The weekend before last, while Pete went to the Reading Beer Festival with friends, my sister and I had lunner (lunch-dinner) in China Town before sitting open-jawed infront of the spectacle of Oliver, on stage.
The next day my sister and I made chocolate chip cookies for her boyfriend. My sister was particularly keen to find a recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies, crisp on the outside, soft and chewy inside. I found several recipes on the web, my sister picked one that seemed to match what she wanted, we stopped off at a supermarket for ingredients (as well as a lovely garden picnic lunch) and we set to work!
The recipe was pretty straightforward, though we mis-interpreted the instructions on size and ended up with only 5 enormous cookies that ran into each other on the baking tray! But the cookies came out wonderfully! They tasted so good that my sister dubbed them The Cookies Of Dreams. Having put aside the finest and roundest 3 cookies for the boyfriend, Pete was allowed to help us eat the other two when he arrived to collect me and join us for lunch. He agreed that we’d made some pretty fine cookies.
Unfortunately, my mobile phone photos are so poor I felt I simply had to make The Cookies Of Dreams again, just to blog them for you, dear readers. (I’ve always wanted to do that twee “dear readers” thing!) so I made them again this weekend. They came out just as delicious as the first batch, but a more manageable size. Which is fortunate as I’ve also promised some to a work friend for her upcoming birthday, and needed to check I had the recipe down first!
Our recipe is essentially little changed from allrecipes.com’s Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with the exception of switching the butter and reducing the volume of chocolate chips. The 200 grams we used (both the first time, with my sister, and this time, at home) was more than enough to stud the cookies generously with chocolatey goodness.
The Cookies Of Dreams
This recipe makes 10 to 20 cookies depending on size.
250 grams plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
170 grams butter ^
200 grams dark brown soft sugar
100 grams caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract ~
1 egg +
1 egg yolk
200 grams chocolate chips *
^ The original recipe calls for unsalted butter and then adds 1/2 teaspoon salt. I used salted butter and omitted the salt.
~ Do use extract rather than essence. The strong vanilla flavour is crucial to these cookies.
+ I used large eggs, as that’s what we buy normally.
* Both my sister and I used a mix of large, square white chocolate and milk chocolate chips from Waitrose’s Ingredients for Cooks range
- Preheat the oven to 170 C.
- Grease baking trays, line with parchment or use a silicon baking sheet.
- Sift together the flour and bicarbonate of soda and set aside.
- Melt the butter (I find a few short bursts in the microwave perfect for this).
- In a large bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and caster sugar.
- Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until pale and creamy.
- Mix in the sifted ingredients to create a sticky cookie dough.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- The original recipe suggests dropping cookie dough onto the baking trays. I found it easier to roll small balls in my hand, place them on the tray and flatten slightly. The dough will spread in the oven into properly flat cookies so leave plenty of space between each one.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking trays for a several minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Note: The cookie dough can be frozen to be baked another day. Form the dough into individual portion balls and freeze in a sealed plastic container. This way, you can defrost and bake any number you choose. The dough only takes 3-4 hours to defrost and you can then place balls onto a tray, flatten slightly and bake as normal.