the making of campfire pudge
Last year we created campfire pudge with similar elements as seen in today’s version: housemade graham crunch, dark chocolate, and marshmallows. While s’more in cookie form is relatively easy to nail with some fine-tuning, my vision was to make an elevated s’more. To achieve this, we used browned butter for depth of flavor, dark chocolate and a specific amount of sugars to control sweetness, and housemate graham crunch to retain texture and add flavor to graham crackers. It’s worth noting that adding graham crackers into cookie dough in a plain fashion would’ve ended up soggy as everything ends up getting hydrated in cookie dough.
The major challenge we encountered on this flavor was unseen by customers, but unscalable on our end. In version 1.0 (2021), I had to bake smaller quantities at a time because the marshmallows in the dough forced the cookie to overspread. As a result, I used a biscuit cutter to scoot the pudges back into a circular shape. I don't like to bore customers with our problems, but I'm so stoked to have overcome this.
It’s important to note that marshmallows appear in two instances in campfire pudge: embedded in the dough, and 9 mini marshmallows in the center. I tested the pudge with varying levels of marshmallows within the dough (and omitted them completely in one version), but the flavor that it adds is unmistakably very s’more-y. I’ve asked Google, Reddit, and some friends what flavor marshmallow is, but all we can come up with is: sugar and vanilla. Nevertheless, they are necessary.
As we continue to delve into cookie creation details here, there will be secrets about our cookies that I will take to my grave. How I replaced the marshmallow flavor is one of those secrets — it honestly took about 10 months before I thought of the solution, and I’m so happy to announce that I fixed the over-spreading problem. We can now bake tons at a time without issue - s’more pudges for all!!
Thank you for reading this, and thanks for indulging my love for breaking down our cookie development process. Each cookie has such unique challenges. We’re working on some new stuff and I’m excited to see what gets finalized.
Stay pudgy, friends.