♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Today on "Cook's Country," Christie makes Bridget foolproof triple-chocolate sticky buns, Jack challenges Julia to a tasting of milk chocolate, and Morgan makes Julia perfect thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies.
That's all right here on "Cook's Country."
-Today, we eat milk chocolate by the bar.
But before the 1600s, the combination of milk and chocolate was consumed only as a drink.
-It wasn't until 1875 that a man named Daniel Peter mixed milk powder with chocolate to make the first milk chocolate bar.
And to make the chocolate smoother, Peter's eventually switched from powder to condensed milk.
-Now, at this time, milk chocolate was still considered a luxury here in the U.S., until Milton Hershey created his own milk chocolate bar in the 1900s.
Selling it for just a nickel apiece, he made chocolate affordable for everyone.
Today we're using milk chocolate as part of a triple-chocolate whammy to make an amazing brunch treat.
So let's head in to the kitchen and go see Christie.
♪♪ Anybody who knows me even just a little bit knows that I love sticky buns.
One of my favorite things.
But what happens when you add chocolate to sticky buns?
Well, Christie's here, and she's gonna prove to me that adding chocolate to sticky buns is actually a good idea.
-I think it's a very good idea.
There are very few things that aren't made better by adding chocolate.
-I'll buy that.
-And so, it really wasn't a matter of whether we should add chocolate to the sticky buns but how.
It's all about the method.
We're actually gonna use three different kinds of chocolate in this recipe.
But we're still gonna keep that sticky topping that you love so much.
We're not losing the goo.
-To make the most supple, most tender dough, I'm actually going to start with a paste.
So, this is 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour and 2/3 cup of whole milk.
So I'm going to mix this together.
We're actually going to cook this in the microwave.
So once it's whisked, I'll put this in the microwave, and I'm going to cook this until I get a nice, thick paste.
And that's going to take anywhere from 25 to 75 seconds.
-But I'll stop every 25 seconds and whisk it to see where it is.
-This is what we're looking for.
So, it took me the full 75 seconds, but what I have now is a pretty thick paste.
Now I will transfer it to my stand mixer.
-We want to cool that down, so I have another 2/3 cup of whole milk that I'm going to add.
-So I'm just going to whisk this together and that gel's going to loosen up.
Okay, so that's mixed together.
Now, this is a sticky bun, so this is basically an enriched dough.
So we need to add some richness.
-So I have one large egg and one large egg yolk that I'm adding to do just that.
Now it's time to add our dry ingredients.
I have 3 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour and 2 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast or rapid rise yeast.
We're going to let the machine do the hard job.
So we'll put the dough hook on, locked and loaded, low speed.
We're just going to mix this until we don't see any dry flour left -- 1 to 2 minutes.
There we go.
Alright, so, I don't see any dry bits at this point.
-Now we're going to tuck it away under the towel.
I'm leaving the dough hook on.
I'm not going to touch it.
Just going to cover it up.
And we're going to let this sit for 15 minutes.
This is called autolyse.
It's just time to let the gluten start developing.
Bridget, we've let this dough hydrate for 15 minutes.
[ Both laugh ] Now it's time to add our salt and our sugar.
So, 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
Okay, now we're going to let this knead on medium-low speed for five minutes.
-Okay, that is looking good.
-It looks great.
-But I promised you an enriched dough.
-Yeah, this is only half enriched.
-And it's only half enriched.
But we got butter.
-[ Laughs ] I have 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter that I've softened.
So, we're going to do the same thing -- medium-low speed.
-Another 5 minutes.
Just going to sprinkle a little bit of bench flour down.
Just going to knead this a little bit to make a nice, smooth ball.
I have made a nice ball.
I'm going to put the ball in a large bowl that I've already sprayed with vegetable oil spray, seam side down, and then I'm going to cover it with plastic wrap.
Now, we're going to let this rise at room temperature until it's doubled in size, and that should take about an hour.
♪♪ -Bridget, just because we wanted to add a lot of chocolate to this recipe did not mean that we were going to lose that sticky topping.
I told you that.
-Yeah, 'cause I was going to walk out if that was the case.
