Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kitchen-less Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Inspired by Lonely Planet's hotel room gourmet, Matt and I decided to try our hand at some oven-free, hotel room baking this past week.  We're approaching our seventh week without a kitchen - a tough state of affairs for a food blogger, I can assure you - and the things we miss most are fresh veggies and fresh-from-the-oven baked goods.  We recently fixed the veggie problem with lots of leaf spinach and sauteed asparagus, but the baking issue has presented more of a challenge. Armed with only a hot plate and a microwave, we finally got creative with some store-bought cookie dough, and turned up some interesting results.

When this project was still in the conceptual stages, Matt and I were divided as to wether the microwave or the stovetop would produce the best results. I was quite confident in my choice of the stovetop, but you can judge the results for yourself:

Last Place: Stovetop Cookies
We baked these cookies in a non-stick frying pan on an electric burner. It was hard to control the heat and the cookies tended to break apart or stick to the spatula during flipping. When we left them long enough to flip easily, they turned out hard and burnt. Grade: F

Stovetop Cookies = stovetop doorstops!

Second Place: George Foreman Cookies
This version required some real creativity! After our failure on the stovetop, we came up with this idea in order to cook both sides at once (and, yes, we brought our own George Foreman on our road trip with us!). This method was sound in theory, but in practice the metal grating of the grill resulted in cookies that, while perfectly browned, got all mashed up. Grade: B- (the idea was ingenious and the taste was great - too bad the cookies were ugly!)

George Foreman = mushy, but tasty

First Place: Microwave Cookies
Maybe the microwave cooking craze of the 1980s was on to something - our nuked batch came out best. They lack the gorgeous browned edges of traditional cookies (the George Foreman came closest to replicating this feature) and looked a little bit like astronaut food, but they tasted like ordinary chocolate chips and - bonus! - didn't come out blackened or in mushed into little pieces! This was also the quickest method; perfect for those moments when you

Magic Microwave Cookies = strangely delicious

Now, I'm not advocating pre-made doughs and microwave baking as the gold standard, by any means, but for those rare occasions when you're seized by a cookie craving with no oven in sight (or you have to live out of a hotel for six straight weeks), 45 seconds in the microwave is definitely your best bet.

Magic Microwave Cookies
adapted from our desperate need to do some 'baking' and have 'real' cookies

1 tub/tube/tray pre-made Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (you could try this with the real stuff...but why would you?)

To make a single microwave cookie, place a 1-inch ball of dough on a microwave safe plate and cook for 35-45 seconds on high.  Cooking time will need to be increased for larger batches.  Cookies are done when surface 'bubbles' and no longer looks doughy. The cookies will be extremely hot after cooking and should be left to cool for a couple of minutes - I guess it's not quite instant gratification, after all.

This post is linked to:
Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweets for a Saturday


  1. Haha, this was a great, entertaining post. I will remember this when I am on the road and can't find a Mrs. Field's anywhere! :)

  2. I think Mrs. Field's is probably a safer bet, but it was fun!