Wednesday, May 28, 2008

c is for delicious

One of my favorite books when I was a kid was The Search for Delicious, in which the hero undertakes a series of exacting challenges in order to make his contribution to the king’s dictionary. The book concludes that delicious is cold water when you’re very thirsty. While I ultimately concur, the next in line would have to be a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie comprised of butter, eggs, flour, sugar, chocolate bits, vanilla extract, and ineffable perfection. I have been questing through the Greater Melbourne area in search of that cookie for three months now, and have finally, this evening, come the closest yet to recreating perfection. My assistant in this successful endeavor has been Ms. Betty Crocker, whose cookie mix, despite having been made in Australia with Australian ingredients, results in a semblance of godly American cookie-tude.

The missing backstory here is that Australian cookies… suck. No way to beat about the bush on this one. All Australian baked wheat-based confections* somehow end up tasting a bit past their expiration date even if I make them myself. This covers everything from the Ms. Fields cookie stalls at the malls to restaurant desserts to refrigerated grocery-store dough to the ingredients themselves. We think the problem is in the butter, and maybe the flour too. I can’t understand it. They always result in cookies that are too hard and crumbly, and/or taste slightly rotten. I was getting desperate, and considering petitioning the UN to airlift frozen Tollhouse slice-and-bake to our roof deck.

Enter Ms. Crocker, via an unlikely convenience store in St. Kilda after this evening’s French class. (cue angelic choir.) Though the aftertaste is slightly unusual and they’re a bit too sweet (I know!), they are the closest I’ve found my Mum’s. I miss my Mum and her cookies. There’s no place like home, and no cookies like my Mum’s. No, really, my Mum’s cookies are better than your mom’s. I dare you. Send me cookies to prove me wrong. Please. :)

*With the highly debatable exception of Tim-Tams, and recognizing the unquestionable superiority of Mint Slices (like a Thin Mint with a peppermint patty on top)
Oh, and my cousin Claire's pumpkin cake, which isn't a cookie but is incomparably delicious


Erika said...

by the way, I did check in with the quarantine and customs people -- so long as the cookies you might be tempted to send us are made in the US, and aren't dairy based (i.e. no cheesecake cookies, etc.), and are firmly wrapped in plastic, they should have no problem getting through the mail to us.

Sarah said...

I loved that book! One of my favorites, for sure. How long does mail take to get to you from the states? Could we send box mixes or are you looking for specific ingredients?

Emi said...

Oh wow. That was one of my favourite books ever. And give me a call sometime! I want to make up a food care package for you. Cookies and mexican stuff so far. :P <3<3

mobarobioban said...

I looooove Tim-Tams. I would PAY you to have some! Have you ever tried the Tim Tam Slam? It consists of biting off a little from each end of a cookie and using it as a straw. The Tim-Tam melts in your mouth and it is delicious! I loved the chocolate ones. there anything you miss here? We could trade tasty things only found in the country where we currently reside!

See ya! Marian

sally said...

tim tam slam is a small slice of heaven. especially when drinking hot chocolate through it. just chow on the cookie before it disintegrates!