The Cookie Games 2017 Winners: Browned Butter Masala Chai Cookies

This year’s first place winner of The Cookie Games at the International Culinary Center’s New York City campus came from Professional Culinary Arts students. The duo of Madeline Dudek and Clara Lim chose the country of India as their main inspiration for their original cookie recipe. Creating Browned Butter Masala Chai Cookies, the duo received the highest score among the 10 competitors judged by the likes of Dorie Greenspan (Cookbook Author), Angie Mar (ICC Alumni and Chef/Owner of Beatrice Inn), renowned pastry chef Florian Bellanger, Robb Riedel of Food Network Magazine, and ICC’s President, Erik Murnighan.

The following recipe yields 48 cookies. Try them out for yourself today!


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups butter, unsalted, divided
  • 1-2 star anise
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. chai spices
  • -2 parts EACH ground cardamom and ground ginger
  • -1 part EACH ground fennel seed, ground coriander and ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • 4 ½ cups flour, all-purpose
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pecans, ground and toasted

For garnish:

  • 1 red beet, peeled and cubed
  • Coconut chips, unsweetened
  • 2 cups white chocolate, chopped
  • Ground cardamom, as needed
  • Ground cinnamon, as needed

    PROCEDURES

Prepare the browned butter by melting 1 cup of butter in a saucepan placed over medium heat with 1-2 star anise to infuse. Stir until nutty and light brown. Remove immediately from the heat and add the chai spices and Chinese five spice. Set aside to cool. While still liquid, strain the butter through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the spices.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the cooled browned butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add one egg or egg yolk at a time, scraping the sides occasionally. Add vanilla and molasses and mix. Add all dry ingredients and pecans and mix until just incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out and cut into diamond shapes. Place onto baking trays, lined with parchment paper. Return the portions to the refrigerator until chilled.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow cooling before decorating.


For garnish:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a blender, process beet pieces with a small amount of water. Transfer the puree to a cheesecloth lined bowl, and squeeze the juice out. Discard the beet products.

Mix coconut chips with some of the beet juice to dye them red and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes. Allow cooling before decorating.

Melt 3/4 white chocolate in a metal or glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring constantly. When completely melted, remove the bowl from the heat and add remaining white chocolate, stirring to cool the chocolate. When completely melted, add cardamom and cinnamon, as desired. Drizzle the tempered white chocolate over the cooled cookies.

Before the chocolate sets, finish with a piece of cooled, coconut chip in the center of each cookie.

Library Notes: The Cookie Books – May 2017 [New York]

It’s almost time for the Cookie Games, the annual competition where Pastry and Culinary Students compete for celebrity judge votes and an audience favorite. The rules are simple, choose an inspirational country of origin and bake four dozen cookies, but sometimes the inspiration is not so simple. That’s why here in the ICC Library we have a great selection of cookie books to help you develop your recipe. Stop by and take a look!

Celebrity judge Dorie Greenspan knows cookies, she just released the James Beard Award-winning Dorie’s Cookies last year! This book covers classics like chocolate chip and macrons, but she also developed unique recipes such as Moroccan semolina cookies and chocolate olive cookies. With such a wide and unusual variety of cookies, it is no wonder the book is award-winning. Beyond the great recipes, Dorie covers solid tips and techniques of cookie making that will help the newbie and improve seasoned bakers.

The Gourmet Cookie Book is like a primer on the history of the United States through cookies. The book compiled the best recipe from the magazine each year from 1941 through 2009. You can see how tastes, skills, and techniques changed over time and the influences of different events throughout history.  For instance, cinnamon sugar crisps of 1944 were selected because they could be sent in parcels to troops. By the 1970’s the food processor was introduced and cookie recipes such as Kourambiedes or Greek Butter Cookies proliferated.

With a foreword from Dean Jacque Torres, you know Milk & Cookies is going to cover plenty of chocolate, and you know it’s going to be a great book. Tina Casaceli does indeed include recipes for double chocolate chip mint cookies and coconut macaroons (dipped in chocolate) but she also features cookies with baked chow mein and honey lavender shortbread. The book is divided by base dough, be it vanilla, oatmeal or peanut butter. Each chapter then offers multiple variations on that base, perfect if you need guidance on how to tweak a recipe you already have to make it, even more, competition worthy!

If you are curious which cookies are favored in the kitchens of your favorite restaurants, check out One Sweet Cookie from Tracey Zaber.  Chefs from such celebrated restaurants as Eleven Madison Park, Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Le Bernadain all contribute recipes. Even our very own deans, Alain Sailhac, Andre Soltner and Jacques Torres submitted their picks for the favorite cookie. So, what do they choose? Well, you will just have to come and borrow the book to find out.

Celebrating 5th Year of The Cookie Games at ICC New York Campus

The International Culinary Center® New York campus will be holding its fifth annual school-wide cookie competition on Thursday, May 25th from 3:30-5:30 PM in the ICC Amphitheater.

The Cookie Games was developed to challenge current ICC students to create an original cookie recipe inspired by a country of their choice. Teams of one or two submit a name and recipe for their cookie concept. Recipes should have a country of origin and will be judged based on creativity, execution, and taste. Based on submissions, an in-house committee will select 10 finalist teams to produce their cookie for a high-profile judging panel. The judges will award first, second and third place winners. In addition, all audience and press attendees at the ceremony will have a chance to try each of the eligible cookies and vote for a Fan Favorite.

Each year students deliver a wide assortment of international concepts such as Duck Fat Cookies (France), Rosy Taro Cookie (China) and Mole Cookie (Mexico). Winning entries have included: Dulcetto Bar (Russia) by Bojena Linton (2013), Coconut Daun Pandan (Malaysia) by Vianna Sinnan (2014) and Chocolate Cardamom Button (India) by Savita Bhat (2015).

This year, our judge’s panel will feature Angie Mar (Chef/Owner at Beatrice Inn), Dorie Greenspan (Cookbook Author), Florian Bellanger (Executive Pastry Chef at MadMac), Robb Riedel (Managing Editor of Food Network Magazine) and Erik Murnighan (President of the International Culinary Center).

Judges in the past have included: Kate Heddings (Senior Editor of Food & Wine), Daniel Holzman (Chef/Owner of The Meatball Shop), Bob Truitt (Corporate Pastry Chef of Altamarea Group), Jacques Torres (Chef/Owner of Jacques Torres Chocolate), Christina Tosi (Chef/Owner of Milk Bar) and Emily Luchetti (Chief Pastry Officer of Big Night Restaurant Group).

The 2017 event occurs with generous support from our premier sponsor, KitchenAid, as well as additional sponsorship from Michele Et Augustin and Island Ware. 

 

Use the official hashtag #TheCookieGames to share your favorites on social media!