Yesterday we wrote about the Better Homes and Gardens State Cookie Contest we were invited to enter, how I developed a starting recipe and the results we got when we tested out that recipe. That was on Sunday, and based on our taste test and my having given the cookies to coworkers for feedback, I had revised the recipe and was ready to make another batch.
While we were at work on Monday, our Better Homes and Gardens 15" x 10" Baking Sheet arrived in the mail. We got this free for entering the contest, with the condition that we use it to make our contest entry and show it in one or more of the pictures we submit with the entry. My first impression was that this was an awfully small baking sheet. It has a lot smaller cooking area than most baking sheets. However, in using it, we found some pretty neat things about it. First off, the nonstick surface worked like a charm, as the cookies came off the sheet with no problem, and without having to use cooking spray or parchment paper. Second, it heated very nicely and very evenly, resulting in our cookies being really nice and crisp and evenly golden-brown.
Based on our own impressions and my coworkers' feedback, I made two changes to the recipe I started with. Flavor-wise, the most significant change was to add some vanilla extract. This added another dimension of flavor to the cookies, and it also balanced out the salt and baking soda flavors. The other change didn't impact flavor much, but it did impact texture. By using butter-flavored shortening in place of the butter I used the first time around, the cookies spread less while cooking, making for a thicker cookie, and they were a lot less greasy. These were both positive changes.
My experiments the first time around had helped me figure out how to bake these cookies for best result, so with those couple changes, I was ready to go.
The cookies turned out great! They had a great initial crunch, due to the ample amount of cornflakes used in the dough and the big pieces of cornflake that resulted from carefully hand-stirring the flakes into the dough. After the initial crunch, the cookies had a great chew, thanks to the coconut and oats. They had a great buttery flavor with a rich vanilla undertone, and the raspberry jam and fresh raspberries added a delightfully contrasting tart-sweet flavor aspect. These were definitely cookies I could proudly enter into a national contest.
As before, I took most of the cookies to share with my coworkers. They loved them. My hope is that some of our readers, and those who vote in the contest, will make some, and love them just as much.
Here's the recipe we entered!
Voting starts tomorrow (Thursday, June 30) at 9:00 eastern time and continues through July 27, with the winner announced July 28. You can vote once each day. We would like to win, of course, but we hope our readers will check out some of the other entries as well... and hopefully make some excellent cookies!