Accueil Sweet Cookies like at Laura Todd’s

Cookies like at Laura Todd’s

Difficulté : Easy
Catégorie : Sweet
Cout : Affordable

If you don’t know Laura Todd cookies yet, then rush to one of their stores! They are divine. And if you follow my blog, you know how much I love “cracking” recipes. What does that mean? I take great pleasure in finding the best possible way to decipher a known and secret recipe. Like the galettes from Pont Aven, the Traou Mad, the orange blossom ganache from Ladurée (or the vanilla one I teach my classes), the Granola Bars from Whole Foods Market, the Malakoffs Vaudois where I spent 10 days frying Gruyères for find the assembly. I love it because you have the solution in front of you (the product you want to make) and you have to find the magic formula to reproduce it. Sometimes it’s maddening, but most of the time I have fun creating multiple variations of ingredients. I literally deconstruct the product I’m looking for, putting it in the microwave, analyzing the composition, calculating the carbohydrate-protein-lipid ratios… So when Laura Todd publishes a book where he gives the “authentic” recipe of their cookies, the same one that is on their website, I remained very skeptical! How can they give the real recipe when they are selling them? I immediately tried their version and there: disaster! Sickening cookies, dripping with butter, crumbly, and crunchy, exactly the opposite of the wonder that you find in the store… I went to talk to several Laura Todd employees and asked them if they knew the recipe. Of course not! Professional secrecy is well guarded by contract! They mix fat+eggs+flour and add  bags of pre-mixed sugar(s). I immediately understood that I had to eliminate partially the butter and replace it with another fat. Margarine? Oil? Yes and no… I you invite you especially to come and read the rest!

The recipe I’m about to suggest isn’t necessarily the same to the gram as Laura Todd’s, but let’s just say you’ll have near-perfect clones. I don’t have a top secret food laboratory, but I test a lot, I note the result, I recalculate to correct a too fast melting, a too pronounced friability… I’ve been doing this since I was maybe 12 years old (with kouign aman!). Looking at a Laura Todd white chocolate cookie, what do you see? A flat cookie (no yeast), not much egg, very fine sugar grains (no brown sugar mentioned in the “authentic” recipe) and above all a frozen fat. Really? Frozen? What does that mean? That means it’s not butter oozing out of the cookie. They are certainly very greasy, but paradoxically they don’t leave too many greasy marks on the fingers, much less than the butter test;ie! So I thought of margarine and the result was almost perfect with a butter+margarine mix. But there was always something missing. A closer look at the purchased cookie reveals an almost waxed appearance. And then I thought about what gave this appearance and that could be found in the USA in the 30’s (supposed date of the creation of the recipe by the real Laura Todd!): hydrogenated coconut fat, otherwise known as Vegetalin in our country! This fat was invented in the 1920s and is very common in American baking (in fact they use “shortening” which is a combination of several fats, including coconut). The Laura Todd cookies are quite firm (although undercooked) at room temperature, much more so than any of my previous attempts. And it gives the waxed appearance found on the famous cookies. Don’t try the recipe with just butter, it will result in sickening cookies. I am a big fan of fresh butter! But sometimes you have to put it aside, like in my “Flapjacks” or in the future “Pastéis de Nata”. Regarding the sugar, they talk about brown sugar in the “authentic” recipe. But no, this is impossible. The grains are too big, and the cookie becomes crunchy. It is most probably a mixture of white caster sugar and what we call in France “vergeoise blonde”. 
Last but not least: chocolate! Because yes, the Laura Todd cookies are excellent especially thanks to the chocolate. And that’s the hardest thing to find. Because when you taste a cookie, there is so much chocolate, that you can’t find the taste of the dough. To find the chocolate, you have to go on the internet or at G.Detou, or at Metro. The brand Cacao Barry sells chocolate in pistoles. They are a little bit bigger than L.Todd’s, but do the job perfectly. Otherwise, go to the USA to buy chocolate tablets, or to L.Todd’s where they sell chocolate by weight. Prepare your wallet, because it is 4,50€ for 150g…(November 2011). 
So that’s all the information we have. After more than 7 attempts, I have achieved an almost identical result and you will find the flavor of these amazing cookies at home! In the end, the proportions of the authentic recipe are good, but the ingredients are not! 

Recipe for 13 cookies like Laura Todd:

-45g of vegetaline 
-55g of margarine (or 100g of American “crisco” instead of vegetable + margarine)
-20g of soft butter
-105g of white caster sugar
-70g of blond vergeoise
-185g of flour
-25g of egg (just beat it and weigh what you need)
-a few drops of liquid vanilla
-two or three pinches of salt
-140g of chocolate chips 

Put the butter, margarine and vegemite in a bowl and melt in a double boiler or microwave.

Add salt, white sugar, vergeoise and a few drops of liquid vanilla. 

Mix well then add the beaten egg.

Mix again, then add the flour all at once. 

The dough is ready. At this point, you can separate the dough into two parts (or four if you double the recipe) in order to add different chocolate chips (milk, dark…) to each portion.

Then, you can add chocolate chips (milk, dark, white) or peanut butter chips to each serving. 

Mix well then let stand 45 minutes in a cool place. Then take balls of dough. I take an ice cream scoop and fill it to the brim. I scrape off the spoon and get the same amount as the L.Todd cookies (47g).

Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space the cookies well apart. 

Flatten with the palm of your hand to a thickness of less than one centimeter. 

Bake at 135°C for 13-14 minutes. The cookies look like unbaked dough, but they will be perfect as they cool!!!
The texture and color change from all to all! 

And are finally ready for tasting.

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