For the first time ever, I am ready to share one of our recipes, in full, no mixes involved. A cornerstone to our bakery case, here’s how to make our…

SALTY CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIE RECIPE

This is what we consider the perfect chocolate chip style cookie. Chunks are our preference, as they allow for delicious pools of rich chocolate throughout the cookie, creating layers of flavour and texture in each bite. Topped off with a healthy dash of Maldon flaked salt (fleur de sel works too) for crunch and to offset the sweetness of the cookie, this cookie is always stocked in our freezers for any time the need for perfection strikes. For recipe accuracy (especially with blending flour), crack out the kitchen scale. Cup measures are included but are approximate.

INGREDIENTS

422g Cookie Flour

  • 123g (1 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) oat flour
  • 91g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp + 1 tsp) white rice flour
  • 72g (1/3 cup + 2 tbsp) brown rice flour
  • 103g (1/2 cup + 2tsp) potato starch
  • 23g (2 tbsp + 1 tsp) tapioca starch

 

  • 80g ( 1/3 cup) dairy free margarine or vegan baking sticks, room temperature
  • 80g (1/3 cup) refined coconut oil, room temperatur
  • 185g (3/4 cup + 2.5 tbsp) white sugar
  • 110g (1/2 cup) brown sugar

 

  • 63g (1/4 cup) unsweetened apple sauce
  • 8g (2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 5g (1 tsp) salt

 

  • 2g (1/2 tsp) baking powder
  • 3g (3/4 tsp) baking soda
  • 3g (1 tsp) xanthan gum

 

  • 200g (1 1/4 cups) quality semisweet chocolate (that you must chop yourself)
  • 20g (1.5 tbsp) flaked salt (Maldon is preferred)

 

TOOLS

  • Electric mixer
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Kitchen scale
  • Spatula
  • Cookie scoop (optional, but helpful)

 

DIRECTIONS

Prepare flour blend before you begin the recipe.

1. Chop your chocolate into various sized chunks, no bigger than an almond.

2. Scale margarine and coconut oil with white and brown sugar in mixing bowl.

3. On medium-high speed using a paddle attachment (or beater hooks), mix the fats and sugars together until combined. Crank it into high gear, and cream the sugar and fats together for a total of 4 minutes. The fats should appear a light creamy colour.

4. Use the spatula to scrape down the bowl sides and bottom. Scale in apple sauce, salt and vanilla extract.

5. Beat apple sauce and vanilla on high speed until the mixture is again light, whipped and creamy in colour (3-4 minutes).

6. Add in half the cookie flour, all the baking soda and powder and xanthan gum, and half the chocolate chunks. Mix on low speed until just combined (some dry pockets are ok at this point).

7. Add in the remaining flour and chocolate chunks. Mix until just combined, but no dry pockets are present.

8. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your cookie scoop, portion even balls of dough onto the sheet (they can be very close together, but not touching). Ensure every cookie has a good ratio of larger and smaller chocolate chunks.

9. Press cookies down to a half centimeter of thickness. Top with a sprinkle of flaked salt.

10. Once all dough is scooped, place the cookie sheet in the freezer for a minimum of one hour.

11. Once frozen, you can choose to save the dough balls for later by sealing them in a ziplock bag. They can freeze up to two months, and are perfect for when you want just one fresh baked cookie as a snack.

12. If you choose to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 325°F convection (350°F if your oven does not have convection).

13. Place frozen cookies on a room temperature baking sheet with parchment paper, evenly spaced about 2” apart to leave space for spreading.

14. Bake cookies on the centre rack of the oven for 15-17 minutes.

15. Let cool completely on pan…. Or snack on the hot cookie straight from the oven!

 

STORAGE

Baked cookies can be kept on the counter in an airtight cookie jar or container for 1 week, in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 6 weeks.

It has been 77 days since I closed

Dolled Up Desserts

(listen to this reflection in the video above!)

I’d be lying to you if I said I was sad.

