The agony of making creative effort in the kitchen is, more often than not (and don’t tell me otherwise), we fall into the tormenting limbo between imagination and reality and sometimes the plunge feels eternally lasting. My current episode has been ruthlessly stretching into its 9th day-anniversary, on-going, in cold blood. Do feel bad because here it comes…
The mini sliders that missed Fourth of July and strewn on the sheet pan like dead patriots of a losing battle, hopefully comforted in knowing that they’d nonetheless meet their apologetic maker in whatever end. The boiled salt-crusted baby potatoes with a great but impending purpose to replace potato chips in the summer, even after the
3rd 4th attempt of adjustment, proven to well… not taste as good as skinny feels. And there was the cardboard-cake… the burnt chicken… OH and good lord don’t even get me started on the peach pie… a titanic-sink of an idea that felt greater than a defeat. The lifeless object laying on the counter with mascarpone-blood bleeding out through every crimpled pie-holes onto the puddle of death, made me questioned what I said I wanted to be in that third-grader’s essay and what the fuck had happened to her, made me doubt my already parasitical existence to society and then… concluded that life has no meaning. Everybody dies alone. Chaos… suffering… I suck.
And then there was this. My disturbed and near-paralysed mind, even at this crucial juncture, still can’t quite decide its fate. Common sense tells me that most if not all, would experience a slight gag-reflex induced by the idea of WTF chocolate AND cheese?!! But my gut – oh my dear gut that proved itself so many times to be a reckless guide but yet drives this helpless body – tells me WTF MAYBE? Especially when a stroll on the internet like here, here and there, even voice as generic as Hershey’s, seems to endorse enthusiastically (see? SEE!?)(turning a blind eye at the fact that nowadays, even a question like “cure for cancer?” is bound to find suggestions on the internet…). Desperate and cornered like a starving leech for blood, I dived into the unknown blindfolded with both hands tied and balls untucked, figuratively speaking. …I survived with only a slight chocolate smear on my forehead. The cookies? Not so undebatable. The sharp edge of the gouda is smoothed out during baking, leaving itself as a salty and crispy-edged counteract to the dense and rich, almost brownie-like cookies. The flavour profile hovers around dark chocolate and salted caramel with a much more forceful punch, and it is almost certain that they have to be consumed warm as re-harden melted cheese is sought after by no one. But something… something interesting about it propelled me to share it with you (desperation aside). Don’t deny it just yet… I can’t take it now.
Makes: 14 ~ 16 cookies
As you can see, some gouda is pressed into the ice-cream scoop then inverted/released onto the baking sheet, giving you a cookie that’s virtually gouda-less from the top surface. Then some gouda is pressed into the cookie batter AFTER the it’s been released from the ice-cream scoop, giving you a cookie with a visible chunk of melted gouda on top. I would much recommend doing it the second way, in which the gouda stays soft and melted on top instead of crispy and almost disappearing on the bottom. It would be even better, if you can completely conceal the gouda inside the cookie dough.
Ingredients: dark chocolate cookie recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1 cup (125 grams) of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (43 grams) of coco powder
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 stick (113 grams) of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 (150 grams) cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 (100 grams) cup of brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 4 oz (114 grams) of dark chocolate, melted
- 3.5 oz (100 grams) of dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 14 small chunks of aged gouda
Whisk together flour, coco powder, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Set aside. Roughly chop 4 oz (114 grams) of dark chocolate and, in a microwave-proof bowl, heat on high a few times on a 30-second interval (give it a little stir in between) until melted. Set aside.
On a stand-mixer or hand-held mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together on high. Stop the machine a couple of times and scrape the bottom, then beat again until the mixture is pale and fluffy, approx 3~5 min. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until the mixture is thick and velvety, approx 3 min. Add the vanilla extract and melted dark chocolate, beat until evenly mixed together. Then add the flour mixture, on slow-speed, stir until the batter is mixed. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure the mixture is even, then add the chopped dark chocolate and mix until incorporated. Chill the cookie dough/batter in the fridge for 30 min.
Preheat the oven on 350ºF/175ºC.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a large ice-cream scoop and pack a tight scoop-full of the cookie dough, then drop it onto the parchment paper with 2″/6 cm space in between. Insert a small piece of aged gouda in the center and press it in slightly. If you can, wrap the gouda completely inside the dough. Bake in the oven for approx 14 min. The cookie should feel soft and unset when you try to remove it from the sheet pan. Let the cookie cool off slightly on the cooling rack.
The cookies are most ideal when it’s still warm from the baking. But you can keep them in an air-tight container for a couple of days, and heat it up slightly in the microwave before eating.