Chocolate chip cookies

I have been known on occasion to bake something just because I want something sweet to have with a cup of tea, or to distract myself from something boring like cleaning the flat.  Usually by the time I’ve made whatever it is, it’s long past tea-and-cake time and closer to dinner, and it becomes pudding instead.

These cookies were to have with tea, and because I was in a bit of a grump.  No reason, just stir-crazy I think.  A little walk and a batch of cookies later and I feel much better.

These cookies are mega easy to make, and are going to be my debut inclusion of another person’s recipe.  Since I started this blog, I’ve felt quite strongly that it’s not fair to cookbook writers to reproduce their recipes (as well as being in contravention of most books’ copyright statements) and as an avid cookbook cook, I felt that I was respecting their intellectual property rights correctly, even if it was frustrating to read. Then I read an interesting post on recipe attribution and my stance has softened.  I do like reading recipes on other blogs, so in the spirit of sharing and hopefully encouraging you to try the recipes I like, I’ll start to include them – attributed to their sources, and make it clear where I’ve edited or strayed from them – from now on.  The method will be what I did.   That is, laziness allowing. I’m no touch typist.  If you like the recipe, check out my book review and maybe buy yourself a copy.  That’ll make me feel better.

So, here goes….

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Original recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf & the Hummingbird Bakers

This is a half-quantity for about 12 cookies.  24 cookies is far too much for two people to eat.  Even greedy ones.

Heat the oven to 170c

110g butter, softened if you remember
175g soft brown sugar
1 egg
0.25 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g plain flour: I used half wholemeal, half white
0.25 teaspoon salt
1.25 teaspoon bicarb of soda
100g chocolate, chopped into chunks or chocolate chips (I try to keep a double pack of Waitrose’s 200g bars of regular dark chocolate in the cupboard for baking.  It’s way cheaper than Green and Blacks and at 72% very tasty in brownies etc).

If you don’t keep butter out of the fridge (I don’t. Who does?) and are making these on a whim so haven’t thought to take it out of the fridge in advance, either soft the butter under a watchful eye in the microwave, or if you have a stand mixer, put the butter in the bowl and put the bowl in the warming oven.  I stuck the sugar in too having read ages ago hot sugar whips up with butter to a greater volume, therefore greater lightness.  No idea if it’s true as I’ve never put it to a proper scientific test.

When the butter is showing signs of melting, get the bowl back on the mixer and whip it up into pale fluffiness.  Add the egg and vanilla, and mix again.  If it splits, never fear. Add a bit of flour, or just ignore the splitness.  It’ll all come good in the end.

Sift in the flour, bicarb and salt.  Tip in the brown bits if you’ve used the wholemeal flour or else they won’t be as good for you as you’ve convinced yourself they will be. Mix again.  Add the chopped chocolate and mix through.

Line two big baking sheets with bake-o-glide or your preferred non-stick paper and blob on walnut-sized chunks of dough.  One day I’ll chill cookie dough and slice it up as I imagine American Moms do, but today was not that day.

Bake for 10 minutes and check them.  If they are still a bit pale, give them a couple of minutes more.  Use a timer for this – overcooked cookies are almost as much of a baking faux pas as overcooked brownies.

Leave them to cook in the trays but on a cooling rack for a few minutes while they firm up.  Don’t fret if they’ve merged into a string of cookies, they’ll break apart easily when cooled a bit.

These will stay quite chewy and soft, which I how I like my cookies.

Enjoy with a cup of tea and try not to eat them all before your boyfriend comes home,  or if you can’t resist, make sure you wipe your face and do the washing up.  And for goodness sake, don’t then blog about it….

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