Baking Delicious Cookies in a Rangemaster Classic

If you’re lucky enough to own a large range oven, such as the Rangemaster Classic, you’ll know how much fun it is to bake mouth-wateringly delicious sweet treats in. Boasting a considerably-sized oven-space, the Rangemaster Classic is perfect for those looking to bake a selection of wonderful cookies, each boasting different fillings.

Even better still the Rangemaster Classic enables owners to prepare these treats (potentially as a small dessert or a mid-afternoon snack) whilst cooking lunch or dinner – using the fantastic wok cradle, the smooth griddle or the separately-powered grill.

With this in mind we’ve created a short, but very easy-to-follow guide, detailing how you could go about rustling up some chocolate chip cookies – an absolute favourite amongst people all over the world – using this particular oven:

Step One: Before you start gathering the list of required ingredients together make sure you switch on your Rangemaster Classic and set it to preheat at 350 degrees.

Step Two: Having set the Rangemaster Classic to preheat, take two and a quarter cups of flour and pour them into a standard mixing bowl. Add to the flour with a teaspoon of baking soda.

Step Three: Take another large bowl and chuck in three quarters of a cup of brown sugar; to this add a quarter of a cup of sugar, half a cup of softened butter – ideally you should get it out from the fridge ten or 15 minutes before you begin baking – add four ounces of instant vanilla pudding mix – and half a cup of margarine.

Add a small amount of vanilla and almond extract to give it a sweet and highly fragrant boost. Go and check on your Rangemaster Classic to ensure that the temperature – of 350 degrees – has been set correctly.

Step Four: Mix the ingredients added to the large mixing bowl, during step three, ensuring that you really mix well with a wooden spoon.

Step Five: Break two eggs into a cup and beat them well with a fork.

Step Six: Pour the egg mixture into the large mixing bowl – the one containing the sugar, butter, margarine and pudding mix – and vigorously stir them together. Add the flour and baking soda mix and continue stirring. You should find that the mixture becomes quite thick, which is exactly what you want.

Step Seven: Measure out two cups of chocolate chips; it doesn’t really matter which type you opt to go for, as long as they’re made of baking chocolate – so white baking chocolate, dark baking chocolate etc. Pour them in and stir round.

Step Eight: Having created the cookie dough you’re now all set to bake them in the Rangemaster Classic. However, before you do this ensure that you grease the baking parchment paper with some margarine beforehand. This will prevent the cookies from sticking to the tray as they bake in the oven.

Take a tablespoon’s worth of mixture and drop it onto the tray; repeat this step until the mixture has been completely used or until your tray is full. Remember, the cookies will expand as they bake in the Rangemaster Classic, so you don’t want to place them too closely together.

Set them to bake on the middle shelf for around ten to 12 minutes, before pulling them out. Leave them to cool for 30 minutes before you tuck in and enjoy.

Peanut Butter Drop Cookies With Oodles of Chocolate Chips

Grocery stores sell refrigerated dough, but I prefer to make cookies from scratch because I can change the recipe to suit my tastes. The original recipe for peanut butter cookies is pretty basic: PB, sugar, eggs and flour. I’ve made this recipe more times than I can count and, as much as I love it, I was ready for something new.

I searched the Internet and found dozens of cookie recipes, many of them similar. But I also found some unusual variations of this classic, including peanut butter cracker sandwiches dipped in chocolate, so-called “cup” cookies, no-bake cookies, and even a recipe without flour.

When you are baking cookies you need to make some key decisions. Are you going to use butter, margarine, or both? Should you use large or extra-large eggs? Will the peanut butter be extra-creamy, creamy, or chunky? Are you going to use light or dark brown sugar? Should you grease the pan?

Size is another decision you need to make. The fat content of the dough determines how much the cookies will spread when they bake. A tablespoon of dough with a high fat content will yield three-inch size cookies. That’s why you need to leave enough space between the cookies.

For years, I used the recipe that has you make lines on the top of each cookie with a fork. These criss-cross lines flatten the dough and add an attractive texture. I love this classic recipe and would recommend it to anyone. But I craved peanut butter and chocolate, a popular combination. I got out the basic recipe and began making changes.

First, I used extra chunky PB, the remains of a jar my granddaughter brought home from college. For flavor, I used a combination of butter and butter-flavored Crisco. Since I love vanilla, I increased the amount from one teaspoon to one tablespoon. Finally, I added an entire package of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the dough.

