Thursday, 9 May 2013

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I've cooked a fair few things in my time. Ask me for a good burger recipe, or how to make a great steak pie and I've got you covered. I can whip up a pretty mean souffle and my banoffee pie has won awards*. But last week, when a colleague asked me for some cookie advice I realised that I was at a loose end. Sure I'd made cookies before, but never really from scratch. And when I say 'made' I sorta mean 'ate store-bought dough by the tubeful'. Ahhh good times. Anyway, I can't take any credit for this recipe, it comes from one of my favourite food bloggers - Joy the Baker. They were just so darn good I had to share them with you. (*Winner, Best Banoffee Pie, Fatboy's Kitchen Awards 2012).
The secret of this recipe has got to be in the browned butter, which gives the cookies a brilliant nutty taste. I can't wait to take some of her techniques and play around with them myself. There will certainly be more cookies in the future. Good news for everyone. Start off by melting 150g of unsalted butter over a medium heat. Keep an eye on it as the water starts to cook out - it will crack and spit a little bit so watch yo'self. Pretty soon after the fat solids will start to brown, smelling rich and delicious - remove from the heat and stick in a bowl to cool.
In another bowl, cream 150g of unsalted butter with a cup of granulated sugar until you've got a nice and fluffy mixture. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of black treacle, the cooled brown butter and 1/2 cup of brown sugar and cream for a couple more minutes. Add one egg and one egg yolk and beat for another minute. As I'm ripping off her recipe I should probably take the opportunity to plug Joy the Baker's Cookbook which - as a man who enjoys man things - I'm a little bit embarrassed to admit is freaking awesome.
In a large bowl mix together 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking powder. Tip the lot into the butter mixture and beat it all together on a low speed, just until the flour is incorporated. No more, no less. Next is when you fold in your chocolate. If you want to know how much to use I'd say take as much as you think is necessary, then double it. I took two bars of dark chocolate, smashed them up with a rolling pin and went with that. Worked a trick.
Cover the bowl with cling film and bang it in the fridge for half an hour or so whilst the oven pre-heats to 190C and you line some baking sheets with parchment. This is the time when 2008 Fatboy would have run off into the sunset with a big bowl of cookie dough. Good thing 2013 Fatboy knows better. Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and space about two inches apart on the baking sheet then bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned. Keep an eye on them because, as my beautiful and not-mentioned-enough-on-this-blog-fiancee says 'they're done before you think they're done.' Remove from the oven and stick on a wire rack to cool. Or eat straight away. Your call.

250g unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon black treacle
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
300g chocolate pieces

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