Author Topic: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza  (Read 288946 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 23362
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #625 on: October 07, 2013, 09:30:35 PM »
Charg,

Thanks for the clarification. It's been a while since I made the PJ clone Applepies and Cinnapies that I had pretty much forgotten them in this thread. But I agree that they are delicious.

Peter


Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 24058
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
  • Always working and looking for new information!
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #626 on: October 10, 2013, 10:54:39 AM »
Peter,

I saw on TV the other day that Papa John's is making a new mega-sized chocolate chip cookie now.  I wonder how that is made.  Did you look into that any? http://ir.papajohns.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=793916

Norma

Offline Charg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: London Ontario
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #627 on: October 10, 2013, 12:23:39 PM »
I tried it the other day, Norma. It is quite good, but it's a lot smaller than I had anticipated. Definitely would not call it a "family sized" cookie, not worth 6 bucks in my opinion. However, that's besides the point of homemade cloning, I do think it would be interesting to see if he could replicate it if it's in his interest

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 24058
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
  • Always working and looking for new information!
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #628 on: October 10, 2013, 01:30:02 PM »
I tried it the other day, Norma. It is quite good, but it's a lot smaller than I had anticipated. Definitely would not call it a "family sized" cookie, not worth 6 bucks in my opinion.

Charg,

Thanks for telling us you did try the chocolate chip cookie at Papa John's.  I read on Papa John's facebook page that other people were disappointed in how small it was and also what they charged for it. 

Norma

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 23362
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #629 on: October 10, 2013, 04:33:26 PM »
I saw on TV the other day that Papa John's is making a new mega-sized chocolate chip cookie now.  I wonder how that is made.  Did you look into that any? http://ir.papajohns.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=793916
Norma and Charg,

I saw the ads too but I did not pay any further attention to them. However, since you and Charg commented on this matter, I went to the PJ website and did not see any nutrition information on the cookie. However, I did see a review of that cookie along with nutritional information at http://www.manreviewsfood.com/foodreviews/review-papa-johns-mega-chocolate-chip-cookie/. Without an ingredients list, it is difficult to reverse engineer a product such as the PJ cookie on nutrition information alone. However, there are some takeaways that manifest themselves from the nutrition information.

For example, the PJ cookie contains cholesterol. That means an animal source such as butter or eggs. Companies like PJ try to avoid fresh eggs because of potential cross contamination issues but the eggs could take a processed form (such as pasteurized fresh or dry eggs) to get around that problem, or it may be that coming from a commissary the eggs in the ready-to-bake dough is not a problem. However, dry eggs also contain cholesterol. If the only cholesterol in the cookies is from butter, the total of 104 mg for eight cookie slices would be equivalent to about two ounces of butter for the entire cookie. There is no cholesterol in the chocolate chips--if they are a quality chocolate chip, such as the Nestle's (http://www.verybestbaking.com/Toll-House/Products/MorselsAndBaking/Semi-Sweet-Morsels.aspx--and there is no cholesterol in the flour or in sugar or in salt if added, which I suspect they are.

It is also possible that in lieu of butter, PJ may be using a form of margarine that has 0 trans fats. Margarine does not contain cholesterol so that would leave more room for the use of eggs, which are very high in cholesterol. But the amount of eggs would be small.

The sodium content of the PJ cookie as given in the nutrition information suggests an equivalent of about 3/8 of a teaspoon of ordinary table salt. There is a trace amount of sodium in the flour used to make the cookie, which I suspect is an all-purpose flour or maybe even a weaker flour, but there is no sodium in a chocolate chip product like the Nestle's chocolate chip "morsels". If a salted butter (or margarine) is used, its sodium content will be a part of the total Sodium number. Most likely there is some salt added to the cookie dough recipe. If baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or a baking powder is also used, which is very common for a chocolate cookie dough recipe, there will be a sodium component from that source also. So, maybe we are talking about 1/8 teaspoon of added salt.

It is hard to decipher where the fat resides in the PJ cookie but the ratio of Total Fat to Saturated Fat is similar for butter (if used) and for chocolate chips. But there is no way that immediately comes to mind as to how to apportion the fats between the two products, and especially if we do not know if butter and/or eggs in some form are actually used. It is also possible that PJ is using an oil form of fat, which also has Total Fat and Sat Fat components. There are no Trans Fats in butter, or eggs or flour or salt or sugar or oil, so that is consistent with the 0 Trans Fats shown in the nutrition information for the PJ cookie.

With respect to the Sugars component of the nutrition information, there are natural sugars in the flour, but in small quantities, and there are sugars in the chocolate chip morsels. There are no sugars in eggs or butter. If all of the Sugars were in the form of ordinary table sugar, we would be talking about a total of about 11 tablespoons of table sugar. No doubt, a part of the Sugars come from the chocolate chip morsels, but it is likely that ordinary table sugar (sucrose), or maybe a combination of sucrose and brown sugar, are also added to the dough recipe.

As for the Dietary Fiber component of the PJ nutrition information for the PJ cookie, that would come primarily from the flour, since there is no Dietary Fiber in butter, eggs, sugar, oil, or chocolate chip morsels. Unfortunately, because of rounding factors (under FDA regulations, Dietary Fiber is expressed to the nearest gram), it is hard to say how much flour is actually used to make the PJ cookie dough. I would guess maybe 5 ounces of flour.

