The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

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You would think a plain cookie with  chocolate chips folded into the mixture would be a simple matter. It’s not. They’re never challenging to make, just difficult to get right. A cookie that’s too crunchy feels dry and disappointing and a cookie that’s too chewy tastes like dough. The challenge is to find that perfect balance of a cookie that’s crisp on the outside with a fudgey chewiness to the center. After many, many recipes tried and tested, I’ve settled on the following recipe which has achieved the above goal spectacularly.

Ingredients:

  • 150g soft unsalted butter
  • 125g soft light brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, fridge cold
  • 1 egg yolk, fridge cold
  • 300g flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 x 326g packet of milk chocolate chips

(makes approx 14)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C.  Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  2. Melt the butter and let it cool a bit. Put the brown and white sugar into a bowl, pour the slightly cool, melted butter over it and mix together.
  3. Beat in the vanilla, cold egg and cold egg yolk until your mixture is light and creamy.
  4. Slowly mix in the flour and bicarb until just blended, then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop the cookie dough into a quarter cup measure or 60 ml round ice-cream scoop and drop on to the prepared baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 8 cm apart.
  6. Bake for 15-17 minutes in the preheated oven or until the edges are slightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for five minutes before transferring to wire racks.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Loaf

.albumtemp  This simple recipe is a favourite of mine, especially during the Summer months. The natural yogurt helps makes the loaf moist and rich, whilst the lemon makes it refreshing enough to indulge in on a hot, sunny day.

For the Sponge:

  • 190g (7oz) butter, softened,plus extra for greasing
  • 190g (7oz) plain flour,
  • plus extra for dusting
  • 190g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 25ml (1fl oz) whole milk
  • 80g natural yogurt

For the Soaking syrup:

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 50g (1 3/4 oz) caster sugar

Method:

  1. preheat the oven to 170C (325F), then grease the loaf tin eith butter and dust with flour.
  2. Cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition.
  3. In a seperate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then mix in the the poppy seeds and lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar in three stages and on a low speed, mixing well between each addition and adding the milk after the second batch of dry ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and keep mixing until the batter is smooth and even, then mix in the natural yogurt.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. While the cake is baking, put the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan with 100ml of water and bring to the boil, allowing the syrup to reduce by about half.
  6. When the cake is cooked, pour the syrup over it while its still hot, allowing it to soak into the sponge. (Alternatively: mix the sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl  and pour over the sponge while its still hot making a classic lemon drizzle with a sugar coated layer on top of the cake).
  7. Leave the loaf to cool a little before turning it out of the tin on to a wire rack to cool down fully before serving.

Hobnob Recipe (oat cookies )

Chocolate hobnobs have been a favourite of mine for a long time now. Something about them being oaty always made me feel like I was choosing the healthier option over a digestive (disclaimer- I wasn’t). However, they were still definitely worth it!

So with them being a firm favourite I decided to try and make my own. I was so pleased with the results I felt I had no choice but to share the recipe with you!

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CHOCOLATE HOBNOBS (OAT COOKIES)
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Ingredients
125g unsalted butter
80g brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
100g quick oats
100g wholemeal flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ – 1 tsp sea salt, to taste
100g chocolate
10g butter
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a few trays with baking paper.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until pale and smooth.
3. Add the golden syrup and beat until it’s incorporated.
On a low speed, mix in the oats, flour, soda, baking powder and salt.
4. Roll small tablespoons of dough into balls and flatten on the tray, until they are about 2 inches in diameter. Leave room between the cookies for spreading.
5. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool on trays.
6. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
7. Spoon a teaspoon of chocolate onto the underside of each cookie and spread out evenly. Allow to set before enjoying/dunking into tea. Makes 20 hobnobs

 

Eggs in Clouds

This simple recipe is a great way to change up how you have your eggs in the morning. They’re as delicious to eat as they are appealing to look at, with whole creamy yolks and a cloud of egg whites baked to perfection. Switch up the recipe and add even more flavour by including some of your favourite ingredients to the beaten egg whites before baking. Cooked bacon or sausage pieces,cheese and fresh herbs all work eggcellently.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • (Optional) extras of your choice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Separate the eggs, being careful to keep the egg yolks whole. Put the egg whites in a clean bowl and beat with a stand mixer or handheld mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form that hold their shape when the beater is lifted. At this point you can add any additional ingredients you wish to include.
  3. Scoop the egg white mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in 2 mounds. Using the back of a spoon, create a small well in the center of each mound. Carefully place an egg yolk in each well.
  4. For creamy yolks, bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until the yolks have set and the whites are light golden brown. For runny yolks, remove from the oven after 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
  6. Enjoy!