When I was about 7 years old, I told Santa i wanted an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. When my 7 year old self woke up on Christmas that year, she found that Santa had left her a brand new microwave oven. The Santa in my neck of the woods was a practical thinker. My parents quickly came to Santa’s defense. “Oh, Amber, just imagine. Your own microwave. You could heat up your own food and keep it for down the road when you’re older.” That microwave went straight to the attic where it waited until the parents decided it was time to sell the never opened / never used appliance. And little 7 year old Amber never got to experience the wonders of the famous Easy Bake Oven.
Fast forward a few years to my 20th Christmas. As you get older the presents tend to get less extravagant: clothes, toothbrush, candy – all the essentials. That year there was something interesting with my name on it. This item was large and wrapped in festive paper, thus signaling that the gift was from mama and daddy. I opened it up and what did I find? A brand new Easy Bake Oven, a deep shade of purple, revamped for a new generation of children. Apparently, that unrealized childhood wish took a toll on my mama’s conscience over the years. She finally was making sure I knew what it felt like lay hands on an Easy Bake Oven. Somewhat of an impractical gift since for a college girl the microwave would have been far more useful. But this story is more interesting, so I’ll keep going…
That Easy Bake Oven held a place of honor in our hallway for about a year and a half, where it remained unopened waiting for the perfect opportunity to bake some scrumptious cookies or cakes one day. Just this weekend, my mama and I decided to take the packing off of it and see what this baby could do! Let me just say, from the moment we started reading the directions, we were underwhelmed.
- Allow 20 minutes for oven to heat. — Twenty minutes?! Does it really take a high-powered lightbulb that long to get warm?
- Mix contents of packet with 1 teaspoon of water. We had to read that several times to ensure the ‘1 teaspoon’ was not a typo. However, once we examined the contents of the cookie dough mix packet, it was clear that only 1 teaspoon would be needed to wet the entire mixture. I was truly afraid if the air conditioning came on while I was opening the packet, it very well could blow my entire cookie mix away.
- Portion size: 12 cookies. Hmmm… Methinks maybe not. Oh wait, sorry. Misread. 12 cookie *bites* Ever seen the cereal called cookie crisps? That’s about the size of a ‘cookie bite’.
After we finally got the dough made and distributed it into 12 little portions on the pan, we let it bake in the oven for 9 minutes. You want to know something I learned about that Easy Bake Oven system. It’s really a test of your faith. When you put that little pan of your 12 cookie bites in the oven, you have to let it sit there untouched for the full 9 minutes plus 5 minutes of cool time before you can even see any evidence that the oven actually cooked the food. There’s no view finder or peek hole or anything. Just faith, trust, and pixie dust.
It all worked out well and good for us. The cookies came out looking a little flat, but the taste was right on point. Still, I think a lot of work for so little reward. Don’t worry. We had 24 full-size chocolate chip cookies on backup that we cooked in our full-size gas range oven. Note: This is the only way to use an Easy Bake Oven. As means of creating a preamble to your main dessert course.