For flavor, I would imagine that PJ uses vanilla in some form (natural and/or artificial). There are perhaps preservatives and coloring agents in the cookie dough also.

The review referenced above did not specify a weight for a single cookie slice. But, at http://www.brandeating.com/2013/09/news-papa-johns-new-mega-chocolate-chip-cookie.html, the weight of a single cookie slice is given as 39 grams. If that number is correct, it translates to about 11 ounces for the entire cookie. The 11 ounces is the baked weight. Naturally, there is a loss during baking. I do not bake cookies so I can't say what the loss is during the baking of cookies. Some research suggests a loss of around 12-13% but I don't know if that would apply to the PJ cookie.

As you can see, there are many unanswered questions when you only have nutrition information to work with. If someone is really interested in divining the intricacies of the PJ cookie, I would suggest that he or she get in touch with PJ and ask what is in the cookie. If an ingredients list is provided, that should indicate the predominance of the ingredients in the product by weight. PJ is sensitive to matters like this since they were recently burned by a writer who took PJ to task for not revealing what is in their products.

Peter

Offline nick57

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1080
  • Location: Tulsa OK
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #630 on: October 10, 2013, 06:17:57 PM »
This may be my last post on this thread showing my results. This is my third PJ's pie using Pete's updated recipe. I am not trying to make a perfect clone, but a pie that I can make that I like and my friends like. The last three have been great. This one cooked about 30 seconds too long, but the crust did not burn. I cooked it on the stone the whole time, about 8 minutes at 500 degrees. The bottom got pretty brown, but it did not burn. My taster really liked the crispy crust. He thought it was my best pie he had tried.

For the last few weeks I have been going to all the Wal Marts in Tulsa. They have quit selling all Classico tomato products, except for the pasta sauces. At least the Great Value brand is a close second. I will miss the superb flavor of the Classico crushed maters. It never fails, I find a great product at a store and they quit selling it, or the brand goes under. Life is a challenge, just like pizza making. Thanks again Pete. I may never buy a retail pie again.

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 23362
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #631 on: October 10, 2013, 06:45:14 PM »
Nick,

That is a great looking pizza. It is also good to know that the PJ clone dough tolerated the bake on a stone.

Peter

Offline nick57

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1080
  • Location: Tulsa OK
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #632 on: October 10, 2013, 08:07:50 PM »
Thanks Pete! I like my crust crispy with good color. This was a little more done than I was going for. It did not have any burnt flavor. This pie was a little thinner than my last few pies. I stretched this one out to 15 inches. It almost seemed like a NY style, though the flavor profile of the crust is not NY style. I may try a spicier sauce on my next one.

I just wanted to pass along the info on Wal Mart not offering Classico tomato products. I should have bought a case when I had the chance. It's bedlam weekend OU/Texas. Hope it's a great game and not a sleeper.

Offline tinroofrusted

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1382
  • Location: OC, CA
  • Experimenting....
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #633 on: October 10, 2013, 10:17:58 PM »
Great looking pizza, Nick57! 


Offline Aimless Ryan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2415
  • Location: Grove City (Columbus), Ohio
    • Snarky
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #634 on: October 12, 2013, 10:29:28 AM »
It's bedlam weekend OU/Texas.

Isn't Bedlam Oklahoma/Oklahoma State?
Ryan
http://www.ryanspizzablog.blogspot.com

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline nick57

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1080
  • Location: Tulsa OK
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #635 on: October 12, 2013, 02:43:34 PM »
You're correct, but we get just as worked up over this game. Looks like OU is going to loose this one. It's about par for the course, they usually don't get beat, they loose the game all by themselves. Or as my fanatic football friends call it, they pulled a Tony Romo.

My last pie still tasted good after sitting in the fridge for two days. I reheated it in a covered non stick pan. After 3 days in a row of pizza, I need a change of menu. Though, in a couple of days I'll be thinking about making another. I surmise I may be addicted, which is a bad thing for my waistline.

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 23362
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #636 on: October 12, 2013, 04:46:39 PM »
For some time, I have wondered why the Papa John's Allergen Guide at http://www.papajohns.com/allergens/PJ%20AllergenGuide_3_2011.pdf did not have the Soy column checked off for its Original Hand Tossed Dough. So, yesterday, I decided to call the PJ allergens number. I left a voicemail with my questions, with the understanding that I would receive a reply within one business day. The reason for the call was because I knew that PJ used soybean oil in its dough. Their own documents say so.

As it so happened, I received a call back from PJ within a few hours. A very nice lady by the name of Connie with the PJ R&D department explained why the Soy column was not checked off. She said that PJ does not consider soybean oil to be an allergen although she added that there are some people who also avoid soybean oil. She went on to say that if one of their products includes soy flour or soy lecithin or other clearly soy products, they consider those forms of soy to be allergens and so note it in their Allergen Guide.

While I had Connie on the line, I asked her if the sugar in their dough was greater, by weight, than the oil in the dough. She said yes. The reason for this question was because several years ago I received an ingredients document from PJ that has an asterisk at the top of the first page that read as follows: *Ingredients are not necessarily listed in order of predominance. I subsequently concluded from a later analysis of their dough that there was more sugar in the dough than oil. So. it was good to nail that matter down.