-But it was a priority for us to keep that topping easy.
So this is no-cook.
I have 3/4 cup of packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup of dark corn syrup.
So, these two ingredients are going to do most of the heavy lifting to give us a caramel-tasting sauce without having to make caramel.
Now, of course, we need butter.
-So this is 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter that I've melted, and 2 tablespoons of water.
And that's going to help loosen everything up and also help dissolve some of that sugar.
-1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Finally, as promised, tablespoon of cocoa powder.
-It reveals itself.
So, I'm just going to whisk all this together.
Now I have a 13x9-inch baking pan, and I'm going to pour this into the baking pan that I've already sprayed with vegetable oil spray.
I'm just going to spread this out... -Oh, wow.
-...to hit every nook and cranny and corner.
And that is our no-cook sticky topping.
-So now we can work on our filling.
So, I have 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate that I've chopped fine.
And to that, I'm going to add 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
-We are going to make essentially a delicious ganache on 50% power for up to 2 minutes.
We'll go in every now and then to stir it and make sure that it's melting nicely.
Then we're going to put this in the refrigerator to chill.
We need to chill it for 20 to 30 minutes.
♪♪ Bridget, this dough is so ready to go.
Look at that.
-Definitely doubled in size.
Now it's time to shape it.
I'm just going to put a little bit of bench flour down.
I really don't want to put too much down, because the dough needs something to get a grip on... -Okay.
-...while we shape it.
-We want a little stick.
-A little stick is good.
So, I'll put a little bit of flour on the top.
I'm just going to stretch it to the size that we need, which is 18 inches long by 15 inches wide.
-So pretty thin.
So I'm going to try to stretch it, keeping that rectangular shape in mind.
-There you go.
-So that's great.
Now the chocolate.
The chocolate has been in the fridge for a little over 20 minutes, so it's clearly thickened up quite a bit.
-And it's more matte in color.
Just going to give it a few stirs to soften it ever so slightly so that it's nice and spreadable like frosting.
-This looks good now, so you can see it's going to be nice and spreadable.
I'm going to transfer this to my dough... -Mm-hmm.
-...and resist all urges to lick my thumb.
[ Chuckles ] So, I have an offset spatula that's going to make this much easier to work with.
I'm just going to spread this all over.
Now, I do want to spread it over the entire dough, but I'm going to leave about a 1-inch border along the top.
-I think we have coverage.
Now, we're not done yet, because I promised you three forms of chocolate.
-We decided that we wanted a little milk chocolate to balance out the deeper chocolate in the bittersweet.
So I have 1 cup of milk chocolate chips, and I'm just going to scatter this so that when we roll them up and bake them, you're just going to come across little wells of melted milk chocolate.
-Little pockets of chocolate.
-So, we have good, even coverage.
Now it's time to roll.
So I'm just going to use my bench scraper to get me started.
Now, we want to roll gently.
I think you might have the urge to roll this really tightly, and you want to resist that, because when you go to cut them, the rolls will be very misshapen.
We're going to do what the dough wants to do.
And every so often, just sort of keep an eye on the ends.
Make sure that they don't start exploding.
Okay, so now we're at the end.
This is why we didn't want to put chocolate all the way to the end.
We needed to have some clean dough that we can pinch together to seal, so that's what I'm going to do.
Okay, now I'm just going to roll this over onto that seam I created.
So now it's time to slice it.
-Now, we're going to cut this into 12 sticky buns.
I'm going to cut it in half, and I'm using a serrated knife, gently sawing it back and forth.
It's not going to squish the buns as much as a chef's knife would.
-Now I'll cut it into quarters.
-And it makes four sticky buns.
-[ Laughs ] I always love your math.
Now I'm just going to cut each quarter into thirds.
I'm going to start placing these in my pan just to create a little more room.
So, I'm going to put them cut side down.
I'm going to do three rows of four.
-It's crazy how chocolaty this kitchen smells right now.
-It's going to smell even better.
So, now I'm going to cover this tightly with plastic wrap so we can let this rise.
We want to let these get nice and puffy.
They should sort of move together as they get bigger.
That's going to take about an hour.
