Friday, April 27

Heavenly chocolate chunk cookies on a rainy afternoon

So I'm going to be really British and talk about the recent weather we've been having: rain, and lots of it. It would be easy to moan about the number of times I've cycled home from work in an absolute deluge and come through the front door sopping wet, or about how any outfit I've worn has been hidden under a sexy black shapeless anorak. And I am craving some warm sunny days. But if I'm honest, I haven't totally hated the rain. It's atmospheric. It heralds the odd exciting clap of thunder. It patters down outside and keeps me company when I'm up late reading. I went for a quick run in between showers yesterday and saw that all the trees and plants look transformed by it, looking full, green and summery.

Today brought another rainy afternoon. So I turned it into a positive thing. I stayed in the bright warm kitchen, rain tumbling against the window. A cup of peppermint tea, Ella Fitzgerald playing, and a few hours of blissful baking. Because if you're going to try and enjoy the rain, you might as well do it properly.




First of all I made dark chocolate chunk cookies. They remind me of childhood baking, and I realised that I've never really made them since! Biscuits, yes - gingerbread at Christmas, almond kourabiedes, sesame and tahini biscuits - but not the huge, chewy, crisp cookies you see in cafes and bakeries.
I spent a long time hunting down a recipe and eventually went with one from the Hummingbird Bakery book. I was hesitant, because I've tried their muffin recipe a couple of times and it's never produced an amazing muffin. But I didn't need to worry as these turned out perfectly. Just the right size, good ratio of chocolate to dough, crisp round the edges and chewy inside. Yum indeed.

Ingredients (makes 24)

225g butter/margarine
350g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
400g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
225g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (read: bashed with a rolling pin)

Method

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Cream together the butter and sugar (with a whisk, in a mixer or by hand) until light and really fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Add the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and mix well until a smooth dough is formed.
Stir in the chopped chocolate until evenly dispersed.
Arrange into equal sized balls on your tray and allow plenty of room for spreading (no more than 6 cookies on a tray!).
Bake for about 10 minutes (mine took 15) until golden brown around the edges and quite flat. (At first, they seem to rise and look worryingly like muffins, but be patient and they will flatten. If you take them out and they look sort of runny in the middle, they're not done.)


I also baked oat and raisin cookies...




Oat and raisin cookies can be controversial (there are a lot of raisin haters out there) but I love them for their wholesomeness and the fact they seem slightly healthy! This recipe also came from the Hummingbird Bakery book and was equally successful.

Ingredients (makes 20)

270g butter/margarine
160g caster sugar
160g soft dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
380g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
110g rolled/porridge oats
220g raisins

Method

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Cream together the butter and sugars (with a whisk, in a mixer or by hand) until light and really fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Sift together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a separate bowl, add the oats and mix well. Add to the butter mixture and beat until well mixed.
Stir in the raisins until evenly dispersed.
Arrange into equal sized balls on your tray and allow plenty of room for spreading (no more than 6 cookies on a tray!). Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes (again mine took 15) until golden brown and firm. Be careful as they burn quite easily.



And that is how you turn a rainy afternoon into something nice. Just add baking, tea and good music.

(But fingers crossed for some sun next week.)

7 comments:

  1. These cookies look amazing! Definitely something worth making on a rainy day. V x

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  2. these look amazing. I will be trying the raisin and oat cookies, so I pretend that they are almost healthy. I don't mind the rain too much though it does make me want to hibernate again & eat cookies! xxx

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  3. They look so tasty. Yum yum! I really want to make some now but I think it's a little late!


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  4. wowza! these look incredible! definitely bookmarked this page for a later date when I have time to bake! Not sure how I stumbled across your blog but glad I did, you have the perfect mix of post types in my opinion!

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  5. Oh yummy! I wish I hadn't just made up my mind to cut down on the sweet stuff... Whenever we have cookies I just can't stop eating until the jar is empty! But I will come back for the recipe when I lose the battle again... :D

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