Sunday, 18 March 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies - a recipe vs a packet!

For those of you that follow this blog, you would know that I am not really a biscuit/cookie person. Sure, I love to eat them but I dont often have the patience to make them preferring to bake cakes anytime.

That is not to say that I have never baked cookies/biscuits. I have and I will continue to do so. My two darling kids love chocolate chip cookies and they love the ready-mix Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip cookies. I'm usually very against using ready-mixed anything but somehow the Betty Crocker ones turn out really well and are really very tasty. It's getting harder to find the Betty Crocker premixes here but we had two packets on hand not too long ago when some of Michael's friends came over for a school project.

I decided to whip up the Pre-Mix for them and they all devoured the cookies singing my praises. I started to feel a little guilty especially when one of the more more gregarious kids in the gang, Fahad, sauntered into the kitchen and asked me if the cookies were "made from scratch or did they come out of a packet." I couldn't very well lie, especially when the packet was in full view!

So anyway, I decided I had to redeem myself. I had to know whether I could whip up Choc Chip cookies from scratch that were as good as the ones the Betty Crocker premixed and sold in packets. I surfed the web and found the Betty Crocker recipe for Choc Chip cookies and I proceeded to make it from scratch.

The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup caster sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar but I went with using brown sugar all the way.

1.5 cups brown sugar
250g butter , softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

Heat oven to 190ºF.
Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. I use non-stick paper.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Dharm's Tip: To keep the cookies from spreading out too much, chill the dough in the fridge for a litle while after dropping them on the cookie sheets.

I didnt use any nuts this time but I'm sure the addition of nuts would be just as good if not better!

Baking it for 15 minutes still produces a soft bake cookie that I prefer but The Lovely Wife likes a hard and crisp cookie instead. Regardless of whether it is soft baked or crisp baked, this recipe produces a lovely cookie that you just cant stop eating.

Some of the cookies spread out a bit, especially in the hot weather here, so while one tray baked, I placed the other tray in the fridge. This helped and the cookies didn't spread out so much.

The kids and The Lovely Wife loved the cookies and proclaimed them better than the Betty Crocker premix. Looking at the recipe, it is not at all difficult and takes up about the same time to make as the premix. The best thing about making it from scratch is that you know exactly what is going into the cookie and there is no chance of 'secret' ingredients or preservatives.

The true test came when the kids took some of the cookies to school. According to them, all their friends loved the cookies with one of my daughter's friends proclaiming it "the best choc chip cookie" she has ever eaten. Another of Michael's friends asked him "Does your father have anything to do with Famous Amos?" All lovely compliments but I know these cookies, although remarkable in their own right, are not of the same caliber as Famous Amos and are definitely not the best in the world.

It was nice though to redeem myself not only in my own mind but also in the eyes of my darling kids and The Lovely Wife. So who needs Betty Crocker premixes anymore!


bellini said...

Good for you Dharm. Cookies are for sharing, otherwise we would end up eating a whole batch ourselves.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I haven't used them but friends that use mixes swear by the Betty Crocker mixes too! :)

Elle said...

Nice to not need the premix anymore. I think your kids are super...and who knows, they might be right and Famous Amos should quake in his boots.

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