And if you wanted to make these ahead, at this point, you could put them in the refrigerator and chill them from 8 to 24 hours.
Just make sure, before you bake them, you want to pull them out and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
♪♪ -Well, our sticky buns have risen.
They look great.
They're ready to go.
Now, if you would put this rimmed baking sheet on the very bottom rack, so it'll catch any drips that we might have from here.
Now, I'm going to put this on the lower middle rack of my 375-degree oven, and I'll let these bake for 20 minutes until the top is nice and golden brown.
And then to keep them from getting too dark, I'm going to cover them with aluminum foil, and we'll let them bake until the center buns hit about 200 degrees, and that's going to take 15 minutes longer.
[ Sniffs ] Oh, chocolate wave.
-[ Laughs ] -Oh, let me help you out there.
We have to wait a second for the big reveal, though.
-Continuing this magic act.
-[ Laughs ] Alright.
Let's see what we have here.
-So, I just want to double-check the temperature.
Remember, these are enriched sticky buns, so we want a temperature of 200 degrees in the middle.
-And we are there.
I have 201.
I'll take it.
Now I just want to trace my paring knife around the outside of the pan, make sure nothing is sticking.
Okay, now for the gymnastics.
-It was nice knowing you.
-[ Laughs ] You ready?
-Alright, so, I'm gonna use my offset spatula to get a little leverage here.
-To peek it out.
-To peek it out, yes.
-[ Gasps ] I see chocolate droplets.
-Yeah, that's the stuff.
Oh, my goodness.
So, we're just going to let them sit here looking pretty for 15 minutes.
[ Both laugh ] -I guess it's the moment of truth.
-If by that you mean serving time, yes, I hope so.
-It's serving time.
-[ Sighs ] -Oh-oh-oh.
Now, I'm just warning you, this is like a three-napkin job.
You only have one there.
-[ Laughs ] You're going to be in trouble.
-It's like chocolate and toffee had a baby.
-[ Laughs ] -Mmm.
-And they're so soft and really moist and tender.
-These are impossibly soft.
And then you happen upon a little chocolate chip, nice and soft.
-And you know it's a good sticky bun because -- Mm-hmm.
-Alright, triple chocolate sticky buns.
It's a winner.
-Had to give them a chance.
-That's the least we could do.
-I think so.
It's only fair.
-And you're going to want to give these a chance, too.
And this amazing recipe starts with a dough.
Mix the dough and then let it rise.
Make a sticky, gooey topping and a filling, spread the filling over the dough, and top with milk chocolate chips.
Roll it up, then bake them.
Invert those buns, let them cool, and then serve.
So, from "Cook's Country," the amazing, the decadent triple chocolate sticky buns.
And the disappearing.
-I'm so proud of you.
[ Laughs ] ♪♪ [ Cheers and applause ] -Well, today, Jack has me blindfolded, because we're tasting milk chocolate.
-Does that makes sense?
You're going to understand everything.
Just trust me.
-Oh, yeah, okay.
[ Laughs ] -So, milk chocolate has been redefined.
Manufacturers are now making this serious chocolate, and the color has changed.
And you can tell pretty much everything you need to know about milk chocolate by looking at it.
-So, therefore, you are not allowed to look at it.
Now, the studio audience can see here, I actually have three samples in front of me, and they range in color from very light, the bars that we grew up with, to chocolates that frankly are the same color as bittersweet chocolate.
And so I knew that if you saw that it was the color of bittersweet chocolate, you'd be like, "Mmm, this one has a lot of chocolate, not much sugar -- Therefore, I'm going to like it."
Would you like me to direct your hands?
You're just going to -- -Yeah, that's probably a good idea.
-So, why don't we start on the sample that is on your right?
So we're now at the far right.
You can start nibbling.
Couple things I want you to pay attention to -- obviously, the sugar content.
A lot of these have very low sugar and high cacao.
In fact, our winner, just to situate you, has 48% cacao.
-So that's almost the, you know, semisweet, bittersweet chocolate range.
Some old-fashioned, what I would call, you know, childhood candy bars that are milk chocolate have half as much chocolate and, therefore, a lot more sugar.
