Sunday, 9 May 2010

Nancy's Best Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Inky Kitchen

Cookies are not something I make very often. I think it's a combination of the fact that I always get distracted by cake recipes and that Pete and I will sit and eat a whole big batch in one sitting as they are so moreish. I wish my metabolism would allow me to do this with no ill effects on my already suffering waistline, but it just won't. I get ridiculously jealous of those lucky lucky women who can plough through dozens of cupcakes and cookies and stay thin and gorgeous (cough... Natalie of Bake and Destroy... cough) but for me, those treats go straight to my thighs. But, my green eyed monster being pushed aside, these cookies really are worth an extra half hour on the cross trainer.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Inky Kitchen

The perfect cookie recipe is one of the holy grails of baking and I think this gets pretty close - it has taken long enough to develop! Chopped cold butter? Room temperature butter? Melted butter? A mix of sugars? Which kinds of chocolate? Nuts or no nuts? So many ingredient decisions to make and quantities to change! The cooking time is also a very important part of a perfect cookie. I am definitely a chewy gooey fan, but I do know some crispy cookie lovers so have given cooking times for both styles. I have used walnuts in my recipe also but if you are allergic or just plain hate nuts feel free to leave them out altogether, you could add in another 50g of chocolate if you so desire.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Inky Kitchen

Nancy's Best Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 20 large cookies

125g slightly salted butter, melted
100g caster sugar
200g dark muscovado sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
200g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
100g walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170 C / 338 F and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Beat together the melted butter, caster and muscovado sugars until no lumps remain, then add the eggs and vanilla essence and mix until light and creamy - around 2-3 minutes.

Mix in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt until just blended and then stir in the chocolate and walnut chunky by hand with a wooden spoon - the mixture is very thick and chunky now and therefore it may damage your hand beaters or stand mixer.

Drop very heaped tablespoons of the cookie dough onto the baking sheets leaving around 8cm between them (I baked four cookies on each tray at a time).

Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 13 minutes for chewy cookies or 16 to 17 minutes for crisp cookies. Remove and let cool for a few minutes on the baking tray before removing to a cooling rack and baking the next batch. Try one warm out of he oven - so so good!

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Inky Kitchen

I like to chop the dark chocolate quite finely and the milk chocolate into pretty big chunks, that way the dark chocolate is distributed better through the dough so the cocoa flavour is always present, and then you'll hit a big milk chocolate chunk deposit every now and again which is always nice!

Try and use the best chocolate you can get, after all, it is the star of the recipe.

The dark muscovado gives a real caramelly taste to the cookies which the walnuts accent really well, but as I said before, the nuts are optional but highly recommended!

And look how pretty they are wrapped up as a present - who wouldn't be thrilled to be given this as a gift...?

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Inky Kitchen

And a side note...
Today I was drinking some cream soda and decided I needed some ice cubes so I grabbed some from the freezer. It was only after throwing them in that I realised I had grabbed the white wine cubes that I always keep in the freezer in case I need a little wine for a recipe and don't feel like drinking the rest of the bottle. As it turns out, cream soda and white wine go together really well! I think it's my new summer drink of choice. Second to Pimms of course...

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Inky Kitchen

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