A Jolly Good Cookie

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This particular bloglet entry serves twofold: one for a quick natter about one of the best cookie recipes I’ve ever made and two to mention my embarrassingly quick and minimal customising in order to turn these beauties into a quick, Christmassy gift for friends and family.

First the subject of Cookies; I’ve long been a fan of the soft cookies you get from the supermarket bakeries/Millie’s Cookies etc,  so much nicer than the dry, hard as nails packet varieties.  That said, I do believe there is a time and place for everything.  So I wouldn’t want to dismiss the shop brought biscuit cousins altogether.  For sometimes only Maryland cookie or Nice will do; but not today.

Today, I’m after the sort of cookie that fills the kitchen with a lovely freshly baked aroma, stuffed to bursting with chocolate chips and almost cake like inside.  The recipe, of which I’m introducing, again comes from Nigella, who is turn got the recipe from a lovely lady called Elinor Klivans.

These Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best cookie recipe I’ve ever made/eaten in years.  The cookies are crumbly, slightly cake-like in texture, and bursting with chocolate chips!  I’ve tried making them with all dark chocolate chips or a mixture of both dark and white chocolate.  Both work extremely well.

Oh, and my lazy Christmas customisation is to pop a mini candy cane onto each cookie part-way through baking.  Then, when cooled, pop them into a clear presentation bag and tie with ribbon.  Slightly lazy this may be, but they do look lovely and I think my friends who are getting one this year will appreciate them.

I give you…

Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies (with Candy Cane topper)

Makes 12 cookies

Ingredients

125 grams dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)

150 grams plain flour

30 grams cocoa powder (sieved)

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ teaspoon salt

125 grams soft butter

75 grams soft light brown sugar

50 grams white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg (cold from the fridge)

350 grams dark chocolate chips (or 175g dark chocolate chips and 175g white chocolate chips)

12 mini candy canes (optional)

 

Method

1.  Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.

2. Melt the 125g dark chocolate either in the microwave or in a heatproof dish over a pan of simmering water.

3. Put the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.

4. Cream the butter and sugars in another bowl.  Add the melted chocolate and mix together.

5. Beat in the vanilla extract and cold egg, and then mix in the dry ingredients.  Finally stir in the chocolate chips.

6. Scoop out 12 equal-sized mounds – an ice cream scoop and a palette knife are the best tools for the job – and place on a lined baking sheet about 6cm apart. Do not flatten them.

7. Cook for 18-20 minutes, testing with a cake tester to make sure it comes out semi-clean and not wet with cake batter.  These are so full of chocolate chips, if you pierce a chocolate chip, try again.

8. If baking my candy cane version: once the cookies begin to flatten and spread out in the oven; around 15 minutes into baking, when there is only about 5 minutes of baking time left.  Open the oven, quickly take the tray out and place a candy cane on each cookie, then pop back in the oven and finish baking. The reason I do this is so the candy cane doesn’t melt too much.  You only want it to soften but not run and lose its shape.

9. Remove from the oven. Leave to cool slightly on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to harden as they cool.

Nigella’s tip: Make the full batch and form all 12 cookies, but bake only half and freeze the other half.  Freeze them on a little tray and, once they’re hard, bung them in a freezer bag, seal it and stash it back in the freeze, to bake them unthawed at a later date.  That way, you have 6 chocolate cookies to bake and eat any time you need a cookie fix!

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