I also asked Connie why there were so many reports, including from former PJ workers, that the PJ pizza dough was a frozen product. She said that that was not so. When I suggested that maybe in some of their stores it might happen that dough balls were frozen, or nearly so, she said that their dough balls are always at 35-plus degrees F. When I asked her if their new mega chocolate chip cookie dough as received from their commissaries was frozen at the store level, she said that nothing is intentionally frozen at the store level. This leads me to believe that their cooling capacity does not include freezing capacity. I would guess that the cookie dough is frozen but is defrosted in the stores. Since no cookie dough preparation takes place at the store level, this protocol allows PJ to use fresh eggs in the dough.

For those who are interested, Connie and I spoke for some time about their new mega chocolate chip cookie. She rattled off the basic ingredients and I now have a pretty good idea as to what they are doing, but the ingredients they are using are for the most part industrial ingredients that are not readily available at the retail level. One of the most important revelations was that the first ingredient in the ingredients list is the chocolate chips, which she emphasized as being "real" chocolate chips. Also, a no-Trans Fat margarine is used, along with pasteurized eggs, regular white and brown sugars, a double acting leavening system, and vanillin. Both before and after I spoke with Connie, I checked out all kinds of chocolate chips and chocolate chip cookies and refrigerated chocolate chip cookie doughs and margarine products and leaveners at three different supermarkets. By and large, the vast majority of the prepared cookies and refrigerated cookie doughs list flour as the first ingredient, not chocolate chips. I suspected that PJ was using a lot of chocolate chips because photos of their new chocolate chip cookies taken by consumers showed chocolate oozing out of the cookie slices. What that means is that the product is going to be a big step up for chocoholics.

We also talked about the flour used to make the PJ cookie dough. I asked if it was all-purpose flour. She said no but rather it is a special flour (it is bleached), and it is different than the flour that they use to make their pizza dough. However, when I researched the PJ flour composition, the closest flours to what PJ is using are all-purpose flours, including H&R flours. Sometimes, millers will specify an end use for their flours, such as for muffins or scones, or call the flour an H&R flour, but the underlying flour is still an all-purpose flour. I ruled out cake and pastry flours because the cake and pastry flours I looked at do not fit the profile for the PJ flour used to make the cookies. I'd hate to think that I know more about flours than Connie. But I just go with the facts and the numbers.

I later learned that a similar product to the PJ chocolate chip cookie is the McDonald's chocolate chip cookie. It also has chocolate chips as the first item in the ingredients list. For those who are interested, the entire McDonald's chocolate chip ingredients list can be seen by clicking on "Nutrition" at http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/product_nutrition.dessertsshakes.201.chocolate-chip-cookie.html. An individual Mcdonald's chocolate chip cookie weighs a bit less (33 grams) than a PJ cookie slice (39 grams) but if one scales up to the PJ weight, the two products will be very similar but in a different format (regular round cookie versus a slice). Connie told me that their cookie weighs 12 ounces. When I asked Connie whether the weight losses during baking were material, she said no, simply because their cookie is cooked in one piece, in the aluminum container in which the dough is packaged, and the cookie goes through their ovens quite fast. The cookie is sliced after baking.

Peter

Offline Charg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: London Ontario
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #637 on: October 12, 2013, 05:45:15 PM »
You're like a wizard, Pete. Your investigations are always interesting to read.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 07:36:24 PM by Charg »

Offline nick57

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1080
  • Location: Tulsa OK
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #638 on: October 12, 2013, 10:09:46 PM »
All I can say is, you are amazing!  :)

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 23362
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #639 on: October 13, 2013, 12:12:17 PM »
Thanks, guys.

This has been an interesting and fun thread for me personally. I fully expected to try to reverse engineer and clone Papa John's dough, sauce and pizzas but I never expected to become involved in reverse engineering and cloning PJ's dessert pizza toppings (Applepie and Cinnepie), the Special Garlic  Sauce and the PJ Cheesesticks, and now we are staring at the PJ Mega Chocolate Chip Cookie. And, speaking of that cookie, I got a big kick out of the last photo (reproduced below) in the review article at http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/we-tried-papa-johns-new-mega-chocolate-chip-cookie-and-were-bitterly-disappointed. I mentioned that photo to Connie at PJ yesterday and her comment was something like "sweet and savory".

Peter

Offline WarEagle09

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 31
  • Location: Niceville, FL
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #640 on: October 25, 2013, 10:03:21 AM »
Morten,

I suggest that you  try the following PJ clone dough formulation instead:

Flour* (100%):
Water (56%):
IDY (0.28%):
Salt (1.9%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (5.55%):
Sugar (5.89%):
Total (169.62%):
339.29 g  |  11.97 oz | 0.75 lbs
190 g  |  6.7 oz | 0.42 lbs
0.95 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.32 tsp | 0.11 tbsp
6.45 g | 0.23 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.16 tsp | 0.39 tbsp
18.83 g | 0.66 oz | 0.04 lbs | 4.15 tsp | 1.38 tbsp
19.98 g | 0.7 oz | 0.04 lbs | 5.01 tsp | 1.67 tbsp
575.51 g | 20.3 oz | 1.27 lbs | TF = N/A
*The flour should have a protein content between 13.4-13.6%
Note: Dough (20 ounces) is for a 14" pizza with a corresponding thickness factor of 0.12992; bowl residue compensation = 1.5%

The amount of yeast specified is for a two-day cold fermentation. For a 3-day cold fermentation, try 0.25% IDY.

