Sunday, August 29, 2010

Two Versions of a Cookie Mix

I invented a cookie mix for one of my favorite cookies--and I just have to share it with you.  I like to have a mix like this on hand just to make cookie making quicker.  But it's also nice to know that if you're snowed in for a week you have quick, easy-to-make cookies from your food storage.  As long as you can boil water, you can make these cookies.

This is a cookie recipe that I got from a friend when I was in the fifth grade.  Boy, THAT was a long time ago!  The name of the cookie on the recipe was "Penny Cookies".  I have no idea where the name came from, but I changed it to "Summer Cookies" because I make them in the summer.  I've seen versions of this recipe on various cooking websites, usually called something like "Chocolate No-Bake Cookies".  Yes, "no-bake" is the reason I make them in the summer, when it's too hot to have the oven on.

Here's the original recipe:

     Boil for 1 minute:
     2 cups sugar
     3 Tblsp cocoa
     1/2 cup milk
     1/2 cup butter or stick margarine

     1/2 cup peanut butter (I like to use crunchy)
     1 tsp vanilla

     Pour over:
     3 cups quick oats (I use regular rolled oats)

     Drop by teaspoon over waxed paper. Refrigerate (I usually just leave them on the wax paper on  the counter)

The first version of the mix (we'll call it Version A) is not a food-storage version.  It just combines the dry ingredients from the "boil" part of the recipe, and uses powdered milk instead of fresh milk.

     Mix together and put in quart zip-lock bag:
     2 cups sugar
     3 Tblsp cocoa
     1/2 cup instant non-fat dried milk (this adds more milk solids for richer cookies)

     Boil 1 minute:
     1 package Version A cookie mix
     1/2 cup water
     1/2 cup or stick margarine

     Continue with the recipe above, starting with Add:

But I decided to try creating a mix from all food storage items--keeping in mind that vanilla, peanut butter, and rolled oats are part of my food storage.  This version (Version B) uses powdered margarine in addition to powdered milk.

     Mix together and put in quart zip-lock bag:
     2 cups sugar
     3 Tblsp cocoa
     1/2 cup instant non-fat dried milk
     1 cup margarine powder

     Boil 1 minute:
     1 package Version B cookie mix
     3/4 cups water

     Continue with recipe above, starting with Add:

The cookies made from Version A mix taste no different than cookies made from scratch.  The only real difference is using instant non-fat dried milk, and that is not noticable.

The cookies made from Version B mix took a little longer to harden, but they did harden up just fine.  They tasted slightly different when I first tried them, but by the third cookie I could no longer taste a difference.  I don't know whether it's because the flavors blended or whether I just got used to the different taste. 

It's easy to make up a couple batches of one of these mixes to keep on hand.  Then you can whip up a batch of cookies in no time.  It is quicker to user the Version B mix, but Version A works well when you don't have powdered margarine.

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