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Cookies and conundrums!

December 7, 2011

It’s exam time, and despite the damp and drear of a Toronto December, I was in the mood to bake some Christmassy treats to get me through the long hours of studying. Enter the mix I got a while back from my friend Reena, who does burlesque, modelling, and occasional gluten-free product-spotting for me in Toronto. (Go read her blog! Now! Shoo!). Only problem was that the mix assumed that I had several things (ingredients, utensils) on hand that I definitely did not!


This mix called for two eggs (check), a half teaspoon of water (check – how do they measure that? What difference does it even make?), and two sticks of butter … I had to look that one up. I was concerned, because buying sticks of butter is more expensive than just buying a big brick, but apparently two sticks of butter = one cup of butter. Crisis avoided. It had to be softened, but not room temperature, and then I had to mix it with a hand-mixer that had a paddle extension.

Since I do not own a hand mixer with a paddle extension (and have never really even heard of it before), I decided to try using this:

I think this is what people used to make smoothies in the dark times preceding the Magic Bullet.

Spoiler: It didn’t work so well. In fact, it was a spectacular failure, and I spent a good five minutes scraping butter out of that little upside-down bowl that houses the blade of the mixer. So I opted for ye olde fashionede way:

Took a bit of muscle, but I got it nice and smooth with a bit of mix in there.

Looks nice, right? Yeah, then I had to add the eggs, the half-teaspoon of water, and the entire box of mix. I had not quite anticipated there to be so much mix; my spatula/paddle was no match, so I found a pastry cutter in the drawer (perks of living with roommates: they have handy utensils), and had at it.

So there were times when the dough was engulfing my hand, there was so much of it.

Now, I really wasn’t sure how all this was going to turn out, since there seemed to be way too much of the dry ingredients, but it did – after a while – blend. My arm was super sore, but I do not bake enough to justify spending money on a blender. I had to throw it into the fridge for two hours after that, which kinda threw off my baking groove: I was all ready to see the recipe through from start to finished product in under an hour, but I did appreciate the break. I even studied a bit!

Rolling the dough into balls and spacing them on the tray was a little touch-and-go, since I didn’t figure out until after the first batch was done that the butter makes them melt like the Wicked Witch of the West in a rainstorm, so they came out sliiightly squishy.

Melty fantastic.

Chewy, delicious, and not hard on the wallet at all! Probably hardest on my hips, really; these things are pretty much 60% butter, which is why they are so very delicious, I suppose, so it all balances out in the end.

So if you happen to buy or receive a cookie-mix-inna-box this holiday season, don’t despair if you don’t have the fancy gadgetry to make it “accurately”. When I first started out baking, I would not touch a recipe that required me to deviate even slightly from the instructions on the box: I’ve since learned that substitution of ingredients or machinery is not the end of the world, and often pays off in the end.

A note, before I end this: my friend Erin was delightful and wrote me a hilarious little poem on her blog when I was feeling kinda blah the other day – check it out. Until next time, then!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2011 9:15 pm

    I am highly amused by this, and should gift you random food more often, if the assemby will be documented! Baha!

    • December 7, 2011 10:13 pm

      That’s what I plan to do, and if you gift me food I will definitely be reviewing it 😉 I’m aiming for a better camera, too, so stay tuned.

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