When they won't let us eat cake.
Mama*’s got a fabulous toy – and it’s brand stamping new!
*For those sadly uninitiated with Tyra-speak (a.k.a. the language formerly known as 'ghetto slang'), mama refers to me and not, literally, my mama who, much to the deprivation of my childhood, has little interest in stamping, baking, or cookies requiring more effort than a queue for half-offs at closing time.
Which is why when I bake cookies, I have a tendency to fall back on my Ol’ Faithful of a recipe. It’s not glamorous, but it’s very reminiscent of the chewy soft cookies I grew up chomping – Mrs Fields’!
Warning: This recipe is very easy, but makes for an insanely huge quantity of cookie dough. I usually (a) give away plenty; (b) consume enough to power small countries; and (c) freeze the leftover dough in tubes, for continuing cookie comas in the weeks (oh alright, days) to come.
Wouldn’t it be more economical, you say so cleverly, and healthier too (insert grimace), to simply halve the recipe?
Clearly, my friend, you are not in possession of a beautiful mind. As long as you have an electric mixer to hand, and I personally wouldn’t attempt this recipe (again) without, the effort of mixing a half-portion of dough is the same as mixing a full amount. So for an equal measure of energy, I produce twice the output. It’s a simple mathematical equation.
You can view the original recipe at the link above, but as it's American, I’ve converted the recipe (with my modifications) to metric. I also like doing this because it means I get to take my digital weighing machine out to play; it just tare-s me apart how good-looking and intelligent this baby is, and it can crunch my numbers anytime.
560g all-purpose flour (or 4.5 USA cups)
2 teaspoons baking soda
455g butter (or 2 USA cups)
330g packed brown sugar (or 1.5 USA...well you get the idea)
100g white sugar (or ½ USA cup)
2x 3.4 ounce packets instant vanilla pudding mix (I used Cottee’s Instant Vanilla Pudding, 100g each)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
670g semisweet chocolate chips (or 4 USA cups...but I chuck in as much as the dough can take – in this particular exercise, this amounted to three bags of Nestlé Choc Bits: 375g+250g+250g)
244g chopped walnuts (or 2 USA cups, and you can substitute for any nuts you like – I used almonds this time)
1. Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
2. In a (very!) large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
3. NOT in the original recipe but which I think is imperative: CHILL THE DOUGH BEFORE USING. Otherwise your cookies will just spread everywhere. And that is just as unattractive in cookies as it is in people. I usually just leave mine in the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight.
4. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
5. Drop the cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. (As the dough typically becomes quite solid from the cold, I usually put on plastic gloves and scrape out balled chunks. If you have children around, they are partial to such activities and make for excellent sources of labour. I would never say free labour because as everyone knows, that would (a) make them slaves, which is a crime; and (b) children don’t come cheap. I expect you expected a joke about politics, but both parties are doing a fantastic job of that all on their own.)
6. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown. Note: Even when cooked, cookies will still be as soft as ever - just leave them to cool and they'll be perfect!
***If using a cookie stamper, you should use golf-ball sized chunks of dough, flatten them slightly and then give it all you’ve got. Unfortunately, this appears to be the wrong sort of cookie to be using a stamper on:
I know I'm not!
In case you were wondering what makes these cookies so darn, tootin’ awesome - the proof of the pudding is in the eating (i.e. keeps the cookies soft and chewy)!