Please let us know how things turn out.

Peter

Pete,

What prompted your assumption that Papa John's flour has a protein content of between 13.4% - 13.6%, and not, say closer to 13%? For example, a flour with a protein content of 13.1% exceeds the protein content of regular bread flours, and is sufficiently high enough to qualify as "high protein", as stated in PJ's marketing. Thanks in advance!

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 23362
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #641 on: October 25, 2013, 12:17:59 PM »
What prompted your assumption that Papa John's flour has a protein content of between 13.4% - 13.6%, and not, say closer to 13%? For example, a flour with a protein content of 13.1% exceeds the protein content of regular bread flours, and is sufficiently high enough to qualify as "high protein", as stated in PJ's marketing. Thanks in advance!
WarEagle09,

You are correct that a flour with a protein content of 13.1% would qualify as a high protein flour. In my case, I came to the 13.4-13.6% number after analyzing the PJ Nutrition Facts for the dough used to make PJ's breadsticks and its 14" pizzas. In particular, I looked at the Dietary Fiber nutrient. As you may know if you have read back into this thread, PJ supplements the flour it uses to make its dough with wheat starch. As it so happens, there is no Dietary Fiber in basic wheat starch (see, for example, the nutrition information provided at https://store.nexternal.com/cbfi2000/storefront/wheat-starch-p14.aspx). There is a form of wheat starch called "resistant starch" that is quite high in Dietary Fiber but if PJ were using that particular form of wheat starch, as I understand it PJ would be required to state such use under FDA rules and regulations. I have not seen them do this. Assuming that PJ is not using resistant wheat starch means that just about all of the Dietary Fiber comes from the flour used to make the pizza dough (there is also Dietary Fiber in the dried yeast but it is very small at the single pizza level, and especially low for a dough that is to cold ferment for 5-8 days).

As you will see from Reply 19 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg58771.html#msg58771, Tom Lehmann once speculated on the type of flour that PJ may have been using at the time. However, since that time, PJ went to another flour, one that is proprietary and milled exclusively for them. This makes any analysis of their flour based on Nutrition Facts only less than 100% reliable. Also, different millers mill their flours to emphasize certain nutrients over others. You can see this if you compare General Mills high protein flours (http://www.professionalbakingsolutions.com/flour/type/high-gluten) with comparable flours from say, ConAgra (http://buyersguide.foodproductdesign.com/media/54/library/FPDconagramills3.pdf). I mention ConAgra specifically since it has been reported that ConAgra mills the flour for PJ (see http://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/stories/2010/05/31/story3.html?page=5).

If you are asking me if I can rule out a flour with say, 13.1% protein, the answer is no. Nutrition Facts are difficult to analyze to begin with, and there are associated rounding factors that would make it extremely difficult to distinguish in the analysis between a flour with a protein content of 13.1% and one with a protein content of 13.4-13.6%. Originally, PJ made huge claims that it was using a high protein, high gluten flour. When making changes to dough formulations, companies like PJ like to make those changes slowly and gradually so that their customers don't notice the changes. On that basis, going to something like 13.4-13.6% would serve that purpose. But I can't prove it.

You might also note the conversation I had with Diane Helms of PJ on the matter of the protein content of their flour, at Reply 295 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg139427/topicseen.html#msg139427 . According to the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HallsPapaJohns/posts/467693906651414 , the wheat used to mill the PJ flour is grown in Kansas. This confirms what was reported in Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg58199/topicseen.html#msg58199 . As can be seen at page 19 of the report at http://plainsgrains.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/PGI_HRW_2011-FINAL.pdf , Kansas is a source of flours across a wide range of protein values.

Peter

Edit (3/19/14): For a substitute link to the inoperative nexternal link, see https://store.nexternal.com/cbfi2000/storefront/wheat-starch-p585.aspx


Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 23362
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #642 on: October 30, 2013, 03:59:19 PM »
Since my last post in this thread on the Papa John’s Mega Chocolate Chip Cookie, Norma and I have been collaborating offline in an effort to try to reverse engineer and clone that cookie. Norma had indicated an interest in possibly offering such a product for sale at market. Since I had never tried to reverse engineer a cookie before, I thought that it would be fun and interesting to try to do so. So, I rolled up my sleeves and went to work. After a few tries, I believe that I have come up with a PJ clone chocolate chip cookie dough formulation that Norma tells me is a very good one. She had purchased a couple of the PJ Mega Chocolate Chip Cookies from PJ, so she had the benefit of being able to compare the various clone versions with the real thing. In due course, I expect that Norma will share her experiences with us as well as offer up some useful tips, insights, and photos.

The following discussion and analysis attempts to provide background information on the PJ Mega Chocolate Chip Cookie and also the measures I took to try to come up with a credible PJ clone chocolate chip cookie dough formulation. In this exercise, I relied primarily on information that was provided to me over the phone by Connie at PJ, and Nutrition Facts as given toward the end of the PJ Mega Chocolate Chip review article at http://www.theimpulsivebuy.com/wordpress/2013/10/14/review-papa-johns-mega-chocolate-chip-cookie/. I also did a considerable amount of research on chocolate chip cookies and cookie dough recipes, and ingredients used to make chocolate chip cookies. I also looked at the ingredients lists and Nutrition Facts for over a few dozen brands of chocolate chip cookies and refrigerated chocolate chip cookie doughs sold at several of the supermarkets near where I live.

