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I previously worked on Virtual Reality and other hardware at Valve.  I currently work at Google[x].

Prior to starting at Valve, I built computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and joysticks that were designed to be used inside MRI machines.  My company, Mag Design and Engineering, sold these devices directly to researchers at academic institutions who used them to publish scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

After work, I spend time on many different types of projects that usually involve circuit design, machining, material selection, and general fabrication/hacking.  My favorite place to be is my home workshop.

ben dot krasnow at gmail

http://www.youtube.com/user/bkraz333

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cookie Perfection Machine

This machine allows me to mix a single cookie and vary the recipe for each cookie on the sheet. Hence, I can test many different recipe variations with one batch of ingredients in one afternoon.

Music:  Cool Vibes - Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


7 comments:

  1. Dear Rr krasnow, this innovation is really awesome. I really envy, because i am totally blind and handycap at machinery.

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  2. Fantastic work!

    The other day I was just reading an article about chocolate chip cookies done by The Food Lab (http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2013/12/the-food-lab-the-best-chocolate-chip-cookies.html) and it sounds like some of your findings are lining up with his findings. Clearly a journal of cookie-ology needs to be founded. :)


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  3. From America's Test Kitchen, who did bake many batches in variations.

    Recipe Testing

    Creating a New Classic Here's how we improved on the Toll House classic to create an even better cookie.

    TOLL HOUSE RECIPE: Equal Amounts Brown and White Sugar
    A 1-1 ratio of brown to white sugar creates a cookie that's neither crisp nor chewy.

    OUR RECIPE: More Brown Sugar
    Using more brown sugar than white makes for a chewier cookie.

    TOLL HOUSE RECIPE: Creamed Solid Butter
    Creaming butter creates a cakier texture in cookies.

    OUR RECIPE: Browned, Melted Butter
    Melting butter contributes to chewiness; browning it enhances flavor.

    TOLL HOUSE RECIPE: 2 Whole Eggs
    Whole eggs contribute to a drier texture.

    OUR RECIPE: 1 Whole Egg, 1 Yolk
    Eliminating one egg white also boosts chewiness.

    TOLL HOUSE RECIPE: Beat and Bake
    Baking the dough immediately after mixing doesn't allow the sugar to dissolve as fully as possible.

    OUR RECIPE: Whisk and Wait
    Whisking sugar into the liquid ingredients and then waiting 10 minutes allows more of it to dissolve, setting up better flavor and texture.

    TOLL HOUSE RECIPE: Less Dough
    The smaller the cookie, the more uniform its texture.

    OUR RECIPE: More Dough
    Three tablespoons of dough per cookie increases its crisp-chewy contrast.

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  4. Fantastic idea. You may want to develop a cutter that chunks up pieces of bar chocolate of your choosing. This would free you up to insert various types of chocolate rather than being limited to generic milk chocolate chips.

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  5. Check out the multi-armed bandit problem.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-armed_bandit

    The solution was developed by the oil industry, because drilling a hole to get oil is expensive, so they had to find ways to get the most information out of each one, and at the same time being able to exploit them.

    The same way, your computer can try to guess the best proportion of ingredients based on the rating you'd give the cookie.

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  6. Ben, your machine is mentioned as inspiration in this recipe booklet distributed last Saturday at the Berlin Unlimited Festival: http://www.lenara.com/research/open-food-recipe-booklet/

    Me and my friend Taina from Entretempo Kitchen Gallery did a short presentation about Open Food Design and a mini experimental catering featuring chocolate chip cookies as one of the recipes.

    The festival was fun, pity we couldn't show the video of your machine in action since our time for the presentation was very limited. But I will probably be showing it in future longer presentations, and will keep you posted! Thanks for the great work and the inspiration.

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  7. Lenara, thanks very much! Let me know if you have any questions about the machine.

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