Monday, 14 December 2009

Cookies from a Box

To satisfy my baking craves, I was contemplating whether to bring some of my baking tools along to Beijing when I was packing for the trip. In the end, there was simply no space left to stuff in that tiny diet scale (yes I use it for all my baking) not to mention the electric hand held beater or even a balloon whisk.

The service apartment that we are staying comes with a handsome built-in oven, it makes my tiny tabletop oven at home seems so miserable. It would really be a shame if I am not able to do some baking with my dream oven. To my delight, I chanced upon boxes of Betty Crockers at this little gourmet store near our apartment. Without much thinking, I grabbed a pack of chocolate peanut butter chips cookie mix.


It was only after I got home that I realised there is no measuring cup in the apartment's kitchen. Since I have no intention to go hunt for a measuring cup, I had to think of a way to measure the amount of oil required to make the cookies.

It happened that I bought a pack of 250ml whipping cream to cook some cream sauce pasta, so I used the empty carton as a reference and was glad to discover that the volume of one of the mugs is exactly 250ml. But, that didn't solve the problem altogether, the recipe calls for 1/3 cup of oil. So I poured one cup of water equally into 3 paper cups and made a marking on one of them. Voila! I made my own measuring cup :)


To stir up a batch of cookies from a box is so simple, quick, and very convenient especially when there are no basic baking tools on hand. I only need to mix some water, oil and an egg with the powder mix, and in a matter of minutes, I was able to pop a tray of cookie doughs into the oven.

While the cookies were baking in the oven, I suddenly remembered that there was no cooling rack in the apartment. At that point in time, to end up with a tray of soggy cookies would be unthinkable.


After some quick thinking, I came up with my improvised cooking rack...a set of chopsticks which I brought along came in handy!


While the cookies were cooling off, the boys couldn't resist the sweet aroma, so they kept 'wondering' into the small kitchen, hoping to steal a cookie from my 'cooling rack'.


For the rest of the week, I was able to enjoy my afternoon cup of coffee with some homemade cookies. They are not as bad as I thought. In fact, I didn't expect them to taste so good...crunchy on the outside and a little soft in the inside, way better than those I had tasted at some cafes. These are just a little on the sweet side, but once I dunk it into my cup of latte, the sweetness was just right. Till we get back home, I must say I am very satisfied with these homemade cookies, from a box.


23 comments:

  1. Love they way you improvise! So creative and well thought! And thanks for sharing with us even on your vacation! Lucky you, you can have a lovely long vacation in your own apartment.

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  2. WOW! What can I say?! You are SUPER! Ya, I know when the hands start itchy, you could do anything which seems like impossible haha :) Well done super women!

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  3. You are just incredible, in this kind of situation, you are able to bake, salute you !!!

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  4. You are a genius with the improvised cooling rack :)
    Have you tried the Betty Crockers Brownies? They are also v good n easy to bake.
    I am going to bake your honey buns recipe this week cos u said its a good recipe, right?

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  5. Superb! When we are itching to bake, we can think of all ways and I must say you are one great mom!

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  6. It's great! Cooking is the only thing that makes me feel home...so now your temporary accomodation it's home! When I stayed in California last year (for 25 days) I didn't have an oven :( and baking was the most missed thing of home!
    Enjoy
    Martina

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  7. This really ought to be called A Survivor's Guide to Baking Cookies. Hehe. Love all the improvisations you've made! I'm sure the end result was worth it :)

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  8. HHB!! This post made me laugh! First, I can already relate myself to your itch to bake. Second, at the moment I saw your wooden "handcrafted cooling rack," I couldn't stop but laugh!! I did exactly the same during my last one month in the States when all my bakeware & cookware had been shipped home. Because the American family friends I was staying with at that time refuse to use cooling racks, I had no choice but to make myself one with the chopsticks available. (Yea, they do have chopsticks. Thanks to us international students, LOL!) Oh, well! I guess we baking addicts share so many things in common!

    Pei-Lin

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  9. So ,you can bake in any corner of the world now with an oven !

    变则通 !

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  10. your wooden rack are so amazing!!!!!!

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  11. very smart thinking indeed! You're so creative! The cookies look lovely!

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  12. Haha.. I couldn't have thought of that! It looks great :) I guess when there's a will, there's certainly a way.

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  13. haha! love your improvisation.
    clever. looking awesome.

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  14. I'm very impressed! That's one great way to cool the cookies!!
    I used to be your silence blog reader but this time I must put my tots down. You're too cool!

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  15. Haha... What can I say?!! when the addiction is knocking at you, you would think of ways to get what you want! Well done!


    Honey boy

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  16. Hi HHB, May i add your blog to my frequent visit link?


    Honey boy

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  17. You're so cute and creative! Cookies look delicious. Yes, the box mixes tend to be very sweet, but they do just fine in a pinch. The resort had better watch out that the oven doesn't get packed into your luggage when you leave! :)

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  18. you're so creative! This is my first time to your blog, and I"m impressed. :) I spent a summer in China a few years ago, so I"ve enjoyed reading about your experiences. I'll be back :)

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  19. Hi May, yes, I have tried Betty Crockers Brownies, they are really good!

    Hi Pei Lin, so u experienced the same desperate moments like me ;)

    Hi Honey boy, thanks! It will be my honor to add me in your link :D

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  20. Hi Kim, I am staying at a corporate service apartment, as such I do not know the rate that is being offered, but the rack rate is about S$200 a night for a 1-room apartment. I will recommend staying at places which are more accessible to the major attractions, or where there's a subway station which is within walking distance. You can always take a cab here, but sometimes due to the heavy traffic I find taking the subway (similar to our MRT) much faster. The nearest station from our apartment is at least 15-20mins walk away. It is not so convenient but is a good neighbourhood though, more for extended stay but I won't recommend it if you are planning for a short visit and doing alot of sightseeing.

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  21. Hi hhb, I miss ur baking posts!
    -taB

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  22. Hi,

    That's pretty reasonable.. I'm quite particular about hotels especially China - must make sure its at least 5 stars.

    Ok nvm, I'll search for an alternatives.

    Thanks !
    Kim

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  23. Wow, so cuuute! What a great idea.

    Love the chopstick cooling rack too.

    xox Sarah

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