Friday, 21 September 2012

Baking with Baby 7 - Alien Cookies

Baby is asleep, let blogging commence! Yesterday she didn't sleep at all! By the end of the day, my head felt like it was reverberating with the effort of keeping going and I was missing my 'break'!!

Today, I think yesterday's missed sleep has taken it's toll and she has gone to sleep at just the right time for me. We'd just finished the cookies, they were cooling and suddenly there was a meltdown - she couldn't cope any longer and surrendered. Phew! 

Maybe the effort of making these cookies helped. :) 

Cookies seem to be everywhere at the moment. But when I saw the recipe for these I couldn't help myself, I had to give them a go, because the magic ingredient that they contain intrigued me. It's alternative to butter that is definitely different - it, quite literally, makes them go green!!

Not that you'd notice, from the pictures that I took (and I tried all sorts of lighting and angles). But actually, they're a lovely shade of pistachio green - inside that is. Hence I refer to them as 'Alien Cookies'. Of course they're not really called that, but it somehow seems easier to say than, 'Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies with...' Well,  can't tell you that right now, 'cos it would spoil the surprise, right?

The recipe appeared on a popular social network feed last week, I prepared to dutifully share my find, but found I couldn't - it didn't have the right buttons (I've worked out how to do it now). So, I filed it away, as looking 'useful' for a future blog post, and here we are! 

Loving my new recipe folder!
As I wrote it into my recipe folder, at the weekend (a present for Mother's Day and, until now, still unused) I rejoiced that all the ingredients looked 'safe' (for Baby and me) although of course, as I read 'wheat flour' in my head I was reading 'gluten free flour,' and as I wrote 'chocolate chips' I was thinking of the 70% chocolate chips from Hotel Chocolat, that were sitting in my cupboard. And, of course, I would have to leave out the nuts, but as they were 'optional' anyway, that wasn't going to be a problem, was it? 

Then I hit on the nutritional information at the end - 64 calories per cookie. Apparently, a 'normal' Chocolate Chip Cookie may well contain nearer 250 calories per cookie. Wow!! That means I can have four, instead of just one, doesn't it?

The recipe was shared on a journalistic post, but originated from here. I've included the link to the original blog, because I thought the instructions were a lot clearer, and included helpful illustrations. It looked easy peasy, so I got stuck in, but us being us, the process wasn't complete without a few glitches!

So it turns out that the magic ingredient, in the recipe, is one of these:
Reminds me of an alien egg! What about you?
Yes, an avocado! That's where the green colour comes from. You need half a cup, but not being American, I wasn't too sure about how you go about measuring 'half a cup' of avocado. I found that it amounted to about one whole medium-sized avocado. Useful to know - I wouldn't bother measuring it again. 

We had two avocados in our packet, which was just as well. One for this recipe and one for the next time. I'm sure there'll be a next time, 'cos the recipe says it makes 24, but we made only about 14 - I guess I depends on how generous your measures are. There are only ten left, now, and Baby demolished one of them... so I'll leave you to work out how many I ate! :)

By 'Kue.' I love the eggshell blue against the cream.
Well I chucked the avocado (you have to chuck it, when it's packed into a measuring cup) into my mixer... but the mixer wouldn't work. Arggh! Baby was all poised to help with the button and just doesn't get it when equipment fails. Just as well she loves stirring. We switched to my new mixing bowl (TKMaxx - I LOVE TKMaxx, so bargainous) and squidged up the avocado with a spatula. We didn't get the 'smooth' mixture that we were supposed to get, but it seemed to mix up well with the sugar, just the same, although admittedly, it was a bit lumpy in places.

From there, all went swimmingly, until I looked at the recipe and realised that the next ingredient was,  'Baking Soda.' Hmm! I had 'Baking Powder' and 'Bicarbonate of Soda' in my cupboard but not 'Baking Soda'. It turns out that 'Baking Soda' is American for 'Bicarbonate of Soda', but... whoops!! Too late! I'd already added 'Baking Powder' to my recipe. Never mind! Looking at the picture, it doesn't seem to have done them any harm, does it?

Do these look green to you?
The only other point to note, is that although the original recipe says 290 degrees Fahrenheit, the food journo recommended 310 (around 160 degrees C). I've no idea. The cooker in the house that we're currently renting doesn't have any numbers on the dial - we suspect someone got a bit happy with a brillo pad, somewhere in the house's past, and erased them off whilst cleaning. We've managed to work out that half way around the dial is about 180 degrees C. I had it just under. Still, as before, no harm done!

The verdict? 
Interesting! The cookies are by no means unpleasant. They've got that lovely inner gooeyiness - which is hard to find in shop-bought cookies. There's sweetness. There's about the right amount of chocolate chips - ours being 70%, are quite bitter, maybe too bitter for this recipe. And do you know? I think there's a taste of peanut butter about them - something I've not tasted in a long time. I'd like to try making the cookies again - with the nuts in this time, but then of course, I wouldn't be able to share them with Baby. 

Baby likes them just as they are. She thinks they're, 'Yummy!' and that's enough for me!

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