Remember when I dubbed this the Summer of Ice Cream, way back on Monday? I have an addendum.
[But don’t worry. The Summer of Ice Cream is still totally on.]
However, it’s also the summer of this:
Glorious globes of gooey goodness
Yes, friends, this is the summer when I make peace with deep frying and give state fairs everywhere a serious run for their money!
I’ve always been a little fascinated-slash-horrified by the news stories I read every summer about the latest deep-fried foods coming out of amusement parks and fairs. Fried bubble gum! And Kool-Aid! And PB&J! America, what is going on?
I’ve decided that carnies shouldn’t be hogging all the frying fun, so I’ll be tackling some fun and crazy frying projects over the next month or so. Every Friday (or Fry-day—see what I did there?) I’ll share a new fried dessert recipe with you. Forget the Ferris wheels and roller coasters—here at SugarHero, we make our own fun!Up first: Deep-Fried Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough!
Have you ever eaten a cookie and thought to yourself, “This cookie is pretty tasty, but it would be better if it were less baked, but still warm and melty, and also encased in a layer of sweet, crispy fried dough?” You’re in luck, because I have the perfect recipe for you.To be honest, this was new territory for me, and although I thought the idea of deep-fried cookie dough sounded good, I had no clue how it would actually turn out. I was thrilled when these unassuming balls of dough proved to be really, really, really good, or as Jason described them, “Mmmmaaarmmssdlfalskhkasboiasdfntwwaaa…” (He sort of trailed off into drool at the end.)
In the interest of scientific inquiry, I tried a number of variations for this dessert: I made cookie dough both with eggs and without eggs. I tried batters with eggs and without eggs. I fried the balls both when they were frozen, and when they were merely chilled. And of course, I tasted each batch. For science! So when I say that these balls are really, really good, you know that I can be trusted, because I think I’ve eaten more deep fried cookie dough than anyone else, ever. That’s an achievement I’ll be bragging about at the next class reunion for sure.
So let’s talk about what you’re actually getting when you deep fry cookie dough. After frying, the balls are beautifully smooth and round, with a crispy, slightly sweet coating that’s hard and crunchy on the outside, but nicely fluffy on the inside. The cookie dough becomes melted and warm and starts to cook around the edges, but definitely remains dough-like in the center. If you eat them when they’re fresh from the fryer the dough portion is gooey, like in the picture above, but if you let them cool to lukewarm, the dough will continue to cook and set, and will be a little more solid, like in the picture below.
It is definitely still like eating cookie dough, rather than a fried cookie, so use that as your guide in determining whether you’d like this dessert. I think the chocolate chips are absolutely necessary to give them the best flavor and texture, so don’t get any cute ideas about trying this with plain sugar cookie dough or something. But as far as making other changes, go crazy! Try adding other flavors of baking chips, or even chopped candy bars, or experiment with the dough itself and do a chocolate variation instead.
Of course fried foods will never be healthy, and are, as Cookie Monster might say, a “sometimes food.” But that’s true for almost any dessert, so as long as we’re not all eating fried cookie dough for dinner every night, it’s all good. Let’s do this thing. Go a little crazy in the kitchen, try something new, and show those carnies a thing or two!
Recipe Notes: I made these with two different batches of dough: one with eggs, and one without. The outcome was similar, but I found that I preferred the texture of the dough with eggs: it stayed softer and melted a bit more during the cooking process. If eating raw eggs are a concern for you (since the dough does not fully cook during the frying process), I suggest using a pasteurized egg in this recipe. If you want to try it egg-free, substitute 3 tablespoons of milk for the egg in the recipe. I haven’t tried this recipe with commercially prepared cookie dough, but my guess is that it will work just fine. If you do try it with premade dough, please let me know how it turns out!
Deep-Fried Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
yield: about 20 cookies
For the Cookie Dough:
4 oz butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
To Batter and Fry:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup + 2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 quart oil, for frying
Candy/Deep Fry thermometer
Make the Cookie Dough:
Combine the butter and both sugars in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat them together for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the egg and vanilla extract and beat on low speed until combined. Stop the mixer, add the flour and salt, and mix again on low speed until most of the flour streaks are gone.
Stop mixing, add the chocolate chips, and stir everything together with a spatula until it’s well-mixed. Use a 1-inch cookie scoop or a spoon to form the dough into 1-inch balls, and place them on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. You should get about 20 cookies from this recipe. Chill the dough in the refrigerator until the balls are firm, at least 1 hour. Dough can be made several days in advance and kept, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Batter and Fry:
To make the batter, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the milk and 2 tsp of vegetable oil, and whisk until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.Pour the frying oil into a medium saucepan so that it’s 2 inches deep. Insert a candy/deep fry thermometer and heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 360 F (182 C). Once at 360 F, take a chilled ball of cookie dough and dip it in the batter, turning it over with your hands until it’s completely covered. Let excess batter drip back into the bowl, then gently drop it into the oil. Repeat with 2-3 more dough balls, so you’re frying 3-4 at a time.
Fry the balls for about 2 minutes per side, flipping as necessary so that they cook evenly.Fry the cookie dough balls until they’re puffed and a dark golden brown on all sides. Remove them from the oil using a frying skimmer or slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough balls and batter. Watch the temperature of the oil and keep it between 360 F-370 F (182 – 188 C)—remove it from the heat if it gets too hot, or let it warm up in between batches if the temperature drops too much.
These balls are best served warm, but not hot. Garnish them with a drizzle of chocolate sauce, a side of whipped cream, a sprinkling of powdered sugar, or nothing at all!
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