Cooking and baking are totally different skills. I find it really difficult to stick to recipes when I’m cooking, always wanting to add things or change the methods, and I don’t care. As long as you keep tasting as you go it almost doesn’t matter what you do because you can usually save it. Baking I find trickier because all you’ve got is the batter plus extras, and while I love batter you still can’t count on it giving you the end result you want. If you’re adding fruit, is it going to dissolve into a mush in the oven? (And if it does, is there any way of renaming whatever comes out that will make it sound deliberate?) Did I add too much butter? What is another egg really going to do? Which brings me to these cookies, which are the first non-recipe-using baked goods that I am sharing on this blog, and I know it’s wrong to brag but I think they’re great! Crunchy outside, chewy inside, very chocolatey (despite humble cocoa powder beginnings), sweet but not too sweet, with great big chunks of white chocolate with every bite. Yum.
125g self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder (I use Green & Black’s, which is wonderful)
100g caster sugar
50g dark brown sugar
150g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
80g white chocolate, roughly chopped, or chocolate chips
Makes about 20 medium-sized cookies
Takes 5-10 minutes to put together, 12-14 minutes to bake
Stage one: Preheat the oven to 190C/fan170C.
Stage two: Cream the butter with the sugars, then add the egg and vanilla extract. Next, add the cocoa powder and beat until the mixture is evenly a dark brown. Mix in the self-raising flour until you can’t see any white bits, and finally add the white chocolate. You will now have a firm batter. As usual, I rejected spooning out the mixture in favour of getting my hands stuck in it. Anyway, put the cookies on a baking tray in balls about a heaped tablespoon in size.
Stage three: Bake for 12-14 minutes. They won’t immediately feel firm to the touch when you take them out of the oven, but if you leave them on the baking tray 5 minutes before sliding them off to cool then they’ll set. I love the contrasting colours of the dark cookie and white chocolate when you bite in.