“ Type: Biscuits „
Yesterday was a cold day - it barely topped 20oC - so I felt the need for a hot treat. Now I do like to bake but it is a little messy the way I do it, so I don't mind too much that my current kitchen set up limits me in this respect. However I do have a microwave, and that is all you need to make this cookie desert. I love Betty Crocker brownies, and the frosting-in-a-can, and the other products Tesco and Sainsburys et al stock, so I was excited to discover this new item. This is part of the 'Warm Delights' range of microwavable baked goods. You are provided with the dry ingredients and a microwavable bowl, and you just have to add water and nuke. This I approved of - I don't like mixes where you have to add an egg, and some milk and whatever else because my reason for buying a mix is precisely because I don't keep those ingredients in the house. Water, though, that I have. I opened everything up and began to read the instructions which tell you to pour the powder (one of the two sachets) into the bowl, and stir in one tablespoon of water. They add that if the mixture is too thick, you should add a teaspoon more, but the mixture should be "thinner than cookie dough". I have never made proper cookies, and my only experience with cookie dough is from the Ben and Jerry's stand at the cinema, so I didn't know what to expect but the mixture wasn't mixing so I added a drop more water from the tap. Mexican tap water - I live on the edge, I do. I don't understand the point about the water measure really, since this is a mixture not a recipe, so you would think they should know exactly how much water you need with every pack being absolutely identical, but I figured out it might be more to do with mixing ability than actual necessity. I had a slight problem with this stage because the bowls are quite small, the mixture very powdery, and my mixing, well, enthusiastic. A little spilled over on to the top of the microwave I was using as a work surface in my work surface-less kitchen. The next step is to smooth out the mixture and pop it in the microwave - it really is that easy. Interestingly there are two different options for nuking time, depending on your altitude, and I live outside the higher altitude option (between 3500 and 6500 ft - Mexico City is well over 7000 ft) but I wasn't going to let Ms Crocker imply that I shouldn't be eating cookies, so I ignored it. Again, the instructions give you a guidance (nuke for 45 seconds) but then add "if necessary, microwave for 10 seconds longer" advising you to look out for a few small wet spots. This I can understand a little more, since microwave strengths vary. I only put mine in for 45 seconds, despite being high up in the sky (not only in the city, but also in a 5th floor apartment in said city) but it looked ready so I took it out. The final "cooking" instruction is to drizzle the fudge sauce toping across the cookie, and leave to stand for 2 minutes. The sauce is not microwaved, and despite not having been kept in the fridge, was very sticky and didn't like to come out of the packet, so I'm afraid my attempt to recreated the artistic drizzling on the front of the packet failed, and I essentially iced my cake with the fudge, covering the top entirely. This was no bad thing since the freshly microwaved cookie looked a little like a cow pat, whereas now it looked like a cow pat with a healthy layer of dark, creamy, chocolate fudge sauce on top. Much better. This effort took a good 90 seconds so I decided it would not be ready to eat, and dug in. Appearances are deceiving, as this is one delicious cookie. I ate it straight from the bowl and I think it would have been messy to serve up, though at 350 calories per portion it could potentially have served two people. The cookie is laced with dark chocolate chips, which had melted a little but where still reasonably solid. The sauce quickly melted when smeared on the hot cookie which itself was crispy round the edges and gooey in the middle. Not surprisingly, it was sweet, but not sickly (though, sure, I probably have a high threshold for this) and the semi-sweet chocolate chips complemented the taste nicely, taking the edge off the sweetness. It did taste home-cooked, though that might just be because it was served warm, and had been freshly nuked. I ate the whole thing, licked the bowl clean, and smacked my lips. This cookie is a bit like a cookie-cake hybrid because it is large and also quite thick, not like a normal thin cookie. However taste, rather than texture-wise, I would say it is as nice as Millie's or Tesco Finest cookies, and even nicer than the 3-for-99p cookies that Subway do. Being a pre-prepared product that also has a long shelf-life (over 6 months) these cookies are far from "natural" - the ingredients list is a who's who of chemicals - but they are a quick and easy treat. For me, they are perfect since I can whip them up easily in my mini-kitchenette, but they are not "fun" to make and if you have children I would instead recommend the 8-cookie just-add-water packet mix Betty Crocker also does, since these are for baking in the oven and therefore require a little more effort beforehand, and can be customised into different shapes etc. mummy2harry has written a great review of this alternative. The cookie mix comes in a plastic bowl, topped with a cling-film, and covered in a cardboard sleeve. The bowls are fab for keeping things in (I keep hair bobbles in mine) if you wash them out afterwards. I paid about £1 for this dessert, which is more than it would cost you to make your own cookies from scratch, but less than a cake in a cafe would set you back, and this is definitely more cake sized (or stack of cookies sized). You can currently buy it in the UK on eBay for about £3 inc postage which is far too much, but when it hits the supermarkets and costs a more reasonable price, you might like to give it a go. To summarise: - Home-baking without the mess (or without the fun) - From packet to mouth in less than 5 minutes - Great shelf-life, so you can keep it in for chocolate emergencies - Yummy, freshly baked taste - A quality product from Betty Crocker
Made with semisweet chocolate chips, molasses, and rich fudge sauce.