Saturday, 19 December 2015

Mia Bakes: German Cookies VS Jenny Bakery Butter Cookie Remakes

And so recently there was a huge craze over the Jenny Bakery butter cookies that has entered our local market, priced as a good 2 times the original price in HongKong, and I was thinking, "No way I'm going to buy that!"

However, the rave seems all too good to be true and so I started googling for "Jenny Bakery Cookies remakes" like how I stumbled onto the shiroi koibito recipe, and came across pages after pages of copycat Jenny Bakery cookie recipes. And somehow at the same time, P introduced a German Cookie recipe to me, mentioning that those Jenny Bakery butter cookies tasted really similar. A study of the two recipes only gave 2 slight difference. One with a higher butter ratio and use of different starch. So taste wise, I reckon there shouldn't be that much difference (just perhaps the one with more butter will smell/taste more fragrant). But will using corn starch/flour produce a much different texture as compared to using potato starch? 
Let's find out.

To make German cookies, the recipe was pretty standard and here are the ingredients you'll need.
125g of soften butter 
(I used Golden Churn Tin butter)
40g Icing Sugar
125g Potato Starch
80g Cake Flour
(I used Top Flour)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Optional: I added Noel Red food colouring to differentiate between the two cookies. 

The recipe for Jenny Bakery butter cookies, however, had quite a variation and I decided to follow MissTiamChiak's recipe as follow.
200g of soften butter 
(MUST use Golden Churn Tin butter)
50g Icing Sugar 
(increase if you prefer sweeter cookies)
50g AP Flour
100g Top Flour
50g Corn Flour/Corn Starch (NOT Cornmeal)

Procedure to make the cookie batter for both cookies are exactly the same. First you cream the butter with sugar (add in vanilla extract, if desired) and then fold in all the sifted dry ingredients and just combined. 

For both cookies, due to relatively high butter content, I've very kiasu-ly kept the entire tray of shaped cookies into the freezer while my oven heats up, and pop them straight into the oven to bake, while they're frozen. 

For my Noel Red German Cookies (which turned out PINK), I baked them in my oven for 170 degree Celsius for 20 minutes and I was pretty glad to see that they haven't spread much. 



As seen, the German Cookies baked using potato starch (and also lower butter content to higher starch content) hold their shape really well. There was really minimal spreading of the cookie, which makes it a no-no for drop cookies as it'll just bake into whatever shapes you've dropped the batter as. However, due to the softness of the batter (even if you chill it, it still gets 'melty' pretty quickly in our hot climate), it's also a no-no as a cut out cookie. So the best bet would be to hand shape each cookie and press them down with a fork. I do believe spritz cookie will be an alternative if you MUST have pretty looking cookies. 

As for the Jenny Bakery butter cookies, I first followed MissTiamChiak's recommendation of baking them at 180 degree Celsius under my watchful eyes as I did notice that the frozen batter melts down so quickly like there's no tomorrow. True enough, within 5 minutes, my cookies (which I've laid them about 1.5cm apart) were almost touching each other and there's even a circle of melted butter BUBBLING around each cookie. So I quickly cranked up my oven temperature to 190-200 (pointer was somewhere in between) degree Celsius for the cookies to bake till set quicker. And only after I notice that the cookies are more or less set, I cranked back down the temperature to 170 degree Celsius and in the final 5 minutes of baking, moved the tray from middle rack to upper rack for the top part to brown. 



Well, judging from the high butter content, it's no surprise that the cookie spreads quite badly. And with the soft, near flowy batter, this can be a pipe-out cookie, but with the high spreading, will render your piping efforts useless as they will eventually spread into a 'blurry' mess. So a good oven is really important if you wish to pipe your cookies into those with pretty looking frills, or you might have to tweak the recipe a little for them to hold their shape better. (Eg. adding in some high-gluten flour.)

I'm not exactly sure if it's the starches that makes all the difference (I'm thinking it's also the butter and amount of starch used too). But cornstarch is known to be one of the lightest starches and although cornstarch is usually said to be interchangeable with potato starch, there's still some distinctive differences between them. For example, cornstarch will add more crispiness to the baked goods, and this was really evident between the two cookies when they just came out of the oven. However, after letting both cookies sit out on the counter for a few hours to cool, the German cookies still retained their crumbly texture while the Jenny Bakery remakes lost part of the crispiness and added on some softness. 

So ultimately, which one do I prefer? It's German Cookies FTW. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

11 comments:

  1. Yumm! :P Those German cookies look really good! And cute! Been to Germany, but I never saw them. Will give the recipe a try when I find the time. Here in the cold north, it's pepperkaker (gingerbread cookies) that is the hit on Christmas. They're a perfect match to some hot choco! I wonder if you like the Danish butter cookies too?

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  2. I have not heard of these Jenny Bakery cookies. I hope to get to taste them when the demand is not too much anymore so it would not be that expensive. Your own cookies look so good to eat.

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    1. they're in Hong Kong (and there's 1 branch in singapore too). But... crazy long queue still. and is some very expensive butter cookies (sg sells at 2x the price of hk)

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  3. Wow, they look delicious! They're very apt for the holidays! I don't bake though but I hope to try this someday.

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  4. It's great that you can replicate cookies and even make the taste better. :) It's a good skill to have and maybe you can also sell those and make money especially during this holiday season!

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  5. German cookies look yummier. I haven't heard of one selling that here though.I wish I can bake or at least have a kitchen that will allow me so.

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  6. Among the 2; Noel Red German Cookies and the Jenny Bakery butter cookies, I will prefer the Noel Red German Cookies. Its the potato starch that makes me curious and wanted to try.

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  7. I don't really have a talent in baking, but I appreciate the tips about making them. I haven't tasted Red German cookies though. It looks a lot better than the copcycat recipe.

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  8. Oh yummm! I want to try the German cookies recipe! What exactly is the Jenny Bakery? I'm not familiar with it. What am I missing?

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    Replies
    1. it's a really popular bakery in Hong Kong selling these "melt in your mouth" butter cookies.

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  9. I'm cookie monster and I'll take both cookies. They do look really tasty and enticing.

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