Back in my favourite place.
Well hello everyone! I’m back on my blogging after a break. I’ve been teaching full time and there’s been no time at all to get jobs done at home, let alone having time to bake. I really missed baking though, as that’s definitely my chill out and relax go-to activity. I broke up for the summer holidays yesterday and that means more time to bake. Yayyy! Though my waistline won’t thank me for it!
On Sunday afternoon, though I had time to bake for the first time in a month at least. I baked cookies as an end of term treat for the class I’ve been teaching for the past few weeks. We had watched a DVD and half way through before playtime.we had a cookie break. I baked three types of cookies so they had a choice. The leftovers went into the staff room.
I’m sharing my fool-proof recipes for my cookies here. They’re the recipes I always swear by and I always get compliments about them.
Chocolate Chip or White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies
100g softened, unsalted butter
100g each of caster sugar and soft, light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g dark or milk chocolate chips (whatever you prefer)
For the Cranberry and White chocolate cookies, add 100g of chopped white chocolate and 50g of dried cranberries into the mix instead of the dark chocolate chips.
Preheat the oven to 180oC/ 350oF or Gas Mark 4. Line 3 baking trays with non- stick baking parchment.
In a large bowl, weigh out the butter in small cubes. To this, weigh out both sugars, the baking powder and the plain flour. Rub the mixture together until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Break the large egg into a cup and beat it. Add the beaten egg and the vanilla extract to the cookie dough and bring it all together with a blunt knife. When the dough is nearly together, throw in the chocolate chips and cranberries, if using them.
If you wish, you can chill the dough in the fridge for about half an hour before baking the cookies. I didn’t have time for this, though.
If you have one, use a cookie dough scoop to place the mixture on to the baking trays so that they are spaced evenly. These cookies grow enormously, so I tend to only have 6 cookies on a tray. I usually get about 18 cookies out of a batch. My cookie scoop broke so I use a tablespoon now to get evenly sized cookies.
Put the cookies into the oven. Depending on the size of your oven you might need to bake them in two goes. (I do, I would love to have a massive oven where I could bake hundreds at a time!)
Bake for about 12-15 minutes. About half way through cooking, take the cookie tray out of the oven and give it a sharp bang on the top of the cooker. This flattens the cookies out. A wonderful tip picked up from Great British Bake Off 2011 winner, Jo Wheatley. Then return the cookies to the oven for the final 7-8 minutes. The cookies should still be slightly soft and chewy. Don’t be tempted to move them straight off the baking tray as they’ll fall apart. Give them 5 minutes or so and then move them onto a wire rack to cool.
Chocolate M&M Cookies
The recipe above can also be adapted to use Smarties or M&Ms in. I love M&Ms, especially the mint and the peanut butter ones. The link to the mint recipe can be found here: Mint M&M Cookies
I chose to bake a plain version using an adaptation of the recipe above. To bake them, this is what you need to do:
Instead of 175g plain flour, use 150g plain flour and 25g cocoa powder.
Substitute the chocolate chips and cranberries, etc. for a large “sharing” resealable type bag of M&Ms. By the way, these bags make me laugh, Chocolate manufacturers know us only too well, once you open the damn things, that’s it!
I put half the quantity of M&Ms in the actual dough. Then halfway through baking when I tap the cookie tray on the top of the cooker, I stud about 3 or 4 extra M&Ms on the top of the cookie before returning them to the oven for the rest of the baking time. This makes sure the M&Ms don’t burn or split open and also ensures you get a good selection of colours on one cookie.
Baking chocolate chip, white chocolate and cranberry and M&M Cookies.
Hoping to share some more favourite cookie recipes with you over the summer.
Love Sam xx