We didn't all get to go to SXSW to try them, and not all of us can go to New York to buy them. Here's how you can enjoy Dominique Ansel's latest creation at home.
Step 1: The Dough
I used Serious Eats' "Best Chocolate Chip Cookie" recipe, but bastardized it* by adding a half cup of flour and beating the dough longer than recommended, so it would be easier to roll out.
Use whatever dough you want, just make sure it's stiff enough that you can manipulate it a little.
*I did make one attempt with the original recipe--more on that towards the end.
Step 2: The Chocolate
Make sure to use mini-chips and/or hand-chopped chocolate. If your chunks are too big, you get weird holes rolling out the dough.
Step 3: The Mould
I used a mini popover pan lined with strips of parchment paper for the outside, and wrapped corks in foil for for the center piece.
Step 4: The Mould: Part II
Not sure what would hold up the best, I experimented with another centerpiece made from a paper towel tube and masking tape (which yes, is safe in the oven).
Step 5: Roll it Out
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I used plenty of flour and a pizza cutter to get my lines straight.
My first attempt was wrapping the dough around the original shot glass, but I found it more effective to use the centerpiece that would eventually go in during the baking process. And it's much easier to get the parchment paper around before you put it in the pan.
Use a real shot glass to make a circle for the bottom of the cookie shot glass, the use the aluminum foil-cork-plug to smash it all together. Straighten out the top edge with your finger if it gets crooked. It won't fix itself while it bakes.
I greased some of them and found that (with this pan, at least) it didn't make a difference.
Step 6: Bake
My preferred temperature setting was basking at 375F for 10-14 minutes.
I tried the first batch at 350F and they were meltier and puffier, while the higher temperature made the next batch take their shape more quickly.
The aluminum foil was definitely more effective than the cardboard. On second batches, I filled the cardboard with foil so the cookie wouldn't puff up inside, but the cardboard middles were a lot stickier to pull out.
It's best to pull out the centers while they're still warm, before they fully set, just don't burn yourself.
You can see the one that I didn't give a plug to just filled right in. Cookie Shot Glass fail.
Step 7: The Glaze
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My obsessive tendencies won--two days later, I had to test the glaze ideas.
First, wait 'til your cookie shotglasses are completely cool before glazing. Here are the two types I tested:
1) A "Confectioners Glaze" -- this is what I grew up knowing as "cinnamon roll frosting."
A little powdered sugar, splash of vanilla, and a couple teaspoons of milk. I like to make mine thick--like a thick paint.
2) A variation on Royal Icing -- an idea inspired by my days of using Royal Icing to glue together my gingerbread mansion/castle/lighthouse/city, this stuff hardens like glue when it dries.
For my little test batch, I used 1 pasteurized egg white, a splash of vanilla, beat it in a mixer til frothy, and added about 3/4 c. powdered sugar.
I used clean paintbrushes to brush the inside, and also tested the pour-n'-swirl method--which wasn't really as effective since my glazes were fairly thick. I recommend continuing to re-distribute the frostings with the paintbrush as they dry, since they sink to the bottom. You can also let them dry on their sides and roll em around as you see fit.
For each different glaze, I tested one single coat vs. two coats.
I tested one unheated test a couple hours after applying a glaze to see if it was holding at all--and seemed to work pretty well
I painted a few more, and let them sit overnight.
Step 8: Reheat & Pour
In the morning, they were dry.
I reheated one of each type in the oven at 350F for 5 minutes, and then added milk:
The confectioner's glaze worked great for both the single and double coats, but the royal icing was not a success (which makes sense, now that I think about it).
Step 9: Other Lessons
The regular cookie dough (which had less flour and was beaten less, making it softer and more malleable) did not yield a successful cookie shot glass. Its structure was much looser and, while still delicious, was extremely porous and was difficult to get the foil plug out of.
Also, if you don't line the outside of the cookie shot glass with parchment paper, it doesn't stick, but it does spill over the edge, making a weird, muffin-top-y-style glass.
Lastly, when the bottoms of my first batch turned out thicker than I would've liked, I tried putting no bottom at all on some in the second batch, hoping that the dough would melt and drip down...
...but since I switched to a higher temperature on the second batch, this didn't happen at all, so I got a cookie spyglass instead.
Step 10: The Final Lesson: Definitely Need a Glaze
Edit: leaving this here so you guys can see the failure caused by not glazing.
They only kind of worked. A couple of them held milk for almost a few seconds before seepage occurred, and since this article that revealed that Dominique Ansel uses a glaze inside the cookie to keep the milk in didn't come out until I was finished with my experimentation, I haven't had a chance to try that....yet.
But I'll update you once I do.
Step 11: The Test
Final thoughts: for all the work, $3 a pop for Dominique Ansel's seems pretty reasonable to me if you're in NYC. I hear they come with complimentary vanilla milk refills. I'll definitely be checking them out when I visit in April!