Baking with Free Range Eggs

Last week I was chatting a man in the office and somehow got onto the topic of eggs…an excess of eggs.  It turns out that he lives on the outskirts of Auckland where he and his family have, amongst other farm animals, chickens……and therefore lots of eggs.

Now you can’t even begin to compare a store bought egg with a free-range-from-the-backyard-of-someone-you-know eggs so I offered to take some off his hands on a regular basis.  (yes, I know, how kind of me!)  We agreed on a no-money approach so I had to come up with some way of paying him for the eggs…..It wasn’t too hard given that he’s got kids……so I get eggs, they get baking!

Firstly though, I wanted to talk about egg sizes.  When you are getting free range in this fashion they come in all sorts of sizes.  It’s important to make sure that you aren’t using too large a size as this can alter your batter consistency.  There is a lot of information on Wikipedia on egg sizes, so I’d recommend using this as a guide.  I just pop the egg on the scales and quickly check that it’s going to fit my needs.  Most recipes us what we call a Size 6 in New Zealand which is 53-61gms.

Biscuit Choc 1Anyway, this weekend is my first batch of “Swap Cookies” and I decided to go for a recipe that I hadn’t used before….risky, I know!  Then I heightened the risk by not using those pre-made milk chocolate chips that the recipe called for, electing to roughly chop up some white chocolate instead since that was what I had in the cupboard.  What’s the worst that could happen?

Biscuit Choc 1aWell, it’s turns out that the worst that can happen is that it was one of those Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes that has so much butter that the cookies spread far and thin across the baking tray.  Luckily I only put them in for 12 minutes or I could have easily burnt the whole batch!

I have tasted one of them and they actually taste pretty good.  Next time I think I’ll claw back on the volume of butter, but hey, you’ve got to give new recipes a go, right?

Here’s the recipe that I used:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 18

Ingredients

125g butter, softened
150g light brown sugar
1 egg
½ t vanilla essence
1C plain flour
½ t baking powder
pinch of salt
175g milk chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 190 deg C (375 deg F). Lightly grease two baking sheets.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and add with the chocolate, mixing until incorporated.
  • Place large teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking sheets, leaving enough space for them to spread.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until pale golden brown.  Allow to cool slightly before transferring them to a wire rack.
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