You have witnessed my countless failures when it comes to baking. I think by now I have already proven that I am no bloody good in baking, be it cakes or pies. Today is going to be my biggest challenge yet. I am going to bake cookies!
Before you start making fun of me, let me explain why I said it is my biggest challenge yet. You see, over the weeks (months), every time I failed in my cake adventures, I would remark how my batters turned into cookies before they had time to expand into cakes. Cookies are supposed to be the easiest to bake. Can you imagine the amount of embarrassment that I will be subjecting myself to should I fail when I properly set out to bake cookies?
But still, I have to do it. In fact, there is no way for me not to do it, especially not after watching another lovely video by Jemma. This video:
That’s it! PB & J Cookies! I’m doing it! Let’s do it!
I quickly typed down the steps and ingredients involved on the laptop’s Sticky Note and made a mental list of items to buy.
I still have a bit of flour which I reckon should be enough. Butter too. So basically, I will need to buy eggs, sugar, peanut butter and jam. Maybe not sugar, we should reduce the sweetness of our food, shouldn’t we?
And then I went grocery shopping as usual. I got my eggs, and my usual supplies for dinners. And then I hit the row of shelves where the peanut butter and jam is located. I was instantly greeted by a sight that would set myself on an inner tussle of epic proportions, between my good side and my evil side.
Good me: Hey, look! There’s Nutella right next to the jam! How nostalgic. We used to have a lot of Nutella back in Liverpool. It was so cheap over there, unlike the prices they sell over here. And so so delicious! Hmm.. maybe I should use Nutella instead of fruit jam for my cookies!
Evil me: No you shouldn’t. Your recipe said fruit jam. Nutella is not fruit jam. If you use Nutella, Jemma would be so disappointed with you..
Good me: Sigh.. I guess you are right… No, wait! No! What are you talking about? Of course Nutella is a fruit jam! Nutella is made of cocoa right? Cocoa is a plant, anything that grows from a plant should qualify as a fruit. Nutella is a cocoa jam, hence it is a fruit jam!
Evil me: It’s expensive, and it’s fattening. And you are going to blog about it, and your mom will probably see it, and you will never hear the end of it from her..
Good me: No, it’s not more expensive. If I use Nutella, it is sweet enough, I won’t need to use any sugar. I’m saving money for NOT buying sugar. We’ll figure something out about mom.
Good Me prevailed in the end. I’m so glad about that. I guess I really am a good person 😉 .
Ingredients bought, time to get on with the business of baking my cookies..
1. (Approximately) 110g of butter and 135g of peanut butter into the mixing bowl, whisk until well mixed and creamy.
2. No need for sugar. I didn’t like the looks of those jumbo eggs on display today, so I got myself the smaller kampung eggs (village eggs, otherwise known as free range eggs). Instead of 1 large egg, add 2 small eggs into the mixture and whisk for a minute until well combined.
I’m beginning to love my electric mixer more and more. I mean, yeah, it is a terrible hassle to clean up afterwards, but when I’m staring at the perfectly circular patterns it makes on my batter, it felt pretty awesome and totally worth the trouble.
At this point of time, Evil Me makes a comeback. I’m beginning to feel slightly guilty of using Nutella. Just slightly. I began to think of ways to hoodwink Evil Me into thinking my cookies are healthier version. Then I looked at the flour that I have left, it didn’t seem like 160g to me. It looked more like 100g. That’s when I had a wonderful idea.
3. Add 100g of organic oats to 100g of flour. Mix the two up until evenly combined.
4. Add the flour/oats mixture with the batter in the mixing bowl, whisk for another minute or two until everything is properly folded in.
5. Add Nutella fruit jam in, spoonful by spoonful (or like Jemma said, blob by blob), roughly folding it into the mixture with a spatula. Make sure not to mix them up too evenly, you want to have chunks of your jam in your cookies. Add as much or as little as your preference dictates. I went with 150g.
When the cookie mixture is done, it should not be watery. It should have a consistency that is somewhat between a dough and cake batter.
6. Turn on the oven and set it to 170°C (pre-heating move). Then line a tray with baking paper. Scoop the cookie mixture with a spoon and place on the tray. One big spoonful for one cookie. No need to worry about making them look nice, but make sure to separate them quite apart as the cookie will flatten and spread as they bake.
7. Bake for 18 minutes in the oven, on 170°C. While waiting, do anything else but cleaning up. DO NOT clean up. This is crucial!
8. When the cookies are done, they will smell absolutely delicious! But you are not supposed dig in immediately. You have to let the cookies cool down considerably, preferably half and hour or at least 10 minutes. This is when you do the cleaning up of the mess. The mess would make it difficult for you to set the tray down and ignore conventions. You will be forced to clean up first and take the mandatory cooling down wait.
9. Now you can eat!
And, OMG! This one is a great success! I don’t care that they look ugly and not shop worthy. I’m not going to sell them anyway. As long as they are delicious, that’s all that matter. And they are bloody delicious! Just like how Jemma described it: delicious, crumbly, peanuty, super (Nutella) jammy, sticky inside!
I made 12 cookies in total and I made plans to share it with some ex-colleagues tomorrow over lunch, but I’m having a hard time stopping myself from finishing them! I need to force myself to pack them into a container and keep them out of sight!
So there you have it, my Oatmeal Peanut Butter and Nutella Jam Cookies turns out to be a success! I’m a very happy person today 😀 …