“ Manufacturer: Tesco / Type: Home Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough „
As a Bzz Agent, I have the chance to try lots of new products for free, or at a reduced price, in return for sharing my opinions with others. One of the ranges that I tried out for the first time as part of a Bzz Campaign was Tesco's 'Home Bake' range of chilled products designed to be easily baked at home.
The Tesco 'Home Bake' range has been established for quite some time now but it is still only stocked in the larger Extra stores and, even then, not all products in the range are available in store. Where stocked, the range is fairly extensive and includes ready to bake savoury bread mixes as well as a selection of sweet treats, including this Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix.
My first experience was with the standard Choc Chip Cookie mix which comes in a sturdy plastic tub, found in the chilled section. As I am not the most adventurous of cooks, particularly when it comes to baking. I was pleased just how easy this was to use - it was literally a matter of spooning out blobs of dough and spreading it on to a lined baking tray. The kids loved helping and there was much less mess than during our usual cooking sessions and less to wash up too. The only disadvantage is that, whilst the kids enjoyed making the cookies, they did miss the earlier stages of weighing out the ingredients and stirring everything together which is probably one of the most educational aspects of baking with children. (For a busy Mum, this is a compromise that I'm prepared to make though - particularly as those aspects are the messiest and the most likely to lead to arguments between the siblings!)
The 250g of mix is supposed to be enough to make six large cookies, although my kids were a little over generous when it came to portion control and we ended up with fewer, but pretty jumbo sized cookies! One of the main attractions of this range is how quickly something tasty can be rustled up, especially as these biscuits take under 15 minutes in the oven. The cooking time can also be adjusted to suit individual tastes too, which is a real bonus. For a softer texture, the cooking time can be reduced slightly and for those who like their biscuits to have a bit of bite or a crispy texture, they can be left in the oven for that little longer to achieve the perfect result. The size of the biscuits can also be adjusted to suit individual tastes and purposes.
The next time we tried the cookie mix we made more, slightly smaller cookies and cooked them for less time. I was really surprised by the quality of the finished product. We ate these when they were still warm from the oven - we really couldn't wait! As we'd only cooked these for a short period, the cookies were still slightly moist and chewy in the very centre, which gave them a taste and texture similar to fresh chocolate brownies.
Overall, I do like the concept of the Home Bake range and the costs (£1 per 250g tub) are comparable to the cost of buying a bag of fresh cookies in store but with the flexibility (and fun) of preparing and baking them at home to be eaten at a convenient time. Whilst kids would probably prefer the more traditional approach of making the biscuits completely from scratch, these are a reasonable compromise particularly where time (or patience) is short and, as a mum of three boys, I'm happy to recommend these as a shortcut to baking with kids.