I am back from my lovely holiday in Oban, Scotland – it was fucking amazing. I was balls deep in the best seafood restaurants, historical landmarks, beautiful views, and best of all there was a whisky distillery next door to the hotel which offered tours that included whisky tasting 🙂
Anyway. Because I endured a near 10 hour drive, I thought that I’d attempt something less taxing on me. I’ve not yet made any biscuits/cookies (unless you count the Shortbread). So why not have a go at a classic: chocolate chip cookies. More specifically, chewy chocolate chip cookies (because brittle and dry ones are just fucking awful).
The ‘professional chef’ recipe I’m using comes from Betty Crocker. I know that ole’ Betty is a fictional character just used to market the company, so I was unsure about using the recipe; however seeing as the company’s revenue is probably in the multi-millions, and their red branding is down every baking aisle of every store, I would say that qualifies them for ‘professional chef’ status. Also because the first recipe that came up upon googling was a Paul Hollywood recipe and I still can’t face the traitorous fucker yet.
The second recipe comes from (and it does pain me to say it) Buzzfeed. I am not a big fan of buzzfeed because my Facebook news feed gets spammed with their bullshit articles about why Kylie Jenner is ‘bae’ and how all white, straight men are evil. Nevertheless, I’ll give them a go, as they claim their cookies are the ‘best ever’, and the comments on the post are generally positive.
I gathered up my ingredients, absolutely nothing of any interest but I was glad that I didn’t have to trawl up and down down every twatting supermarket to find vanilla pods and dulce de leche and ground fucking almonds etc.
Annoyingly, because both Betty Crocker and Buzzfeed are yank companies, their recipe uses measurements such as ‘cups’, and ‘ounces’. They didn’t provide any conversions so I used the plain old google converter to figure out what the fuck a 1/2 cup is. I honestly don’t understand how they fucking function over there. Oh wait, sorry, they don’t.
I went with Buzzfeed first as the cookie dough needs chilling before baking, so I figured I could make Betty’s batter in the meantime. First, I beat the shit out of the sugars, salt, and the melted butter. This worked out as expected, really nothing of note to share with you about this. After that, I had to whisk in the egg and the vanilla from my motherfucking expensive vanilla extract shit that I had to buy when Sainsburys ran out of vanilla essence. The mix actually started to thicken up, which I hadn’t expected, and my electric whisks started to groan a bit but fuck it, if they can handle whisking a meringue for 10 mins then they can whisk cookie dough for 2.
After I had a mix resembling vomit in my bowl, I sifted in the flour and baking soda. The instructions told me to fold this in, but it was fucking impossible. Women have more chance of being paid equal to men in the US than I had of folding all this shit together. I did as best I could but in the end I did have to just try and stir with a spoon, because this fucking mix was stiffer than a paedophile in a playground.
After the friggin torment of incorporating the flour, I had to stir in the chocolate chips. Again, near fucking impossible. So tough, in fact, that I ended up having to knead the chips into the dough with my bare hands. I honestly don’t know how evenly disbursed the chocolate was but bitch don’t have time to calculate the chips per gram of mix.
Even though this dough was a twat to work with, it did indeed resemble a fucking good cookie dough. I nibbled a
shit tonne little of it and it tasted just like a cookie dough should. I had high fucking hopes for these cookies, so I threw the dough into the fridge for about an hour (30 mins longer than the minimum requirement), preheated the fucking incinerator, and went to unpack the rest of my suitcase after just having come back from holiday.
After I had just about managed to fit all my dirty clothes into the washing bin, I returned to the fridge and a preheated incinerator (20 degrees cooler than what Buzzfeed told me to set it). I don’t have an ice cream scoop at home so I wasn’t really too sure about the size of the balls of dough. I also don’t mess with fucking feet and inches so I guestimated the amount of space I needed to leave between each disc. Fucking yanks. I hurled the tray into the incinerator and set the timer for 12mins. The kitchen started to smell like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man’s arsehole, so I opened the incinerator door….and NO SMOKE!!! ….you know you have a shite oven when you actually celebrate that the thing hasn’t caught fire in 12 mins. I pulled the tray out to gaze upon my beautiful, home made, authentic, American chocolate chip cookies…..and they looked like fucking roadkill. No fucking lie. I mean really what the actual fuck more can I do. I threw the fuckers to the side, wishing I had access to a bottle of wine.
I straightened up after my breakdown over the Buzzfeed cookies, and tried to grasp onto the faint glimmer of hope I had regarding Betty’s batch of biscuits (I could definitely be a presenter on the GBBO).
The process for this recipe was basically the exact fucking same, except that the butter didn’t need to be melted. So I blitzed the yellow, cardiac-arrest-inducing block of carbs in with the sugar until ‘light and fluffy’, a measurement I’m sure you all know isn’t one I take kindly to.
After I had something that didn’t look like total shit in front of me, I beat in the eggs and vanilla for a minute or two until it all looked consistent. This recipe didn’t ask me to fold anything, so I dumped the flour, baking soda, and salt into the bowl and started beating.
The beating came to a grinding halt soon after. Like with Buzzfeed, this dough was more solid than The Rock’s abs. I thought that, rather than risk the welfare of the whisks, I would use a spoon and my hands again to work in the chocolate chips and all was well.
This recipe also didn’t ask me to use an ice cream scoop, but it did tell me to drop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the baking sheet. That did not fucking work so I went through the painstaking task of spooning some mix out, scraping it off the spoon with my hands, and trying desperately to unstick it from my palms to the tray.
I threw the tray into the incinerator and set the timer for 8mins, which was just enough time drive to the shop to get that bottle of wine in (in preparation for another possible failure).
I opened the oven door, with my eyes closed and praying for a miracle. Again, no smoke. This makes me suspicious, perhaps it’s the calm before the motherfucking super-storm this weekend when it manages to burn the house down. I tentatively took the tray out and peeked at the fruits of my labour.
I was not amazed. I mean, I wasn’t completely disappointed but these cookies looked fucking average. Not ugly but you would still swipe left. If Dakota Johnson was a cookie, then this would be her.
I think we can all see that Buzzfeed’s cookies (left) might be the worst ever rather than the best. The only thing I have ever seen that has looked similar was when I ran over a hedgehog a couple of years ago. However, that doesn’t mean to say that Betty’s cookies were much better. They were certainly a more conservative shape and thickness, but they didn’t look like they even had chocolate in them.
The Buzzfeed cookies were also brittle as shit and reminded my big time of my Brandy Snaps, before I rolled them into shape.
I took Betty’s cookies into work and had two reports that they were bland and not much flavour to them (fucking cheers, ladies), however I did have at least 3 reports that they were alright, so I count that as a success. Well, the people at work (and I) will literally eat anything that gets put out on in the kitchen.
Taste tester Lee said that neither were bad tasting, but they definitely weren’t soft and chewy like they should have been. His scale of measurement was how well they held up when dunked in a glass of milk, and apparently neither of them scored highly. He guessed which cookie was which correctly, and there are still a big pile of them in the kitchen today. They will be binned by tomorrow night if they don’t get eaten because I can’t stand to look at the ugly fuckers every time I go into the kitchen.
- Difficulty: 4/10 – the difficulty came when the dough thickened
- Presentation: -10/10 – no explanation needed
- Taste: 5/10 – brittle, yes, but not horrendous.
- Difficulty: 5/10 – again with the stiff dough
- Presentation: 7/10 – I just wish the chocolate chips were more defined
- Taste: 6/10 – they were just so fucking average.