Sunday, 16 June 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Warning – these have been called the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Ok, so that came mainly from people who are related to me but the comment still stands; you may not be able to stop at just one. Don't say I didn't warn you. This recipe makes a pretty good imitation of Millie’s Cookies – they are very sweet, but you can use dark chocolate instead of milk if you prefer, to bring down some of the sweetness. Alternatively, you can switch some (or all) of the chocolate for an equal weight of dried fruits and nuts… cranberries and walnuts go particularly well together.

Makes enough for 12 large cookies (roughly)

Gather your equipment
Essential equipment:  baking tray (lined with foil/baking paper), chopping board, mixing spoon, weighing scales, sharp knife, fork, teaspoons, mixing bowl
Optional equipment: electric whisk, ice cream scoop, measuring spoons
  • Use an ice cream scoop to measure out the dough if you want really uniform-sized cookies

Gather your ingredients
For this recipe you'll need: 100g brown/caster sugar, 100g butter/margarine, 150g self-raising flour, 85g chocolate, 1tbsp golden syrup, ½ tsp vanilla essence
Optional: Replace the 85g chocolate with an equal weight of something different, or add 1 or 2 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • If you're using butter, leave it at room temperature to soften for a few hours

Prepare to bake
Preheat your oven to 180°C, weigh out your ingredients, and cut the chocolate into chunks – the easiest way to do this is to perform a ‘stabbing’ motion with the point of a sharp knife.

Beat together butter and sugar
Using a fork, or an electric whisk if you have one, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. ‘Smoosh’ the lumps of butter/sugar against the side of the bowl to make this easier.

Add vanilla essence and golden syrup
Add the vanilla essence and golden syrup and mix again. If you don’t have measuring spoons, you can just guess the rough amount – above you can see what 1tbsp of golden syrup and ½ tsp of vanilla essence roughly look like.

Add half the flour
Add roughly half of the flour and mix well using a wooden spoon (or just use the same fork as before)

Add rest of flour and chocolate
First mix the chocolate chunks with the rest of the flour, just to coat them – this makes them easier to incorporate. Add to the bowl and mix well. At this stage if you proclaim this the best cookie dough you've ever tasted, whisk the bowl away to the sofa and spend the entire evening watching film marathons I wouldn’t blame you. (It’s ok because it doesn’t have egg in it, right… right?!)

Shape the cookies
If you manage not to eat all the raw cookie dough, shape the cookies now. You can do this however you like – using tea spoons, an ice cream scoop, or your hands, but here are some rough guidelines:
  - squash down each cookie in the middle slightly
  - leave a fair amount of space between each cookie
  - try not to leave the chocolate chips facing upwards (see above – and the reason for this will become clear in the next step)
Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile give your mixing spoon a wash. After the 10 minutes are up, take the cookies out of the oven. They will have risen a little and spread out a lot. Use the back of the baking spoon to squash each cookie down again (if you have lots of chips facing upwards this step can get pretty messy with all the melted chocolate). Put back in the oven for 2 more minutes, then remove and squash again. Leave to rest for 5 minutes on the tray, before transferring to a wire rack to cool (if you have one – the wire rack is not essential)

The cookies above were rolled by hand - this gives them really smooth edges. Below you can see what they'll look like if shaped by teaspoons - a little messier but still delicious. The 'squashing' step after baking is essential - it condenses the chocolate chunks into an ooey-gooey mess and makes the cookies more compact.

Recipe: - enough for 12 cookies (roughly)
100g softened butter/margarine
100g brown/caster sugar
1tbsp golden syrup
½ tsp vanilla essence
150g self-raising flour
85g chocolate chunks

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy
  3. Stir in the golden syrup and vanilla essence
  4. Stir in half the flour, then add the remaining flour and chocolate chunks at the same time
  5. Form the cookies and space them well apart on a baking tray
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and ‘squash’ with a spoon, then bake for 2 further minutes
  7. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack

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