Monday, September 12, 2011

Deep Fried Cookie Dough with Fleur de Sel

In honor of the Top Chef Just Desserts Season 2 premiere two weeks ago, I knew I had to do something big to commemorate the occasion.  This is, after all, the show that brought us the deep fried whoopie pie.

I wanted to fry something, but it seems these days people are willing to deep fry anything.  As I learned at the Durham Fair, even some things you think might be good fried—like a s’more—aren’t actually as good as the regular version.  The Food Network Magazine recently ran an article explaining which foods taste better fried, and which you should leave in their more natural state (hint:  avocado is not a good idea.)  And really, if the Food Network Magazine is telling you NOT to cook something, you know the trend has gotten out of hand.

But then there’s cookie dough—think about it for a second.  Warm, melted cookie dough, chocolate chips, crispy exterior.  It makes total sense.  It more than makes sense—it beckons.

When I’m at home, my aunt usually discourages me from deep frying things on account of the mess and the hot oil that could burn someone.  Fortunately, I invited some friends over, so that we could make more of a mess and there would be more people to burn.

Here are a few things we learned:
-Make the cookie dough taste good.  You are not baking these cookies, so ratios don’t matter.  Just make the cookie dough taste as good as you can:  add more vanilla, more sugar, more chocolate, more salt, whatever you want.  Keep tasting and keep adjusting.

-Smaller batches produce better results.  In the beginning, we tried to cook multiple pieces at once.  The outsides stuck to the bottom of the pan and started to burn extremely quickly, but when we took them out, the cookie dough wasn’t completely melted (although it was still delicious)  Towards the end, I began frying the cookie dough one piece at a time in a small pan.  It was much easier to control, and each dough ball came out completely melted in the center without a burnt exterior.

-Add the sea salt.  Don’t forget it in the rush to shove deep fried dough goodness in your mouth.  The fleur de sel really makes this dish, so don’t forget it.

What are you waiting for?  There’s another episode of Top Chef this Wednesday that you can celebrate.  Check out the recipe here (there’s even a video online) and make these fried bits of glory for yourself!

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