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Pechanga Resort Casino’s pastry chefs share recipes for National Cookie Day

Pechanga Resort Casino’s pastry chefs share recipes for National Cookie Day

Though there seems to be a national day of recognition for just about everything, the best ones involve food. There’s National Pizza Day, National Burrito Day and National Cake Day, just to name a few. One of the last celebrations of 2022 is National Cookie Day on Sunday, Dec. 4.

To recognize the occasion, Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula will be sharing cookie recipes from the casino’s pastry chefs on its social media pages. Those that check out the social sites can expect recipes for chocolate chunk, peanut butter, white chocolate macadamia nut and oatmeal raisin cookies that they can save for themselves or share with others.

If you feel that you could use more confidence in your cookie-making skills, Pechanga Resort Casino’s team is also sharing its techniques to make your next batch of cookies delicious.

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Deden Putra, executive pastry chef at Pechanga Resort Casino, said that he and his team of bakers produce hundreds of cookies for several of the casino’s dining eateries, such as Blends Coffee & Wine Bar and Café Cocoa. The cookies are made daily and are kept on the shelf for a short time to ensure their freshness. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, white chocolate macadamia nut and oatmeal raisin are the most in-demand, Putra added.

He advises that for the best possible outcome, finding the best ingredients, like high-quality chocolate chips, is a must.

“That will make a big difference in the flavor and help the texture with the baking,” he said.

Another tip that Putra offered is to make sure that when it comes time to mix the sugar and flour that it’s done until it’s nice and fluffy. This process ensures that the sugar doesn’t caramelize and creates a harder cookie texture.

He suggests that two ounces of cookie dough should bake at home at about 325 degrees for about 7-10 minutes. You could leave them in a little longer or move them to cook at the top rack of the oven if the cookies look like they’re still raw on the top. But be on the lookout with your oven to guarantee that it produces the heat it says and Putra recommends using a thermometer to check that the temperature is accurate.

“I suggest everyone baking at home to get to know your oven and your heat,” he added.

Any cookie baker who has searched the internet for recipes has likely run into several options, making it hard to choose the best one. Putra recommends finding ones that measure in grams instead of cups and ounces, because grams can be easier to measure. Even if you find a recipe and the cookies don’t come out as imagined, he recommends just being patient and trying again.

“Try recipes more than once because the more you get to try them, the more you get to know them and can adjust your needs or preferences,” he said. “I always try a recipe five or six times before I’m happy with the results. Baking, instead of the more savory cooking, is more about trial and error and that’s what makes it fun.”

Here is Putra’s recipe for chocolate chunk cookies. For more recipes, visit Pechanga Resort Casino’s official social media pages, including Instagram, on National Cookie Day, Sunday, Dec. 4.

Chocolate Chunk (yields three dozen):

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt

3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoons ground sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

8 ounces coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F. Generously grease cookie sheets. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Boil 1-2 minutes, whisking frequently, until golden brown; stir in walnuts until well coated. Place on a sheet pan, and bake for 5 minutes or until well toasted; cool.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; continue to cook the butter, whisking frequently, until it starts to brown and foam, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking soda; stir in 1 teaspoon salt until combined. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat 1/4 cup softened butter, brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar until well combined and grainy (about 1 minute); beat in browned butter for 1 additional minute. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined; stir in chocolate and walnuts with a wooden spoon until combined. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour. (You could speed up this process by placing the dough in the freezer for about 45 minutes).

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheet, forming into large mounds and flatten slightly. Bake at 375 F for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown around edges. Cool 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks.


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