The PJ Mega Chocolate Chip Cookie. By way of background, the PJ Mega Chocolate Chip Cookie comprises these basic ingredients, which I have listed in order by their predominance by weight: Semi-sweet chocolate chips; bleached/malted/enriched flour; a 0 Trans Fat, palm-oil/soybean oil-based margarine; sugar; brown sugar; pasteurized whole eggs; double-acting leavening; salt; artificial flavor; and caramel color. It is important to note the specific mention of “margarine”. That is important because, by law, any product called “margarine” must contain at least 80% fat (and about 20% water). So, this rules out so called “spreads” or “margarine spreads” or “light” margarines or products similarly named. In fact, in my research on this matter, researchers and experts on chocolate chip cookies specifically advised against using margarine spreads because their water content is too high and will make the cookie dough batter too wet.

My initial instinct was to try to find chocolate chip cookies or doughs using the same ingredients as used by PJ. My hope was that I would be able to identify brands of those ingredients that we could find at retail and use. In this vein, I had read somewhere that McDonald’s made soft-baked chocolate chip cookies that were considered very good. After some searching, I was able to find the ingredients list and Nutrition Facts for the McDonald’s soft-baked chocolate chip cookie at http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/product_nutrition.dessertsshakes.201.chocolate-chip-cookie.html (click on the Nutrition button). Much to my surprise, I discovered that the McDonald’s ingredients were very similar to what PJ uses. The McDonald’s chocolate chip cookies are smaller (33 grams) than the PJ cookie slices (39 grams) but when I scaled up the McDonald’s Nutrition Facts to correspond to the 39-gram cookie weight, the adjusted Nutrition Facts were very close to the PJ Nutrition Facts.

Unfortunately, the information given to me by PJ and the McDonald’s information did not tell me how much of each ingredient to use. Also, I discovered that many of the specific ingredients used by McDonald’s (and also by PJ) are not available at the retail level. They are available at the foodservice and professional users level, but not at the retail level. At least I could not find them after considerable research. However, as noted below, I believe that I was able to come up with brands of the ingredients to use to make a credible PJ cookie clone, although I had to do a lot of calculations to match the nutritional information for those particular brands to the PJ Nutrition Facts.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Recipes. In order to get an idea as to quantities of ingredients to use, I decided to look at various chocolate chip cookie dough recipes. And, since the predominant ingredient used by PJ for its cookie was chocolate chips, this meant that any chocolate cookie dough recipe that I would study would have to have chocolate chips as the dominant ingredient. I suspected that the source of any such recipe was most likely to be someone who sells chocolate chips. And, that is what I found. It was companies like Ghirardelli and Nestle and Hershey. However, since I had concluded that the closest match to the semi-sweet chocolate chips used by PJ were those sold by Ghirardelli, I decided to study the Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookie dough recipe as given at http://www.ghirardelli.com/recipes-tips/recipes/chocolate-chip-cookies.

To study the Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookie dough recipe, I first had to convert it to baker’s percent format. In so doing, I assumed that a cup of flour measured out by volume weighed 130 grams. I also excluded the nuts. Once I calculated the baker’s percents for the various ingredients, I was able to see how the ingredients lined up in the pecking order. As it so happened, all but one of the ingredients (eggs) was in the same pecking order as the ingredients used by PJ. The next step was to scale down the weight of the cookie dough produced using the Ghirardelli recipe (about 41 ounces) to an amount that approximated the unbaked weight of a PJ cookie. At first, I used 13 ounces, on the assumption that the cookie would lose about an ounce during baking (Connie at PJ told me that a PJ cookie weighed around 12 ounces), but it later turned out from Norma’s test bakes that 12 ounces was a better weight to use. Such a weight would result in a final bake weight of somewhere between 11.4-11.8 ounces. If one converts eight cookie slices at 39 grams, one gets 11 ounces.

Unfortunately, the nutritional information for the scaled down amount of the Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookie dough did not match the PJ Nutrition Facts. My calculations of that nutritional information were based on the ingredients that I identified as being usable to make the PJ clone cookie (discussed more fully below). I also substituted a double acting leavening agent for the baking soda in the Ghirardelli recipe.

In order to come up with a PJ clone cookie dough formulation that matched the PJ Nutrition Facts, I had to do a large number of calculations where I changed ingredient quantities on an iterative basis until the numbers matched up. This was a brute force method that was also time consuming, especially since there were eight different nutrients that had to be matched up (Sugars, Sodium, Dietary Fiber, Protein, Cholesterol, Total Fat, Sat Fat and Total Carbohydrates). The chocolate chips alone that PJ uses contain all eight of those nutrients. And there was a lot of overlap of those nutrients among the various ingredients. By the time I was done, I had 15 pages of calculations, in many cases on both sides of the pages. But, even then, I had no idea as to how the PJ clone dough formulation would perform in a real setting since I was basing my numbers on the particular ingredients that I would recommend be used. But my final numbers were very close to the PJ Nutrition Facts. This intrigued me because I wondered if a product that meets the Nutrition Facts of another product will perform in the same way, if at all. In this case, based on what Norma reported, the answer seems to be yes.

