Monday, 8 March 2010

Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Chunk Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies.
Is there a person alive that doesn't love those three words? Nothing goes better with a cold glass of milk or is more welcome in a lunch box, nor is any factory-made version ever better than those whipped up in a few minutes in your own kitchen.
So when last night Drew said "Didn't you say something about making cookies?" (yeah I did, last week.) I rolled into action. It's important to note that Drew's sudden requests for baked treats almost always co-inside with Christian's bed time. That way there's no competition for spoon or bowl licking and no race for fresh-out-of-the-oven tastiness. He's also not above swearing me to secrecy about the very existence of said tasty treats.
The ingredients and method for this recipe are basic and produce a slightly chewy cookie with a crispy edge. I use a chocolate bar with hazelnuts to make these, but you can absolutely omit the nuts or use almonds instead. I sometimes make them with a couple of teaspoons of grated orange peel, which makes a cookie lovelier than just about any you can eat.

Chocolate Hazelnut Chunk Cookies
Makes 2 dozen 7cm/3" cookies

200g good quality dark chocolate bar with whole hazelnuts (or other nut)
250g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
150g light soft brown sugar
2 free range eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt

Heat oven to 190C/375F
Line two baking sheets with parchment or baking paper, then chop the chocolate into small pieces with a sharp knife and set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, then put the sugars into a large mixing bowl and pour the butter over. Beat the butter into the sugar for a few minutes, until the oil is no longer separated and you have the texture of a thick caramel. Add the vanilla extract and eggs and beat well to combine. Sift in the baking powder and flour and add the salt to the mixture and stir well to combine evenly. Finally stir the pieces of chocolate bar in well, then use a soup or desert spoon to put even-sized dollops of dough 5cm/2" apart on the baking paper.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until just turning brown, then remove from the oven to cool for a couple of minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely (assuming your husband doesn't intercept them on the way)
If you have more dough, either give it to a greedy other-half while he waits for the others to bake OR bake them right away in a second batch (don't wait too long)

Hide in a Tupperware on top of the fridge.
Chocolate Chip Cookies on FoodistaChocolate Chip Cookies

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