There’s something about the Easy Bake Oven that stirs up fond feelings and nostalgia. I remember having one of these toys as a child, and baking a tiny chocolate cake. 9 times out of 10 if I am strolling along the toy aisle and I see one of these ovens, I’m likely to let out a sigh as I pause a moment to pay homage. “Ahhhhh, an Easy Bake Oven,” I’m likely to blurt out as I touch the colorful box. A brief moment of silence usually ensues.
Now, I never did get an Easy Bake Oven for my own daughter. I’m not sure why. She likes to bake things and I fully believe in the importance of getting your children in the kitchen. She has even expressed an interest in the ol’ Easy Bake, but at this point I believe that she is much too old for one of these toys. It’s true. It’s sad. We’ve missed that window of opportunity to have an Easy Bake Oven experience in our own home. Damn.
BUT, that didn’t stop us recently from purchasing the Easy-Bake Microwave Cookie Mix that was marked down (75% off!) at a nearby retail store. Those mixes looked so darn attractive sitting there next to those brightly boxed ovens, on the toy shelf. And OMG, you don’t even need an Easy Bake Oven to make these things. 75% off, too.
Hot diggity-dog! We could have our Easy Bake experience, after all!
Well, let me tell you.
The Easy Bake Microwave Cookies were not so “easy”.
I have come to conclude that these cookies would be GREAT to make if a person:
1. has the patience of Job
2. doesn’t mind the taste of cardboard
3. has about 2 hours of extra time
4. just wants to kill a few hours on a lazy day and
5. likes to laugh out loud
6. did I mention have the patience of Job?
Because, letmetellyou…..You need a sense of humor to really enjoy making these little cookies.
I have also come to conclude that these cookies would be fun to make if you:
1. are stuck in your house due to a hurricane or snow-storm, or something of that nature. (provided you have electricity to use the microwave oven, of course!)
Well, my daughter was eager to get these cookies started as soon as we got home from the store. And thank goodness there were no pressing plans later that day. Because it took time to get these cookies started. The biggest pain in the
ass patootie, was figuring out how much water to add to the mix. Because the people at Hasbro are Marketing Geniuses, I tell you!!
Oh yeah. Someone at Hasbro has determined that it’s pretty essential that to use the Microwave Cookie Mix, you need to first have one of these Microwave Kits that has these little flower-wheel-thingies that resemble actual measuring spoons. But the secret is, you don’t know how much water a little flower-wheel-thingie actually holds. Here friends, lies the rub: If you haven’t purchased the Microwave Kit (now sold for $24.98, by the way), you have to basically guess how much water to add. And WOW, the directions on the cookie mix make it sound mighty darn imperative that the whole success of making that batch of cookies lies in how much water to add.
Because folks, WATER is the only ingredient that you need to add! You see, that is what make the cookies so “easy”…or so I think.
Phew. So we Googled, and searched, and searched and searched….and finally figured out that we would just “wing” the amount of water to add. Who knew making these cookies could be so (not) easy?
Now once that big hurdle of determining how much water to add was accomplished, we rolled out the dough. It appeared that there was enough dough to make 2 or maybe 3 normal sized cookies. No joke.
So I got out my teenie-tiny star-shaped cookie cutter and my daughter pressed out a bunch of cute, little stars. This would allow us to make at least a dozen (maybe more) miniature sugar cookies about the size of your thumbnail.
Now you can only microwave a few at time. As directed, we placed the cookies in the microwave (we did cover them with a plastic lid, as directed), and nuked those things for 22 seconds. The pink cookies shown above were the sugar variety, but we also made a batch of chocolate cookies.
Meanwhile, my lovely daughter mixed up the fondant which was a beautiful shade of purple. Then using the star-shaped cookie cutter, she pressed out the fondant stars, which we used for icing on the chocolate cookies. Upon mixing up the vanilla frosting for the pink sugar cookies, it was decided that this icing tasted “really gross”. So we simply used some Pillsbury canned vanilla frosting for the sugar cookies. I must say this was a much better choice. Icing in a can, after all, usually does not disappoint!
Sprinkles from our own pantry were added to jazz the cookies up a bit. Aren’t they sweet?
And yeah, I busted out the fine China plates to put these cookies on because…I’m just dorky like that.
So, with the total researching of measurements-to assembly-to baking-to clean up time…we have approximately 2 hours killed.
And a little over 2 dozen tiny star cookies that look as though they could be gobbled up in a matter of minutes. If they tasted decent, that is.
There was some laughter going on during the whole process, though, and that made it most worthwhile. Because these little cookies were not really easy to make, at all. In fact, I read a review online by another parent who purchased this mix and I found this to be fairly accurate (and quite funny!) Here is what another parent wrote:
This is the worst gift we have ever bought our daughter. The dough is so incredibly sticky, when we finally got it rolled out and used the cookie cutter, it was stuck to the table! We just threw it out and made regular chocolate chip cookies.
Don’t you just love that honesty?
And I doubt if we had purchased the Microwave Kit, our cookies would look like this (as Hasbro advertises):
But I guess there is always something to shoot for.
Meanwhile, I’ve come to conclude that the most tasty, and by far the easiest cookies that you can make with a child are these reliable delights.
We had fun in the end, and enjoyed some good laughs. We savored every cardboard-box-tasting bite. That’s what matters, right?
If you want to read a more serious article that I wrote about kids and cooking, please click right here.
Keep on cookin’ y’all —