What helped me immensely in my calculations was the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html. Although many of the cookie dough ingredients are not in that tool, I commandeered the expanded dough calculating tool anyway and usurped some of the entries (which I later renamed during final editing) to do the weight calculations as I changed the values of the inputs. At the end of the process, I did the weight-to-volume conversions manually. I would not have been able to come up with the different versions of the cookie dough formulation without that tool.

Recommended Retail Ingredients. What follows is my recommendations of ingredients to use to make the PJ clone Mega Chocolate Chip Cookie. All of the ingredients are readily available at retail.

Flour. Starting with the flour, I would use any basic bleached and malted and enriched all-purpose flour. I cannot say what type of flour PJ is actually using because the PJ Nutrition Facts do not provide any reliable insights on that matter. I would say that the General Mills Gold Medal bleached all-purpose flour is a good choice (http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Medal-Purpose-Bleached-Enriched/dp/B005EOTMOM/ref=ase_pizzamaking-20/103-6714061-5151001). Norma successfully used the Shurfine bleached/malted/enriched all-purpose flour. I have read that a 50/50 blend of cake flour (bleached) and a stronger flour such as a bread flour (presumably what Jacques Torres, the chocolatier, uses) will also work but that is not a blend that has been tested in this project. I estimate the protein content for such a blend to be around 10.4%. Many of the chocolate chip cookies I saw at my local supermarkets appeared to be using softer flours that usually are not malted.

Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips. For the chocolate chips, I feel that the closest match to the PJ semi-sweet chocolate chips is the Ghirardelli brand of semi-sweet chocolate chips (http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&productId=356836#356836). Actually, an even closer match is the Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate bar (http://www.amazon.com/Ghirardelli-Chocolate-Baking-Semi-Sweet-4-Ounce/dp/B000H27OBE/ref=ase_pizzamaking-20/103-6714061-5151001). Both of these products contain unsweetened chocolate (aka chocolate liquor), which gives those products a more forward “chocolate” flavor, but the price of the Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate bar is about three times the price of the chocolate chips on an equal weight basis.

The Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Nestle-Toll-House-Real-Semi-Sweet-Chocolate-Morsels-12-oz/10291379) and the Hershey semi-sweet chocolate chips (http://www.thehersheycompany.com/brands/baking-pieces/hersheys-semi-sweet-chocolate-chips.aspx) can also be used but they are more forward on the “sweetness” (sugar) side and not on the chocolate flavor side. 

Margarine. For the margarine, I was able to only find one product that seems to come close to the margarine that PJ uses for its Mega Chocolate Chip Cookie. It is a new product from Walmart. In fact, it is so new that I wasn’t able to find anything on that product online, even on the Walmart website. The product itself contains palm oil and palm kernel and soybean oil and is also a 0 Trans Fat product. It contains 80% vegetable oil. The margarine is sold under the Great Value brand, in stick form, and the box shows a rolling pin with the words “Great for Baking” within the image of the rolling pin. Below the rolling pin are images of chocolate chip cookies. Better yet is the price of the GV margarine. In my local Walmart, the price is $1.36 for four sticks (one pound). There are other products that include palm oil and palm kernel, but the ones I saw in my local supermarkets were less than 80% vegetable oil.

Brown Sugar. For brown sugar, I suggest using dark brown sugar. The ingredients list for the PJ cookie does not specify either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, only brown sugar. However, since PJ uses caramel color, which is an ingredient that can be purchased from several sources (e.g., http://www.amazon.com/McCormick-Food-Coloring-Caramel-16-Ounce/dp/B008OGD38I/ref=ase_pizzamaking-20/103-6714061-5151001), using a dark brown sugar will provide some coloration of the baked cookie if caramel color is unavailable. Also, as Norma pointed out to me, real vanilla also contains caramel color. While on the matter of vanilla, the chocolate chips that PJ uses contain artificial vanilla (vanillin), and PJ also uses artificial vanilla as one of its lesser flavoring ingredients. The Ghirardelli and Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips both contain real vanilla; the Hershey semi-sweet chocolate chips contain artificial vanilla.

Further to the matter of the brown sugar, Norma found that she could replace a small amount of light brown sugar with molasses to make it more like dark brown sugar. As is well known, dark brown sugar contains more molasses than light brown sugar (6.5% vs. 3.5%), and brown sugar in general can contain up to 10% molasses. In the absence of dark brown sugar, one might use white sugar and replace 10% of it with molasses. The presence of molasses in the cookie dough serves another purpose. It is an acidic ingredient and is necessary to react with the baking soda in the leavening agent to start the production of carbon dioxide. That process starts as soon as the dough is mixed.

Leavening Agent. For the double acting leavening agent, I suggest that the Clabber Girl double acting leaven be used (http://www.clabbergirl.com/consumer/products/clabber_girl/clabber_girl_baking_powder.php). It is sold in just about every supermarket. Since that product is very similar to what PJ is using in terms of its constituent ingredients, I would not substitute another product. Other products, even just plain baking soda, may work but I believe that PJ uses a double acting leaven because their dough is most likely frozen for later use, and the other leavening ingredients (sodium aluminum sulfate—or SAS--or sodium acid pyrophosphate--or SAPP--and monocalcium phosphate) are needed at the actual time of baking. (An alternative to the Clabber Girl baking powder is the Fleischmann's baking powder as discussed at http://www.clabbergirl.com/pdf/Fleischmanns.pdf but that product is sold mostly to professionals and in large quantities.)

