This is my favourite cookie recipe: plenty of chocolate held together by dough that is in itself richly flavoured, with crisp edges and soft fudge-like middles.
For years, my attempts at cookies would collapse into a sad, burnt, tray-shaped mass upon baking which bore no resemblance to anything edible, let alone the cute but often sickly sweet biscuits featured on supermarket shelves. I now know the secrets of making a satisfying cookie: beat the butter and sugar very well, use lots of chocolate, and chill the dough for at least an hour (preferably overnight). Achievement unlocked!
The only changes I’ve made to the recipe is to make half a batch and to increase the salt slightly to balance the flavour. You are welcome to make the original amount; this dough keeps in the fridge for a week and can be frozen for a month, which may or may not be a good thing for you depending on your self control.
Use chocolate you enjoy eating, whether it’s fancy chocolate, chocolate chips, or a mix. I wouldn’t use anything too sweet, though. I didn’t have any nuts to hand, as per the original recipe, but I think they’d add a lot of flavour and texture. I also think that adding some warm, sweet spices would be delicious; maybe you can experiment and tell me about it…
- . 175g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
- . ½ teaspoon baking powder
- . ¼ teaspoon salt
- . 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
- . 100g light brown sugar
- . 75g white caster or granulated sugar
- . ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- . 1 large egg
- . 200g plain or dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- In a medium bowl, mix the plain flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
- Beat together the unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white sugar in a large bowl until both the texture and colour are light - almost mousse-like. This will take a good couple of minutes by hand.
- Add the vanilla extract and egg, combining well.
- Pour in the flour mixture at once, mixing carefully and thoroughly until you have a smooth, thick dough.
- Mix in the chocolate chips, distributing them as evenly as possible throughout the dough.
- Lightly flour your work surface - a clean chopping board will do.
- Divide the cookie dough in half.
- With lightly floured hands, gently roll and pat each portion of dough into a 9 inch (23 cm) log.
- Wrap each log in some cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably over night. Keep them away from anything strong smelling!
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180 ºC.
- Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. I use ones that are about 15 inches (38 cm) long; you can also use several smaller ones.
- Place a cold log of cookie dough onto a clean work surface and cut it into ¾ inch (2 cm) thick slices.
- Position each slice onto the lined baking tray 2 – 3 inches apart (5 – 8 cm) to give the cookies room to spread. If any cookie dough or chocolate crumble off, press or pile them back into shape.
- Bake the cookies for no more than 10 minutes, turning the trays about half-way through so they cook evenly. I went for about 9 minutes as I like them especially soft in the middle.
- When the cookies are ready, they should have spread, risen, be crisp-looking at the edges and just set in the centres. They will still be quite soft, however.
- Let the cookies cool and firm up on the tray for about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Eat warm or at room temperature.
- Store in an airtight box or tin for a couple of days.