• The Tenuous Purpose

    This Blog is built - not, as some might expect, on a flimsy whim but on a strong and single minded principle.

    That principle concerns Biscuits and their position in the world.

    We are really very keen on biscuits.
    As are many of you out there.
    We think.

    We wish to create an archive of Arrowroot, a backlog of Bourbons and a catalogue of Chocolate Fingers. Anybody can contribute an entry - or dispute somebody else's - provided they are not dull.
    Even Americans who perhaps don't really have the heritage of biscuitry that we are fortunate to have here.

    Or maybe they do and we are unaware of the full glory of the cookie.

    We realise that this whole subject is admirably and concisely dealt with by that excellent and unbeatable website A Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down. Our feeble efforts will be as the kicking of a gadfly in the face of their wisdom and experience but we hope that we may have a small contribution to make.

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    James Alexander-Sinclair of Blackpitts
    Gardener, Blogger, Journalist, Lecturer etc, etc. Much of his life is spent loafing around other people’s gardens issuing directives and generally cluttering up the place. However, like the great Mr Kipling, he does (occasionally) make exceptionally good gardens. (Although even Mr Kipling messed up a bit with the Carrot and Walnut Mini Classics.)

    Mark Diacono of Otter Farm
    He does sterling work growing many inappropriate plants in Devon. He dedicates a great deal of time and effort nurturing a plethora of plants that are (mostly) totally unsuited to our climate. His is a life of such extreme eccentric dedication that to start a Blog about Biscuits seems perfectly normal. He treads gently in the footsteps of people like the great William Buckland,a professor of Geology who claimed that he could tell location by tasting the local topsoil.

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New Zealand Nostalgia

Having been raised in the US, my love for cookies (or biscuits) is eclipsed only by the number of choices in the cookie aisle of the grocery store. With hundreds of choices, it was easy to have a completely different taste of cookie every day, if desired.

But the very best cookies were never from a package from the store. They were always from the oven in our kitchen. Mom was an excellent baker and I remember that we always got excited when we knew that cookies were baking. Licking the bowl (not literally, of course, but using your fingers to get the last of the dough from the bowl) was part of the process. I have to admit that my favorite was chocolate chip cookies. Made from the recipe on the back of the Nestle’s chocolate chip bag.

Fast forward many, many years. Now that I have moved to New Zealand and have inherited a family with two young teens, I am very please that they have the same reactions when I bake the same cookies. I bake many kinds of cookies, but the chocolate chips are definitely a favorite.

Here is the recipe, from the Nestle’s site. I find it so weird that they warn us to bake the cookies before consuming them. Everybody knows that eating raw cookie dough is the best part of baking cookies!



Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

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PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.
dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.
FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

Remember to follow baking instructions before consuming.

Betty Luckhurst

3 Responses

  1. My brother and I used to fight for who was going to ‘lick the bowl’ on baking day. It was an essential part of childhood and I feel sorry that people are not to worried about the dangers of salmonella etc. to allow this little pleasure. Those chocolate chip cookies sound delicious! I’m sure I’ve put a pile of weight on since the biscuit blog started up!!

  2. Ummm – all purpose flour – is this aka plain flour?

    I’m assuming it is as Self Raising flour would add an extra dimension to biscuits!

  3. Hi Arabella,

    I would suggest just using all purpose unbleached flour, adding about 1-2 extra tablespoons per cup. If the recipe calls for liguid, add a bit more to the recipe.
    Also decrease the baking soda and/or baking powder a smidgen by slightly indenting your finger into the ingredient while leveling the spoon. However, if above 9000 feet, decrease these ingredients by 1/4 teaspoon required. IF the recipes calls for 1 tablespoon of baking powder, then only decrease it by 1/2 teaspoon above 9000 feet.
    Also only use large-extra large eggs.

    Hope this helps, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

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