The result was a “Wow!” cookie. Do your kids have cabin fever? Are they hungry” Get them involved in cookie-making. You will see smiles on their faces when they take their first bite of Peanut Butter Drop Cookies with Oodles of Chocolate Chips. Make some to eat now and freeze the rest for another day.

Ingredients

1 cup soft butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar (You may also use dark brown.)

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup extra crunchy peanut butter (PB)

2 cups pre-sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

12-ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, Crisco, sugars, eggs, and vanilla together. Beat until fluffy. Add PB and cream one minute more. Turn the speed to low and slowly add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Turn off the mixer. Pour in the chocolate chips and finish combining the dough with a wooden spoon. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a non-greased baking pan, leaving two inches between the cookies. Bake for about 12 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Watch the cookies carefully, because once they start to brown, they brown quickly, and can burn in seconds. Let cookies cool for half a minute before you remove them from the pan. Cool completely and store in air-tight container. This recipe makes about 5 dozen crisp, fabulous cookies.

Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson

The Origins of Biscuits and Cookies

The history of the biscuit follows that of sugar and it seems that the first biscuits were baked in Persia during the 7th Century BCE. It wasn’t until the Moorish conquest of Spain and the crusades of the 12th and 13th centuries that Arabic cooking practices slowly came to Europe.

The modern biscuit, however, is a French invention, and by the 14th century it was possible to buy little fruit-filled wafers on the streets of paris. The name of these comes from a corruption of the Latin bis cotum (baked twice) which became biscuit in English and biscotti in Italian. Traditionally, such biscuits are hard and dry in texture and they’re know (and commonplace) from recipe books going back at least to the Elizabethan era.

In contrast, cookies are Dutch in origin. The name itself derives from the Dutch word ‘koekje’ (small or round cake) which represents the small pieces of dough that Dutch bakers used to place in their ovens to test the temperature. However, the classic cookie, the ‘cocolate chip cookie’ was only invented in 1937 by Ruth Graves Wakefield (1905-1977), of Whitman, Massachusetts, who ran the Toll House Restaurant. This type of cookie didn’t reach nationwide fame until 1939 when Betty Crocker popularized it in her radio show. Today, however, the chocolate chip cookie is by far the commonest baked and eaten cake in America.

Below you will find a recipe for a classic British biscuit and a classic American cookie so that you can bake these for yourselves and appreciate both the similarities and the differences between these classic baked goods.

Fruit Shrewsbury Biscuits

This is a classic and easy to bake lightly fruited biscuit, ostensibly originating in the Shrewsbury region of England.

Ingredients:
125g butter
150g caster sugar2 egg yolks
225g plain flour
freshly-grated zest of 1 lemon
60g currants
sugar to dust

Method:
Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy then add the egg yolks and beat together to combine.
Stir-in the flour, lemon zest and currants. Mix to a firm dough (add a little water if it’s too stiff) then turn onto a lightly-floured surface and knead lightly. Roll out to about 5mm thick and cut into rounds with a 6cm pastry cutter with fluted edges.

Transfer the pastry rounds onto lightly-greased baking sheets and place in an oven pre-heated to 180°C, baking for about 15 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and only very slightly browned.

Remove from the oven and dust the top with coarse sugar then allow to cool on the baking trays for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the classic American chocolate chip cookie recipe made with brown and granulated sugars and hearkens back to the 1937 original.

Ingredients:
225g unsalted butter
150g granulated sugar
160g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
320g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
260g plain chocolate chips
120g walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)

Method:
Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix the eggs together in a bowl then add a little at a time to the butter mix, combining thoroughly after each addition. Now add the vanilla and beat in to combine.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg and butter mixture and beat thoroughly until completely incorporated. Add the chocolate chips (and the nuts, if using) about half way through mixing so that they’re evenly distributed through the dough.

The dough should be fairly firm and if you find it too soft then cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes (this will set the butter and make the dough stiffer). When ready drop about 2 tbsp of the mixture per cookie onto a lightly-greased baking tray, allowing at least 8cm between each cookie for them to spread. Place in an oven pre-heated to 190°C and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes on the baking tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

I hope that you have learnt something about biscuit and cookie baking and that you will now want to know more about these baked goods.