By Erin Allen
Following my resounding success making my birthday cake, I decided to go ahead and make Tosi’s confetti cookies. I was also looking for something to bake with whatever I had in the house, which included my homemade sprinkles and birthday cake crumb.
In preparation for this recipe, I broke down and finally ordered glucose — which Tosi uses throughout the cookbook — because I was also running out of Karo syrup and figured it was about time I started making these recipes precisely as instructed.
Glucose is an invert sugar and not quite as sweet as corn syrup. I also think it's a bit more solid than corn syrup, which makes it a pain to measure and add as an ingredient.
Once all my ingredients were incorporated, the dough turned out really dense. So much so, that by the time I added the birthday crumb, it wasn’t fully incorporated. I had to hand mix the dough a bit to make sure the crumb was was incorporated. Tosi warns of over-mixing the dough when adding the egg and all the dry ingredients. I admit, I might have done just that, because I kept the mixer going as I added everything.
As I was making these cookies, I was thinking about my other cookie-making experiments from this cookbook. My cookies have yet to have that crackled appearance that is Milk Bar's signature look. As I’ve said before, I often wonder if my attempts aren’t turning out because I don’t have a convection oven or simply because the challenges of high-altitude baking.
When flattening the dough down with my fingers as instructed, I tried to think about shaping them a bit more. Maybe one reason why the other cookies didn’t “crackle” was because they were too flat?
With this recipe as the others, I continued to play with the cooking time of the oven in hopes of getting the perfect cookie. For one batch, I kept the oven slightly open and raised the temperature to 375 and baked for 18 minutes. I didn’t remember to turn the tray until the last few minutes, so some edges were browner than others. These cookies were slightly chewy on inside and super crunchy on the out. But, they were also tough.
For the second batch, I baked at 350 for 18 minutes – just as instructed in the cookbook. After 18 minutes, they didn’t seem quite done yet. But Tosi says that could be a possibility, if the cookies still seem "pale and doughy." I left them in for a few minutes more. This batch I also put a few more of my homemade sprinkles on top, because I thought the cookies could use more. The texture of these cookies best represented Milk Bar's cookies – that is to say, soft in the middle and crunchy on the out.
With the third batch, I also baked the cookie dough for 18 minutes at 350 degrees and pulled them out of the oven immediately. These were similar to the second batch, but the outside was a bit over-cooked. The caramelization on the bottom was better than second batch, giving a nice richness to the flavor.
Like with my previous cookie attempts, all the cookies were mostly hard the next day. There was a bit of chewiness left in some, but not much. Microwaving them for a few seconds helped soften them up a bit.
I have to admit, I'm getting a bit defeated with these baking attempts. It's frustrating to have everything turn out only so-so. I mean, everything has tasted really great but there is always something slightly off with the texture and appearance. And, for someone who really wants to take baking to a professional level – particularly because I own a restaurant – it's a bit disheartening. But I will do my best to persevere.