So, that's the first sample on your far right.
Now I'm going to direct you to the middle sample.
-So, sugar and chocolate intensity go hand in hand.
More sugar, less intense chocolate.
Less sugar, and you get more chocolate.
The other thing is the overall flavor notes.
-Are you getting citrus?
Are you getting coconut?
-Are you getting roasted bitter espresso?
Last thing is texture.
So, this is the third sample, the one that is on your left.
-You know, some of them are really creamy.
-Melt beautifully in your mouth.
-Now, I will say, these are all chocolate.
They're all milk chocolate.
-They're all good.
-Yeah, there's no such thing as bad milk chocolate.
-Not even a little.
-But there are differences here, and there are some that are much better than others, in my opinion.
The studio audience has agreed with the expert panel about what the winner is, so there's a little pressure here.
So, where do you want to go next?
Do you need some help?
-That was three of them, right?
-Yeah, uh, I think you double-dipped on one of them.
-Yeah, I did.
It was good.
I double-dipped on my favorite, actually.
Do you want to go back and taste the other two?
-No, I'm good.
I know what I like.
I like chocolate.
[ Laughter ] -So, do you want to take your blindfold off?
-Nice to see you!
[ Both laugh ] -So... -Interesting.
-Now that you've done your work, let's talk about what you liked.
I loved this one.
-Yeah, I could tell.
Creamy, it melted well.
It tasted like milk chocolate, but it had more going on in the background, so this was by far my favorite.
This one, I knew right off the bat what it was, partly because of the shape, but partly because I eat a lot of s'mores, and this is what I put on my s'mores.
And this one -- again, unique shape.
I thought I knew what it was, but now I'm not so sure.
I like it.
I've always thought it was a little waxy, if this is what I'm thinking of.
And this one was a little waxy.
Melts well after you chew through the waxy bits, and a fine flavor.
But this didn't hold a candle to this one.
-You sure about that?
-Turn this over.
So, you picked the runner-up.
-This is Scharffen Berger.
It's amazing chocolate.
-It has the second-highest, not the highest, chocolate content here.
It's got all these interesting flavor notes that you can sort of taste from the chocolate.
Studio audience, this was their second-favorite.
The expert panel, it was the second-favorite.
So, why don't we go down here to the end?
-So, this was Endangered Species.
-This has got the highest cacao content.
So this is 48%.
So, some companies are actually putting the cacao content on the label.
Otherwise, it's very hard to figure out, because you've got milk fat and cocoa butter.
And trying to suss those out in the lab is very difficult.
But this one is, you know, at 48%, almost in the, you know, bittersweet, semisweet range.
The texture is a little firmer, -It is.
-...because it's got a little bit more chocolate.
Honestly, blindfolded, I think this is dark chocolate.
If you were to give this to me, I would not say milk chocolate.
-Oh, that's a good point.
-It's that intense.
And then, you know... -Last but not least, yeah.
-...this is Hershey's.
It's childhood chocolate.
It's got about 50% more sugar than these top brands, and that means it's got less chocolate.
-You know, it's very soft.
-It's a good melter.
-That was fun, Jack.
-So, there you have it.
My favorite milk chocolate is by Scharffen Berger.
But the winner, which is very good, is by Endangered Species.
It's called Smooth and Creamy Milk Chocolate.
And it's $3.49 for a 3-ounce bar.
[ Cheers and applause ] ♪♪ When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, people usually fall into one of two camps.
There's the thick and chewy camp and the thin, crisp camp.
I have always been from camp crisp, so I'm excited today that Morgan's going to show us how to make them.
I'm so glad you're from thin and crispy camp.
I actually am usually all about thick and chewy cookies, but this recipe has converted me.
It's my go-to cookie recipe.
-In developing it, though, we learned there's a lot of tricks to get the ultimate thin and crispy cookie.
And one of those was starting with cake flour.
To that, I'm going to add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon of salt.
So, I'm just going to mix it in by hand.
So, one of the other really important things we found with this was starting with melted butter.
And you can see it's already a little bit cooled.
You want to start with melted, cooled butter.