PJ Clone Formulation. The PJ clone chocolate chip cookie dough formulation that I ended up is set forth below. As mentioned previously, I used 12 ounces of cookie dough. That is the amount that one should use in the baking pan. Since cookie dough can stick to just about everything, I used a bowl residue compensation of 10%. As for the pan itself, based on photos that Norma provided to me, it appears that the pan, which is a round disposable foil aluminum pan, is roughly an 8” pan, with a top dimension of about 8”, a bottom dimension of about 7 ¼” and a depth of about 1”. The closest pan that I could find to the PJ pan is the one shown at http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/748398021/6_7_8_5_9_inch/showimage.html. I have no idea as to where one can purchase such a pan. However, I think any pan with comparable dimensions should work. Since Norma used the PJ pan for her experiments, she should be able to provide details on baking methods and temperatures and times, and final baked weights for her clone cookies, both for her home oven and her deck oven at market.

Thickness Factor. I did not make an attempt to calculate a precise thickness factor value for the PJ clone chocolate cookie dough formulation, but a rough value is around 0.27.

It will be apparent that using a decent scale will be a big help in using the clone cookie dough formulation as set forth below. However, I did make an attempt to convert several of the ingredients to volume measurements as best I could, and have so noted those conversions.

The Bottom Line. Here is the proposed PJ clone chocolate chip cookie dough formulation:

Papa John’s Clone Mega Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Formulation
Basic Bleached/Malted/Enriched All-Purpose Flour (100%):
Salt (0.82%):
Sugar (64%):
Dark Brown Sugar (56%):
Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (134%):
Walmart Great Value 0 Trans Fat Palm-Based Margarine (87%):
Eggs, large (32%):
Clabber Girl Baking Powder (1.50%):
Vanilla/Vanillin (0.80%):
Total (476.12%):
78.6 g  |  2.77 oz | 0.17 lbs
0.64 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.12 tsp (about 1/8 t)
50.3 g | 1.77 oz | 0.11 lbs | 4.21 tbsp | 0.26 cups
44.01 g | 1.55 oz | 0.1 lbs (about 1/4-1/5 cup, packed)
105.32 g | 3.72 oz | 0.23 lbs (about 5/8 cup)
68.38 g | 2.41 oz | 0.15 lbs (about 4 7/8 tablespoons)
25.15 g | 0.89 oz | 4.97 tsp (about 1/2 of a large egg)
1.18 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.25 tsp
0.63 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.16 tsp (a bit over 1/8 teaspoon)
374.22 g | 13.2 oz | 0.83 lbs | TF = N/A
Note: Cookie dough (12 ounces) is for a single PJ clone chocolate chip cookie to be baked preferably in a roughly 8” disposable aluminum foil pan; corresponding thickness factor = approx. 0.27; bowl residue compensation = 10%

Peter

EDIT (10/31/13): For other ingredient options (with lower prices), see Reply 653 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg285694.html#msg285694

EDIT (6/12/15): For a substitute webpage for the McDonald's chocolate chip cookies if the above link is inoperative, see http://www.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/itemDetailInfo.do?item=201&showFlyOut=no&countryCode=US&liveData=true; for a direct link to the Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookie recipe, from the Wayback Machine, see http://web.archive.org/web/20140330032304/http://www.ghirardelli.com/recipes-tips/recipes/chocolate-chip-cookies; for a substitute Wayback Machine link for the Fleischmann's link, see http://web.archive.org/web/20141031133847/http://www.clabbergirl.com/pdf/Fleischmanns.pdf

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 24058
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
  • Always working and looking for new information!
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #643 on: October 30, 2013, 09:51:15 PM »
Peter,

Thank you very much for posting your detailed write up on what you had to do to clone a PJ cookie!  That was a lot of work.  I am going to try and offer your PJ clone cookie at market.  Thanks so much for all of the help.  I enjoyed learning with you about what it takes to make a PJ clone cookie.

These are the photos of what a PJ cookie looks like in the disposable pan and the cutter PJ uses to cut the baked cookie in the disposable aluminum pan.  The first two photos are from my second visit to PJ.  The next photos are from my first visit to PJ to see how PJ baked their cookie.  I wanted to be able to see how PJ baked their cookie before I tried to make a PJ clone cookie from Peter's PJ clone formulation. 

I did contact PJ to ask about the ingredient list and nutrition facts and was send both of them but my email had a disclaimer about that information.

I will post more tomorrow on how the bake went using Peter PJ clone formulation with photos at market.  I am going to make another PJ clone cookie tonight for my daughter that her coworkers want to try the PJ clone cookie.  I do have photos of how I went about trying to bake a PJ clone cookie at home different times if anyone is interested. 

As always there were a few attempts until the PJ clone cookies turned out good.

