Thursday, 13 February 2014

Stolen Chocolate Cookies

These cookies should come with a health warning. Not so much because of the chocolate they contain - although there is an excellent chocolate-to-crumb ratio - but because they can be ready in less than half an hour. That is less than half an hour between deciding you want a chocolate cookie and having a dozen eleven cooling on a rack and one in your mouth.

The recipe is courtesy of Luisa from The Wednesday Chef: Sherry Yard's Quintessentially Chocolate Cookies. They caught my eye when first posted but I, ahem, came across some chocolate recently which made my baking of them a fait accompli.

You see, the thing is, we went to this jazz concert, right? And in the bar they had buckets of samples of the new New Tree chocolate flavour. Ginger. A lovely dark chocolate which dominates up front, followed by the subtle heat of ginger, which lingers a little bit longer than one might expect, which may be intentional as it makes you want to take another bite of the chocolate to balance it out, which leads to the ginger taste again, which leads to... There were lots of samples and nobody seemed to be interested in them, so I liberated some. And when I got back, I thought that I might have enough to make something, rather than just eat them all. Lo and behold, I had exactly four ounces. Enough to make a dozen!

The brown sugar really adds something here, giving a gorgeous carmelly flavour to the crumb. I think Sherry Yard has created my new favourite chocolate cake, and with a recipe this simple and this quick, I know I will be making them time and again. It isn't necessary for you to use ginger chocolate or stolen chocolate at all, but a good dark chocolate will reward you - the chunks are meant to be large, you will get a bite full of chocolate more often than a bite full of cookie, so use something you'd like to eat au naturale. I've made the recipe several times now, after the initial STOLEN version, and I find that I like the larger cookie (i.e. making a dozen from the below quantities) as you get a lovely crispy edge, plenty of chocolate, and soft cookie in the middle. The smaller cookies are probably better for the waistline, but they are biscuits not cookies, if you see what I mean, crisp and crumbly all the way through.

Chocolate Cookies

Recipe adapted from Sherry Yard, via Luisa Weiss. Makes one dozen large cookies or two dozen little ones.

- 6.5 oz self-raising flour
- 2 oz butter
- 2 oz light brown muscavado sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 4 oz good dark chocolate, cut into large chunks (i.e. not chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and then the flour.

3. Turn off the electric mixer, and stir the chocolate pieces into the batter.

4. Spoon heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking parchment, not too close together.

5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

6. Slide the parchment off the baking tray and onto a cooling rack. Leave to cool for 5 minutes or so before removing them from the parchment, so that they can firm up. If you try to peel them off the paper as soon as they come out of the oven they are liable to break.

Stored in an airtight container, they will apparently last for a few days, but thus far we haven't managed to keep any past the second day. They go down very well with a nice cup of tea (if you're English) or coffee (if you're Dutch).

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