I love the fine features of baked products.
Early food experience dictates preferences. As a young teenager, I loved the glorious scent of chocolate wafting through our family kitchen as box-mix brownies were baking. As an adult, the rich scent of chocolate baking in the oven takes me back to that moment in the 1960s. Do you have one of those memories?
Food psychologists know that smell, not taste, produces memory – that smell is a learned affect that transports us to specific moments in time – and that it controls a significant number of our food behaviors.
What I discovered over time was that specific features of baked products were as attractive to me as the scent and even the taste of the finished product. A crisp ginger snap. The luxuriously fine crumb of a butter cake. The exquisite resistance of paper-thin layers of buttery laminated dough in a croissant.
A year ago, I set out to make the very best chocolate cookie I could create. Intense dark chocolate flavor was foundational. Almond pairs wonderfully with chocolate and supports its flavor as a background component. Flaked salt as a garnish before baking not only contrasts but enhances the power of the chocolate. The most important quality of our new chocolate cookie, though, had to be the juxtaposition of a thin, floating crust on top of a delicate, chewy center, with bits of liquid chocolate as little bonuses – ala, the brownie of my youth.
The cookie also had to fulfill one of my two primary interests in baking: single flavor development.
The formula for that cookie, the Essential Chocolate-Almond Cookie, is now in the hands of the Oregon State University Food Innovation Center for consultation, critique and packaging input. Our goal is to offer the cookie in dough form for our guests to bake and luxuriate in at home beginning in Q2-2021.
What better way to express love or appreciation to family and friends than to reacquaint them with a childhood delight?
Every Essential Confection product supports our mission of helping tlve food insecurity. You are our partners in this effort. We intend to broaden our reach with the Essential Chocolate-Almond Cookie by distributing widely.
Another way for us all to spread caring and support for those we appreciate most.