Norma

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 24058
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
  • Always working and looking for new information!
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #644 on: October 30, 2013, 09:52:40 PM »
Norma

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 24058
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
  • Always working and looking for new information!
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #645 on: October 30, 2013, 10:07:56 PM »
This is what the Great Value Margarine from Walmart looks like for Peter's PJ clone cookie.

Peter's PJ clone cookie is very good.  My family and my test testers at market all really loved the PJ clone cookie.  :drool:

Norma

Offline Charg

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: London Ontario
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #646 on: October 30, 2013, 10:57:11 PM »
I will make an attempt soon, thanks to both of your for your research and efforts!

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 24058
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
  • Always working and looking for new information!
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #647 on: October 31, 2013, 01:26:48 AM »
These are the photos from the Peter's PJ clone cookie from this morning.  The photos show what the PJ cookie batter looked like, how I baked the PJ clone cookie and what it looked like after the cookie was baked.  I had been using Peter's PJ clone formulation with a bowl residue compensation of 8% so that is also what I used when mixing this time.  There was not a lot of leftover batter from all the sticking issues so that is why Peter upped the bowl residue compensation to 10%. 

I don't know about using the full amount of Clabbler Girl baking powder, but this time I only used 0.80 grams of the Clabber Girl instead of the 1.16 grams I was supposed to use.  The only reason I changed the amount of the Clabber Girl baking powder was because a few times the batter reached the top screen and wanted to stick a little to the top screen.  If anyone reads this remember I am using a little different bowl residue compensation so the value of the baking powder I used would not be someone should use with Peter's PJ formulation. 

As can be seen I do use two screens with parchment paper under the disposable PJ aluminum pan.  One screen is on the bottom, then parchment paper, the disposable pan and another screen on top.  At market and at home I used a different baking screen on top, but from today’s bake it does not seem to matter what kind of screen is used.

I also changed to dark brown sugar today.

I have tried to get my bake time down for Peter's PJ clone cookies (more in line with the bake time of around 7 minutes at PJ), but so far I have not been successful at home or even at market with higher bake temperatures.  Tonight the PJ clone cookie was baked at 495 degrees F on the middle rack of my home oven on a baking stone.  The bake time was 10 minutes 15 seconds.  I took off the top screen so the top would brown a little more in the last minute of the bake.  If someone tries Peter's PJ clone formulation they should watch how the edges brown and the top of the cookie near the end of the bake.  The bake weight of the PJ clone cookie was 11.7 ounces.  That has been in line with the baked temperatures in my home oven.  At market I had a little less weight on the baked PJ clone cookie.

I won't get to taste this PJ clone cookie but will hear from my daughter how her co-workers liked the PJ clone cookie.

Norma

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 24058
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
  • Always working and looking for new information!
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #648 on: October 31, 2013, 01:28:30 AM »
Norma

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 23362
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Pete-zza's Papa John's Clone Pizza
« Reply #649 on: October 31, 2013, 08:22:28 AM »
Norma,

I have looked at a lot of images of the Papa John's Mega Chocolate Chip Cookies, and have read many reviews, and your clone of the PJ cookie looks very good and very professional.

You previously mentioned to me that you did not see the workers at the PJ store actually cut the PJ cookies. I can think of one or two ways of cutting the cookie without mangling it or the pan but can you tell us how you cut your clone PJ cookies? I might also note that when I was looking at one video review of the PJ cookie, the cookie was uncut. So, apparently that is one option that is available to those who would prefer to cut the cookies themselves, maybe in different numbers of slices. An uncut cookie might also not dry out as fast, and it might also be dressed up or wrapped for gifting purposes (giant cookies are very popular as birthday gifts).

Also, can you tell us how you have been preserving the leftover cookie slices so that they don't dry out and become brittle and hard? When I was reviewing the McDonald's soft baked chocolate chip cookies, the reviews were generally quite favorable (as well as the price) but there were some complaints that at some McDonald's locations, or at certain times of day, the McDonald's cookies were dried out hard. And the McDonald's cookies contain a lot of chocolate chips. On this point, I read elsewhere that microwaving the leftover cookie slices for a brief period helps restore the leftover slices.

Your use of less Clabber Girl baking powder may be an indication that the amount of cookie dough should be reduced a bit. The PJ weight numbers are somewhat vague and indefinite so it is hard to know what amount of cookie dough comes closest to what PJ does. Most chocolate chip cookie dough recipes that I have seen tend to call for a lot of baking soda or baking powder (or a combination of both). The amount of Clabber Girl baking powder that I came up was driven mainly by the Sodium numbers and the fact that baking powder contains a lot of Sodium.

Do you suppose that PJ uses the screens and parchment paper as a way of adapting the bake of the cookies to their conveyor ovens? Conveyor ovens perform differently from a thermodynamics standpoint than a home oven or even a deck oven. Maybe it is possible to bake a PJ clone cookie in a standard home oven in the usual manner.

FYI, I estimate that the ingredients costs for the PJ clone cookie dough using the bowl residue compensation of 10% come to about $1.85. This estimate is based on local supermarket prices for most of the items and Amazon pricing for the ingredients I do not have on hand. The price I quoted does not include the price of the disposable aluminum foil pan. I suspect that most people will just use whatever baking pan they have on hand. Disposable aluminum foil pans are quite inexpensive but to get really low prices you need to buy them in bulk, by the hundreds. Maybe you can get some samples somewhere to test at market.

Peter