If I said I missed the the painfully slow week days hoping today would be the day James street’s foot traffic came back to life.

If I missed shooting up in panic in the middle of the night dreaming about whether the freezers were still on at the bakery.

If I missed having to once again put on my confident face for my staff or customers asking if things have gotten better since we “opened back up”.

These last three years were hard for all of us. For me, these last three years slated me into the worst burnout of my life.

On this journey of growing a bakery, I have failed due to extreme circumstances out of my control on three separate occasions, yet I still found the will to see it as an opportunity to pivot again.

I’ve only realized now by removing myself that each time I got up again, a bit of me was still stuck to the floor. Each time I thought I regained my balance and strength, I was fueled increasingly by anxiety, guilt and stubbornness.

I was a shell of myself for the year leading up to our close. 

Disconnected, uninspired, angry, doom scrolling, going through the motions.

Honestly, I never wanted Dolled Up Desserts to have a store. It was a last ditch effort made in the peak of the pandemic to try and get my employees back to the familiar constant that is work, and ride out what we all thought would be the last few months of lockdowns so we could once again try to build out the Dolled Up empire.

I signed the lease at 142 James for 6 months- that’s how short term this was supposed to be. Two and a half years passed. Although the store was incredible for building community, our mission was always to bring inclusive dessert to as many places as possible.

I started Dolled Up Desserts because I was done settling for the lack of indulgent treats that I could eat in my city. Dessert is a language of positivity, and people with dietary differences are physically prevented from feeling the connection dessert cultivates between people. Allergen friendly baked goods were often designed to be “good enough”, an inconvenient afterthought for most establishments. They were often something your friend would not want to split with you, something that was separately yours, while everyone else at the birthday party got a slice of that beautiful decadent confetti cake.

I was someone who detested “the option” at all places, because it had, as I like to call, the “vegan” taste or its glutenless texture was that of cardboard. It was never the satisfying indulgence I dreamt of: cake with the tang of real cream cheese icing; buns that were fluffy and light; or ice cream that was creamy and didn’t taste like coconut. So, I chased those sugar coated dreams. Dolled Up Desserts was its manifestation.

But if I said I don’t miss that dream, why am I writing to you now?

Because I do miss parts of it.

I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t miss being creative with pushing what inclusive dessert could be.

I baked for myself for the first time in 6 years the second week after closing. Baking once was a way for me to unwind after a long day, ending with the best kind of medicine: dessert. I transformed baking for fun into my biggest passion and pain while running the business.

Now, baking has once again become personalized. And through the act of baking for myself, experiences I forgot or brushed aside to keep looking forward are resurfacing.

I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t miss you, the community.

During the weeks leading up to our close, many of you asked if I would ever publish a recipe book. Although I would love to do just that, I want the act of sharing Dolled Up’s recipes, formulas so dear to my heart, to be an act of building connection, just like the baked goods brought connection to your special occasions.

Thus, to help build a deeper sense of connection to myself and to you, I have decided to share these recipes openly and freely, paired with the story, challenge, life lesson, or triumph that occurred during the time the recipe was conceived.

Sharing my story this way is part healing and learning, part building connection with you and the loved ones that get to enjoy your baking. One day, we can publish these recipes into a beautiful book, and I certainly hope you’ll support me in that endeavor. But for now, these recipes need to empower my community as much as they empowered me to experience the life changing opportunity that is Dolled Up Desserts. Maybe they’ll inspire you to do something crazy (like open your own business), but at the very least, I hope they inspire you to get baking.

There is no hard timeline set with the launch of this reflection capsule. I’ll share the recipes and stories when I’m ready. If you want to stay updated, be sure to sign up for the newsletter and continue to follow dolled up desserts on social media.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I look forward to sharing my legacy with you,connecting with you personally, and baking inclusive dessert together once again.

Until next time,

Katarina

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SOMETHING IS BAKING...

A Beautiful Recipe Reflection Capsule is in the works….

Be first to hear about them and get baking!