Thousands of recipes are available from the Internet. When it comes to free recipes, however, downloading them is a buyer beware situation. Many recipes are excellent, and some are not so good. As I discovered, these recipes can have missing ingredients, confusing typos, and spotty directions.
I like to customize recipes so I rarely make them as written. Years of cooking experience help me do this. But baking is the exception to my rule. I know I must measure the ingredients carefully, use the recommended pan, and set the oven to the correct temperature. Ovens vary, and sometimes I have baked cookies longer than stated in the recipe.
Family members were coming for dinner and I needed a quick dessert. I am my disabled husband’s primary caregiver and don’t have much time for cooking, so I turned to the Internet for help. Amazingly, I found a recipe for chocolate cookies made with a brownie mix. “Sounds good,” I mumbled to myself.
Besides, I had just purchased a brownie mix on sale. A diagram of my thought pattern would look like this: sale brownie mix > pressed for time > quick solution. According to the recipe I downloaded, I only needed a large bowl, a mixing spoon, and measuring spoons to make the cookies.
All of this sounded good, but I realized the directions in the recipe were sparse. If I hadn’t been an experienced baker I might have been in trouble. But experience rescued me and the cookies were good. Below is the basic recipe that I downloaded from the Internet.
I changed the recipe in several ways. First, I added some vanilla to bring out the flavor of the chocolate. To compensate for the vanilla I added less water. I also added an eight-ounce package of chocolate chips. Unlike the downloaded recipe, my preparation and baking instructions are detailed. Get ready to bite into a warm, double chocolate, gooey cookie. You’re going to like these!
1 box (18.3 ounces) fudge brownie mix
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola.)
1/4 cup regular flour
1 package (8 ounces) chocolate chips (regular or sugar-free)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.Coat baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. Dump brownie mix into a large bowl. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Add water, and vanilla extract, and beat well with fork. Pour this mixture over baking mix. Stir in chocolate chips with spoon. Make sure the chips are distributed evenly in the dough and there is no dry mix in the bottom of the bowl. Drop teaspoons of dough onto prepared baking pan, leaving two inches of space between each cookie. Set pan on middle oven rack. Bake 10 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and cool for 30 seconds before removing from pan. Transfer to wax paper to finish cooling. (Cookies will set as they cool.) Store cookies in air-tight container. For a delicious dessert, fold broken cookies into vanilla or coffee ice cream or make ice cream sandwiches with cookies. Yield: About 3 dozen.
Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 37 years and is the author of 35 books. Her latest releases: Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss, The Family Caregiver’s Guide, Affirmations for Family Caregivers, and A Journal for Family Caregivers. Visit her website and learn more about this busy author, grandmother, and caregiver.