SRP #20: Agave Maria

An “SRP” in dentistry, short for “Scaling & Root Planing,” is an anesthesia-requiring deep-cleaning procedure.  A FoodSwing Blog “SRP,” short for “Short Recipe Post,” is a concentrated flavor and humor experience – anesthesia optional.

White Chocolate Chip Agave Cookies

Perhaps now that I’m in full-swing orthodontics mode now, I should probably start calling these mini-posts “Retainer Checks” instead of “SRPs.”  Hmmm.  Food for thought…

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Though dental school has come to an end and residency is now my life, the compulsive baking continues!  With a group of 8 residents and a small, close-knit faculty and staff dynamic, a one-stick-of-butter dough batch is pretty much the perfect size for some mid-week pick-me-up cookies (allowing a few extra to stash in the freezer for later).
If this brown butter agave dough sounds familiar, it’s because the same dough base also appears here in my Caramel Stuffed Agave Cookies.  Though I desperately love stuffing things inside cookies, this dough is so feather-light and flavor-full that it stands alone just as well as it serves as a vessel for gooey caramel.  A light sprinkling of kosher sea salt just before they hit the oven gives these cookies the perfect salty yin to the sweet yang, yielding happy campers everywhere.

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This dough gets its sweetness from a delicate balance of granulated sugar and agave nectar (no brown sugar needed), so the resulting cookie develops a wonderfully golden hue as it bakes.  At first glance, you might think the cookies are overbaked, but, at first taste, you’ll realize they are not!  8 minutes gives me the perfect amount of doneness and an inviting amber hue on top.  These cookies tan better than I do!  As a ginger, though, that’s really not saying much 🙂

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White Chocolate Chip Agave Cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, browned & chilled 2-24 hours
2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup + 2 T granulated sugar
Scrapings from 1/2 of a vanilla bean pod (reserving pod), optional but highly recommended
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 egg, room temp
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup white chocolate chips + a few extra for decorating
Kosher sea salt (critical!)
Make dough:  Remove chilled brown butter and egg from fridge 1 hour prior to making dough.  When you take out your butter to soften, stir together the granulated sugar and vanilla bean scrapings in a medium mixing bowl, and submerge the scraped pod in the sugar.  After the hour has passed, discard the scraped pod.  Cream together the brown butter, oil, vanilla-sugar, and agave, until pale and thoroughly mixed.  Beat in egg and vanilla extract.  In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, use a fork to whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add dry ingredients to mixing bowl, and stop mixing once flour streaks have almost disappeared.  Fold in white chocolate chips, while incorporating the last lingering flour streaks.  Chill dough 30 minutes.
Shape dough:  Roll ~tablespoonfuls of dough between your palms, forming a marshmallow shape (see picture above).  Gently press 2-3 white chocolate chips artistically atop each dough blob.  Chill 24-48 hours (the longer, the better!) in an airtight container or on a plate covered tightly with plastic wrap.
Bake dough:  Remove dough balls from fridge, and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle tops of dough balls with kosher sea salt.  Bake for 8 minutes, rotating sheet halfway though bake time.  When you remove the cookies from the oven, they should be golden on top, pale in the very middle, puffy, and have small cracks visible at the edges.  Let cookies cool 5 minutes on sheet (they’ll deflate a bit), then remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Store in airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 5 days.

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2 thoughts on “SRP #20: Agave Maria

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