Last month, I was invited by Stefani Roberts from Bread and Butter PR to a Cookie Party and Demo of one of her clients, Bakelab, at their commercial kitchen. It was a veritable cookie feast as we got to eat our fill of 7 different cookies.
Also on display were some of her cupcakes, cakes and snowballs.
Before I talk about the delicious offerings from Bakelab, here's a little info about Owner/Pastry, Kristin Feuer. After dabbling in photography, design and consulting, Kristin decided to combine two of her passions, art and baking when she enrolled and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu with a certificate in Baking and Pastry. Kristin went on to work at high profile restaurants including Clementine, Providence and La Mill Coffee Boutique. Finally, after honing her baking skills, she decided to open her own wholesale and retail bakery, Laurel Avenue Baker, nicknamed "Bakelab", in January 2009. Bakelab specializes in modern interpretations of signature desserts including cookies, cakes, brownies and more.
Now that you know a little more, let's talk cookies. I have to say that that there wasn't a cookie there that I didn't like, especially the ones that had this amazing sugar crust. So what's the sugar crust? Simply, Kristin double rolls her cookie dough in sugar. When the bottom layer of sugar melts, it turns into liquid and when it meets the top layer of sugar, the surface of the cookie cracks, rises and creates a crust of sugar. I think all cookie makers should adopt this technique. In the picture below, you can see that sugar crust on two of the cookie sections.
When it came to my favorites, I couldn't get enough of the Peanut Butter and the Iced Oatmeal Cookies. What I liked about the Peanut Butter cookies was the lack of peanuts and the fact that it was moist. I've definitely had my share of PB cookies that err on the dry side. As for the Iced Oatmeal Cookies, they brought back childhood memories of the Mother's Cookies original version of those same cookies that I grew up enjoying as a kid.
But what truly blew me away were the Bakelab's Chocolate Chip Cookies and during our time there, Kristen even did a demonstration of how to make those exactl same Chocolate Chip Cookies that we got to try at this event. See recipe towards end of this post.
During her demonstration, there were 5 specific tips she passed along when it came to making the perfect cookie.
- Creaming the Butter and Sugar: Don't cream them any longer than 1-1/2 minutes! Too much air from overcreaming equals a flat cookie.
- Beating the Dough: Beat the dough for a quick "one, two" count just beyond the point when the flour is incorporated. You'll make a little more gluten (structure) for plumper cookies.
- Aging the Dough: Just as bread dough develops flavor as it rises, chilling the dough overnight allows subtle nutty and toffee characteristics to develop.
- Freezing the Dough: Portion chilled dough onto a cookie sheet and freeze. Bake from frozen; cookies will be much rounder.
- Baking the Dough: Baking from frozen allows the protein in the flour to set up before the fat melts out, yielding a very plump cookie. Pull from the oven when there is still a pale circle in the middle of the cookie.
After the end of the demonstration, some of us had asked if it would be okay to try a couple of the cupcakes on display. We've been eyeing them since we got there. Kristin generously said yes, so along with the cookies, I was able to enjoy a little bit of her chocolate cupcake and her vanilla cupcake. Of the two, the chocolate cupcake, which was rich and moist, did it for me.
Overall, just based on the cookie and cupcakes I tried, I think Bakelab definitely has a sweet future. If you'd like to check out Bakelab for yourself, look below to see where you can find them.
- Bakelab treats are available online at Bakelab and Foordoro or call them directly at 310-330-9055.
- Yummy.com in Playa Vista, Santa Monica and West Hollywood
- The Oaks Gourmet Market in Franklin Village
- Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City
- They'll also be selling their wares at this year's Eat My Blog on 06/19/10
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Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
2-1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened but not soggy
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Whisk flour with baking soda and salt; set dries aside.
- In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter with both sugars on speed 3-4, for about 1-1/2 minutes.
- Add vanilla, then eggs one at a time, mixing on low until incorporated.
- Mix in dries in two portions on low speed. Mix until combined, then beat an extra two seconds later.
- Mix in chocolate chips on low, just enough to distribute, then finish mixing by hand.
- Follow Bakelab's tips for chilling, freezing and baking the dough. Portion as small or large as desired. Frozen dough will take up to 15 minutes to bake for larger portions.
Engineered with delicious simplicity, Bakelab’s “No Assembly Required” Gift Box is constructed with Dad’s tastes in mind. Chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter brownies and iced oatmeal cookies round out a moustache-decorated box secured with duct tape and twine—everything Dad needs to build the perfect Father’s Day. Enclosed in the $25 “No Assembly Required” Gift Box, Dad will find the following parts:
3—Chocolate Chip Cookies - Made with big chunks of semi-sweet chocolate, the chewy chocolate chip cookies are baked to a golden brown to bring out hints of caramel.
3—Iced Oatmeal Cookies - An American classic, Bakelab’s iced oatmeal cookies have a firm, toothsome texture that is neither too crisp nor too soft. A brush of vanilla icing rounds out hints of cinnamon, ginger and molasses.
3—Peanut Butter Brownies - Thick ribbons of peanut butter filling swirl through the classic chocolate brownie. A tall, cold glass of milk is a must for the fudgy, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth goodness of these brownies.
The “No Assembly Required” Gift Box is available online and for pick up or delivery beginning on Monday, June 7. Online orders must be placed by 9:00 a.m. PT on Thursday, June 17 to ensure delivery via FedEx by Friday, June 18 (orders placed Thursday, June 17 must select overnight shipping). Gifts will be available for local pick up or delivery until Friday, June 18. Delivery is available for a fee, based on the distance from the commercial kitchen.