The simplest of almost all baking endeavors, the cookie has been subjected to humiliation and potential suicidal tendencies due to the remarkable lack of TLC offered them by cafes and coffee shops all around Australia. What you may ask has motivated usually sweet and simple baked goods to suffer this mental anguish? The answer, a deep misunderstanding of what constitutes a cookie and its overall purpose in life.
Growing up in the United States, cookies were synonymous with after school snacks served with a big glass of ice cold milk. This homey, moreish experience of which the vast proportion of American’s have enjoyed has been completely misunderstood and abused by the Australian population. In Australia, cookies have been relegated to glass jars on the top of cake displays where they are forced to sit for days, and sometimes weeks on end, waiting for the day when some unsuspecting consumer, motivated by the Hollywood portrayal of what a cookie is suppose to be (the closest many Australian’s get to the real deal) purchase said cookie for the princely sum of $3. Upon purchase the unknowing consumer takes the first, crucial bite, a bite which in their imagination will lead to visions of childhood laughter and memories of careless fun. What they get on the other hand is a hard, tasteless piece of cardboard, with too few ‘bits’ to be respectfully classed by the name on its sign.
Even with the knowledge that the concepts of ‘Australia’ and ‘cookies’ (in a commercial setting at least) are not on friendly terms I am at times motivated by that desire to relive my youth with the purchase of a cookie. This exact thought recently hit me, when out with a school excursion I took to the idea that a chocolate chip cookie really would be the perfect accompaniment to my cappuccino. Yes, I know, I really should have known better, but the desire to recapture that childhood feeling of joy over such a simple baked good and my excitement over actually having cash in my wallet (coins no less, which in my opinion were designed to be spent on coffee and coffee related purchases) lead me down a path that even at the time, amongst my excitement I knew would lead to disappointment.
Motivated by the experienced disappointment and chat with a fabulous friend (also American and discussed over coffee -as all important discussions should be), I came to the realization that as Mohadas Gandhi said “you must be the change you wish to see in the world”, it was up to me to educate the Australian public and potentially the world as to what a cookie should be!
Tips for Optimal Cookie Enjoyment
- Don’t buy them from cafes/coffee shops. I know they look yummy, but as previously discussed, they are not. Before we can change the entire culture of cafe cookies, we must first educate ourselves as to what we should be expecting
- Get baking – just because you are boycotting tasteless cookies does not mean you have to live in a bakeless state (See recipe below)
- Don’t keep cooked cookies for weeks on end – this is the first failing of most cafes/coffee shops. If you can’t eat an entire batch in a couple days – pop the uncooked mix in the freezer. This is also a great way to ensure that you don’t eat an entire batch in a couple days, which would be more likely my problem. You can either free cookie dough all together, rolled in a piece of cling wrap, or even better – spoon out cookies on a baking tray as if you were going to bake them, then stick the whole tray in the freezer till the cookies are frozen. Once frozen remove tray and place frozen cookies in a zip-lock bag ready for next time you need that childhood flash back!
- With every batch of cookies you make – it is essential that you eat at least one when its still warm! For the ultimate American childhood experience pour yourself a glass of milk (or soy milk) and enjoy. Yum!!!
For a tried and true chocolate chip cookie recipe try this.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 1/4 C Flour
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
- Pinch of Salt
- 250 g Butter (softened)
- 1/2 C Caster Sugar
- 1/2 C Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 Eggs
- 200+ g Chocolate Chips (the more the merrier)
- 1 C Nuts (chopped) Optional
- Preheat oven to 190C
- Line baking tray with baking paper or grease
- Sift flour, bicarb, salt and set aside
- Cream together butter, sugars (cater and brown) and vanilla until creamy (you can’t really over cream – so if you have a stand mixer let them go for a few minutes)
- Gradually beat in eggs and sifted ingredients
- Gently mix in chocolate chips and nuts
- Drop teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking tray
- Bake for 10-12 minutes (or freeze)
Recipe makes approx 30 cookies
Cooking time depends on preference for soft and chewy or crisp and crunchy cookies.
Serving suggestion: Enjoy with glass of ice cold milk or steaming coffee