So this is 8 tablespoons of melted, cooled butter, and I'm going to add it to the stand mixer.
And then to that I'm going to add 1/3 cup of dark brown sugar and 1/3 cup of white sugar.
So I'm going to mix these on low until they just come together and then increase the mixer to medium high and mix it until it's just lightened a little bit in color.
It'll only take about a minute.
Alright, so, it's lightened a little bit in color.
I'm going to scrape it down real fast.
So, now we're going to add two egg yolks.
And I'm also going to add 1 1/2 tablespoons of whole milk.
The really wet batter helps it become extra thin.
-And then I have 2 teaspoons of vanilla, which is just for good flavor.
And I'm going to mix these on low until they're nice and combined.
Okay, and now it's time to add back that cake flour mixture, so I'm going to add this with the mixer on low.
I'm going to be really careful to not over-mix it, 'cause that's when you can make for a tough cookie.
So you can see how it's just coming together.
And not all that flour is incorporated, but I'm going to do the last little bit of mixing by hand, 'cause I really don't want to overwork it, 'cause we really want crisp and light.
And then onto the most important part of a chocolate chip cookie.
-They're little -These really help keep the cookies low and flat.
So, I have 3/4 cup of mini semisweet chocolate chips, and I'm going to add these in.
And similarly, I don't want to overwork the dough at this point, so I'm just going to mix it in by hand.
So, those look nicely incorporated.
And onto portioning.
-So, I have two sheets here.
-Mm, I get to help.
Before you get going, I'm going to spray your tablespoon measure with some nonstick spray.
-And that'll help -- That'll help get it out a little more easily, 'cause you can see it's a really sticky batter.
It's about a heaping tablespoon each cookie.
So, I'm only going to put eight on a tray.
So, I'm going to go ahead and portion them out.
And before we bake, you actually want to press the cookies down to about 1/2 inch before you start baking.
And that really just gives them a little jump start.
So... -With your fingers?
-With your fingers, yep.
So, you can dip them in water.
-And then you just want to press them out to 1/2 inch tall.
-1/2 inch tall.
-I always just check the first one, and then after that, just kind of eyeball the rest.
-And it's okay if the top of the cookies get a little wet?
-Yep, it's totally fine.
-Those look pretty good.
We're actually going to bake one tray at a time.
I'm going to bake these at 350 degrees.
I'm going to rotate them halfway through.
It'll take about 17 minutes.
We want them golden brown all over, not just at their edges, 'cause we want them crispy all over.
♪♪ Julia, these cookies smell so good.
-[ Chuckles ] Ooh, look at those.
You can see how much they spread in the oven.
-They're perfectly flat.
-And you can see how they're deep golden brown all over, not just on their edges.
You actually want to let it cool on the sheet 20 minutes.
It finishes baking in that time, and it really firms up and gets really crispy in the center.
-That makes sense.
So I want to put this batch in the oven while these finish cooling.
♪♪ Alright, Julia, it's time to dig in.
Is it pick your cookie?
-Pick your cookie.
-I'm going to pick this one.
-I don't think you could go wrong, though.
-And I've got milk for you.
-I thank you.
-Alright, the first test.
-I like it.
-No bending at all.
It just broke right in half.
You can hear it snap.
[ Cookie crunching ] -Mmm.
-Yeah, you can taste the brown sugar.
-You know, and I thought it was a lot of salt and a lot of vanilla, but it's a very flavorful cookie.
It's got a little bit of that salty, sweet thing going on.
With the little mini chocolate chips, you get so many chocolate chips per bite.
I always try to maximize the ratio of chocolate chips per bite of cookie, so it's really getting me there.
-Morgan, these are terrific.
-If you want to make the ultimate chocolate chip cookie that's thin and crisp, add melted butter along with both white and brown sugar.
After incorporating egg yolks into the dough, add a splash of milk, along with cake flour and mini chips.
Portion the dough into cookies using a tablespoon measure, and be sure to let them cool completely before eating.
From "Cook's Country," the ultimate recipe for thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies.
Alright, Morgan, I'm ready for another cookie.
-Yeah, me, too.
I'm almost there.