Monday, April 04, 2011

the unconventional cookie

Yesterday morning while browsing recipe books for breakfast ideas, I came across a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I haven't yet tried. The description of a chewy texture with an almost nutty flavour had my attention right away. I knew that it needed to be a cookie making day. But with little time before church, I had to put my cookie baking desires to one side for a few hours

By the time the afternoon came, it was feeling most definitely like cookie time. So out came the recipe, my retro kenwood chef and all of the essential ingredients, and in no time at all, the cookies were in the oven.

While I don't tend to use much salt in cooking & baking, this recipe called for half a teaspoon of sea salt. I've read many times how a little salt can bring out a lot of flavour in cookies, and I wanted to find out for myself, so I threw the salt in quickly, not stopping to consider how bad it might be for me...

I could hardly wait for the 12 minutes to pass while the cookies baked away in the oven. They smelt delicious, the dough tasted delicious (I'm not normally one for licking the bowl, but I was eager to get a pre-taste of these babies), and the consistency of the dough had been just right. Not too sticky, not too dry. Perfect. So, it was with great dismay when I opened the oven and saw that the cookies had completely merged with one another, despite having taken the precautions of spacing them well. What was even worse was that the second tray of cookies on the lower shelf had slumped to one side of the tray. That's what happens when you have a funky oven where the rack isn't a proper rack and has to balance on top of a baking tray. Some would say that a bad workman blames his tools, but really, there's not a lot I can do about our oven.

Now, I don't know about you, but when cookies don't turn out right, and you can't get them off the tray properly, it feels like the cookies are giving you permission to eat them there and then. No need to let them cool, because they'll fall apart on their journey from the baking tray to the cooling rack! Even though they didn't turn out looking like perfectly crafted cookies, they were definitely yummy. And that pinch of salt? Definitely worth it. 

I present you with...cookies in a cup...

If you'd like to try baking these and see if you have any success, here's the recipe. I'd love to hear from you if you do try them - maybe you can teach me a thing or two?

Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Bill Granger's recipe)
55g light brown muscovado sugar
65g dark brown soft sugar
55g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
150g plain flour
100g dark or milk chocolate, chopped
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

1) Pre-heat oven to 180C / Gas mark 4. Lightly grease 2 baking trays
2) Beat together the butter & sugars until smooth & fluffy
3) Beat in the egg & vanilla extract
4) Sieve in the flour. Add salt & baking powder. Stir gently to combine.
5) Stir in the chocolate chunks
6) Spoon heaped teaspoons of dough onto the baking trays, making sure there is plenty of space between each cookie
7) Bake in the preheated oven for 12 - 15mins until pale golden

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