parchment-lined tray and baked them at 350 for 15" until golden. I could tell how soft they were, so I let them cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

I held off on setting up the next tray because I knew that the batter was on the loose side and wanted to see how the first batch turned out. Since we are talking about Reese's here, I thought maybe some peanut butter would act to bind it together better and added a few tablespoons before setting up the next batch, but it didn't help.  :(

I liked that you would get a taste of one thing in one bite, then another in the next bite, sometimes all of it together. The cinnamon and chilies lingered in the background, not making the cookies spicy, but if you didn't know what the ingredients were, they would definitely leave you thinking about it, or make you want to eat another cookie to try and figure it out.  

Worth playing around with. I'm thinking maybe it was too much banana, but because I liked the flavor with the two bananas, maybe I'll try partially dehydrating them first when I make these again. That will cut down on the liquid a bit.  

Ideas anyone???

*  As previously stated, the chilies were provided to me solely as a sample. This is not a monetized blog. I am not paid to express any particular opinion of a product. Heck, even if I do ever take the plunge into full-time blogging and try to make some $ out of it, my opinions will still be my own. If it means a company stops sending me product, so be it. If I tell the truth about my own failures, I'll certainly tell the truth about what I perceive to be their failures!

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