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And one for the road (trip)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


A moving vehicle is no place for squidgy food and as much as a sandwich with an oozy slaw or freshly reconstituted soupy cup noodles will hit the spot on a long car journey, they are just a recipe for disaster. This kind of food should be restricted to rest areas and picnic tables.
Biscuits (or cookies) are made for travel. After all, in their earliest form, they were hard square crackers made only with water and flour. They were convenient food for soldiers, explorers and pioneers due to their long storage life, and were perfect for those long journeys over land and sea.
However, like saucy food, it's better to keep to chewy – perhaps even cakey – cookies instead of crumbly ones for the car.
In terms of aptly named snacks for a car trip, a perfect one would be Rocky Road (in real life, of course, we can do without the bumps!). Rocky Road started out as a milk chocolate bar with marshmallow and cashew nuts. Later, a chocolate ice cream with walnuts and marshmallows used the same name, and then, a baker translated the concoction into a brownie, with a gooey topping of marshmallow, nuts and chocolate chips.
Rocky Road has all the components that I like but sticky marshmallow is not car-ride-friendly. So I swapped the brownie base for a chewy cookie dough and wrapped it around a marshmallow so the gooey bit would be in the centre. I added some coffee to bring out the flavour of the chocolate rather than to help with alertness.
Car ride cookies
I've posted on other road-themed snacks before. One of them was the Happy Trails Bar, which is made with trail mix (dried fruit, grains, nuts). It's kind of on the healthy side – which defeats the purpose of a road trip snack!
Another suggestion was Tiger Brownies, which I based on the old slogan of a petrol company, "Put a tiger in your tank". These are good ol' fudgy chocolate brownies with swirls of orange-coloured and flavoured cream cheese. They're best eaten chilled so they’re probably not ideal for a long car ride.
Finally, a snack with an entertaining and unusual shape whose name fits the road trip theme – at least for someone in no hurry to get anywhere: Turtle Cookies!
Note on the recipe:
I am normally fastidious with keeping ingredient quantities to either weight or volume, but in this instance, there is a mix of both measurements – I feel butter and flour need to be weighed exactly, while there's room to play around with the quantity of chocolate chunks and pecans. It works for me ;-)

Rocky Road Chunky Chews
Makes 12 large cookies

100g butter (a little less than ½ cup), softened
½ cup firmly packed soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tbsp instant coffee granules
½ tbsp hot water
155g (about 1¼ cup) plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp sea salt or ¼ tsp table salt
¾ cup coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans
6 regular-sized marshmallows, cut in half

Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Dissolve coffee granules in hot water and add to the mixture.
Combine flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt; fold into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks and nuts. Place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Flatten one piece and place a marshmallow half in the centre. Fold the dough around the marshmallow to enclose it and form a thick disc. Repeat with the remaining dough and marshmallows.
Space cookies 5cm apart on ungreased baking sheets and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven at 180°C. After the chilling time, bake the cookies until golden brown, 13-15 minutes.
Leave the cookies to cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store tightly covered. Eat within a week.


  1. Very clever! I love your post, Jane. Great ideas, specially the one that you put the marshmallow inside so it becomes car ride friendly :)

  2. Those look so good! Like the best cookies ever! Can't wait to give them a try :)


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