Cookies and Biscuits are one of the nation’s favourite snacks. I always have a biscuit in my hand, or at the very least next to me, in my handbag, on my desk. I LOVE biscuits. You don’t need a reason to enjoy one. Feeling sad? Have a biscuit. Feeling happy? Have a biscuit. Bored? Have a biscuit. As I’m writing this I have a cookie and cup of tea to hand.
I don’t make biscuits as much as I would like too, sometimes it’s just more convenient to buy a packet. Every so often though, I do like to indulge with a home-made cookie. There is something about a soft, warm cookie straight from the oven. They are so simple to make and so much better than shop bought. Keep this in an airtight container and they will stay soft for 3 – 4 days. They are perfect for if you have company coming around. You can make these the day before.
Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for this recipe, it’s a Nigella Lawson recipe, but hey, why fix something if it’s not broken. If I’m feeling adventurous I’ll throw in some Hazelnuts or Pecans to give it a nutty crunch. This recipe makes 12 but if you don’t want to bake all 12, you can form all 12 balls and then freeze half on a tray and once they have firmed up you can pop them in a freezer bag and bake as and when you want!
Step One| Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/gas mark 3/325ºF. Melt the 125g / 4oz dark chocolate either in the microwave or in a heatproof dish over a pan of simmering water.
Step Two| Put the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
Step Three| Cream the butter and sugars in another bowl. (I use my freestanding mixer, itself an odd source of comfort to me.) Add the melted chocolate and mix together. Beat in the vanilla extract and cold egg, and then mix in the dry ingredients. Finally stir in the chocolate morsels or chips.
Step Four| Scoop out 12 equal-sized mounds - an ice cream scoop and a palette knife are the best tools for the job - and place on a lined baking sheet about 6cm apart. Do not flatten them.
Step Five| Cook for 12 minutes. The cookies will still be slightly soft but will firm up when cooled.
Step Six| Leave to cool slightly on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to harden as they cool.