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Jun 26, 2012 07:54 PM

Ruhlman's Rules (for cookies)

They work! Downloaded his "Ratios" from this afternoon to my Kindle. I generally prefer hard copy "hold in my hands" cookbooks, but I figured this one probably doesn't have a bunch of pictures. Well, actually I paged through the browse copy on the web, and it doesn't. So why not? Don't have to wait for shipping.

I've had a yen for cookies lately, but couldn't figure out what kind? So I came upon Ruhlman's Ratio for cookies: 1 part sugar, 2 parts fat, 3 parts flour. Pretty straight forward. But I have one problem with baking cookies: What I bake, I eat! So I can't bake too much. But why not give it a go? I also have some coconut palm sugar that, according to what I've read, is a long and slow digested sugar, unlike any other natural sugars, and is therefore (they say) not as fattening. Well, we'll see. But if it tastes good, who am I to argue? So here's my cookie recipe. I'll call it:

Caroline's Orange Tea Cookies

1/3 C coconut palm sugar
2/3 C butter
1 C flour
2 Tbsp (or so) Egg Beaters (I thought a whole egg would be too much)
scant tsp Baking Soda
Generous pinch of salt
tsp vanilla, or to taste
grated zest of 1/2 orange (I used a Valencia)

Cream it all together until its smooth, then drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake in a 400F oven for about 10 minutes. Remove to cookie rack and cool. Makes about 20 to 24 cookies.

And I did do something unconventional. My butter wasn't soft so how to measure? I filled a 2 cup measuring cup with 1 cup of water, then added chunks of butter until the level came up to 1 and 2/3 cups. Removed the butter, cut into chunks, tossed it with the flour and sugar and put the whole mess in the microwave and nuked it for about a minute. The butter melted, and it made it a LOT easier to cream everything together, but the mixture did tend to sweat butter when left standing. But despite that, the cookies are delicious...!!! And the coconut palm sugar delivers a nice crunch.

Gold star for Michael Ruhlman and his Ratios....!

EDIT: This turns out a nice nutty brown colored cookie, not the creamy white you would get using cane sugar. Just thought you should know.

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  1. You get the award for the most creative ingredient-combining method ever! Great info on the coconut palm sugar, too - it's always good to hear about a slower sugar. Did the cookies end up soft or crisp?

    One thing with the egg - you can beat an egg and then measure out the amount you want. The egg beaters worry me for a number of reasons, one of them being the onion powder in the ingredients....

    I really enjoyed Ratio, too!

    1 Reply
    1. re: sandylc

      I don't think the Egg Beaters did anything to put the flavor off, but then, my taste buds are old. Very old! I'm also lazy, and they meant I didn't have to crack an egg and dirty another bowl. Line of least resistance.

      I like the flavor that the coconut sugar gives to them. Not quite brown sugar, but reminiscent. The texture is interesting. A bit on the crumbly side, similar to shortbread. They hold their shape when baking and do not "melt" and spread. The crispiness is similar to shortbread. They're very rich. This is a fairly small batch. I mixed it in a soup bowl! And I'm thinking next time I'll try adding a touch of nuts. Either toasted sliced almonds or pine nuts. I think pine nuts will be great in this recipe.