I know, I know, I’m horrified too! The biscuit packet lied to me!
The first mistruth…. 1 Spoon = Basic
Now “Basic” in this sense obviously has some obscure meaning of which I’m not aware. Possibly it would be “Basic” for anyone with an advanced gastronomic degree. But it was NOT basic for anyone cookingly challenged.
Firstly the “ingredients”
- 1 Box of Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies mix – Check
- 1 Tablespoon (20ml) Water – Check-ish… I don’t know how much was in the Tablespoon and surely they don’t expect you to measure that. Surely something like a Tablespoon would be standard. Wouldn’t it?
- 1 (59g) egg – Well, I have an egg, but all it has is a smiley face on it. It doesn’t say how much it weighs, and I don’t know if it should be 59g including or excluding the shell and if I open it, and it’s not 59g then what? Do I keep opening eggs till I find one that is 59g? Do I use one and a bit eggs? If so, do I use the yolk or the whites, and in what proportions? And then what do I do with the leftover bit of an egg?
At this point, I start mentally running through the list of people I could ring for help and trying to decide who would be least likely to laugh/blog/tweet or fb status my predicament…. I came up empty. Social media sucks sometimes!
Bravely, IMO, I decide an egg is an egg and just use the one I’ve got. Next ingredient…
- ¼ Cup (60ml) Vegetable Oil – And of course, I only have peanut or olive, so it’s off to wiki to find out which of peanuts or olives are most vegetableish. After some research and internal debate, logic demands that as olives are a fruit and peanuts are a legume – and beans are a legume and it was usually beans that my mother was talking about when she said “eat your vegetables or you don’t get dessert”…. I settle for the peanut oil.
Whew! At last the ingredients are sorted!
Then the Instructions.
With what can only be described as sadistic humour, the packet advises “Follow These Basic Steps”
- Pre-heat oven for 10 minutes at 180c/350f – OK. That I can do
- STIR Cookie Mix, oil, water and egg in a large bowl until a soft dough forms. Now this on, MAY have been my fault. First off, I decide to use my stirry machine thingo… but there’s too much stuff and when I turn the handle, nothing happens. So… transfer the lot to a largeish bowl – but it fills the bowl. Obviously a slightly larger bowl is in order. So I stir, and I stir, and I stir, and I rest for a few minutes to let my arm regain some feeling, and I stir, and stir, and stir and after about 15 minutes I have what looks like a lump of dry soil with chocolate chips. Realising that maybe the multiple bowls might have somehow osmotically sucked a large portion of the egg, oil and water out of the mix, I decide that I should add more. But…. More what! Deciding that woosiness is the better part of valour – I pick water as it was the least difficult ingredient to start with. I pour a bit in, and stir and stir and stir and pour a bit more water in and stir and stir and stir. And eventually I end up with something that’s not entirely unlike soft dough. Whew!
- SPOON tablespoons of dough (about 4cm diameter) onto ungreased non-stick baking tray(s), spacing about 5cm apart. (Line trays with baking paper if old or not non-stick). Flatten cookies slightly. Now IMO, any instruction that requires geometry and a ruler is just too hard. So I decide to dump some balls of “dough” on a tray and mush them down a bit. But the dough seems to know what’s about to happen to it, and refuses to leave the spoon! So I have to wrestle the dough into submission and drag it forcefully off the spoon then mush it down with admittedly, a teensy more force than was entirely necessary.
- BAKE one tray at a time for 13-15 minutes* or until just set. Remove from the oven and cool on trays for 2 minutes. OK. The thing here is that deceptively innocuous little asterisk. When I finally track down the corresponding message that relates to the asterisk it says… “Time may vary depending on oven”. So what you’re trying to tell me biscuit package of falsities is that you SAY cook for 13 to 15 minutes…. But really you mean: “bung it in the oven and sit watching it until it looks almost cooked?”
Oh bikkies, you disappoint me…