Monday, October 18, 2010

An argument against tidying up

After spending most of the weekend being lazy and unproductive, I finally dragged myself into the kitchen last night to sort out something for morning teas this week. I'd chosen chocolate chip biscuits (p39) as a quick and reasonably familiar recipe.

I'd used this recipe before, mostly as a solution to the eternal post-lolly cake making problem: "what am I going to do with this leftover condensed milk?" I'm not actually a huge fan of condensed-milk based choc chip bikkies, as they tend to be a bit overly sweet.

That's just a personal preference though - there's definitely nothing wrong with the recipe, and most people seem to like it. It's a pretty basic biscuit dough, with a  couple of additions: cream butter and sugar, beat in condensed milk and vanilla, then add dry ingredients and chocolate chips. Hey presto: you've got choc chippie dough.

At this point you roll the mixture into balls and press them down with a fork. The mix does tend towards crumbly, so be careful the balls don't fall apart when you press them down. I have in the past actually rolled this dough out to cut shapes from it - it works quite well if you don't mind taking the extra time, and the results are quite different. Also, you get way more biscuits that way (depending how thin you roll it!)

I wasn't going to bother with all that last night though - I just rolled it all into balls and squished them as per the recipe. Having got the trays in the oven, I set the timer for 20 minutes, and began cleaning up the kitchen.

Halfway through the cooking time, I opened the oven, and switched the top tray and the bottom tray around. The top tray was already looking quite cooked, but the bottom tray was hardly cooked at all. I figured swapping them over would even them out.

I went back to my cleaning, and, busy with the dishes, didn't bother to check the oven until the timer went off 10 minutes later. I should have been keeping a closer eye on the oven - both trays were clearly overdone. Not (quite) burnt, but definitely overbaked. When I tried one this morning, it was rock hard. Still edible, still reasonably tasty, but very difficult to bite into.

I know from experience that these biscuits can come out perfectly fine, so it's entirely my own fault. We all know that recipes often cook quicker or more slowly in different ovens, and I should have been watching out for that. If you're planning to have a go at these, make sure you don't get so involved in your cleanup that you forget to keep an eye on the oven!


  1. I'm also not a fan of the condensed milk version - i mix chocolate chunks (chips don't exist here!) and a pinch of salt into the vanilla biscuits recipe :)

  2. Hmm.. sounds good! This particular edition doesnt have a vanilla biscuit recipe, but I could dig it out of one of my other ones. Actually, it would probably work just fine with any good plain biscuit recipe.


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