In case you couldn’t tell from my growing list of recipes, I love to experiment in the kitchen; baking, cooking, making cupcakes to order, dishing out homemade Christmas gifts, I’m all for trying new things – but I think it’s pretty important to have the basics down, too. Few things are as soothing as a fresh chocolate chip cookie, straight from the oven, warm and just-soft-enough in the middle. They’re the first thing I think of when my friends are looking for a bit of comfort food and sympathy, and with this recipe, you can make yourself a huge batch, and keep a few in your freezer, ready to be baked (or microwaved!), for any little ‘comfort emergencies’ (break-ups, bust-ups and over-emotional stess-isodes) that might spring up.
Any recipe that starts with taking a bar (or two!) of chocolate and breaking it into pretty huge chunks with a knife (carefully, though!) is going to be a good one. And the creaming of butter and sugar together doesn’t exactly make it unappealing, either.
Cookie dough is pretty much one of my favourite things in the world; in fact, if you leave out the egg in this recipe, you can quite easily just munch on this with a few girlfriends, whenever you need one of those ‘lets just pretend calories don’t exist’ evenings.
If you’re not feeling quite that trashy (not that I’m knocking it, trashy’s fun, every once in a while), you simply have to scoop the dough onto a lined baking sheet, and then either whip up a batch by throwing them in the oven for 10 minutes, or place them, still on the baking tray, into the freezer for about an hour – just until they’re frozen enough that you can remove them all from the baking tray and transfer them to a food bag without them sticking together – then, next time you get a craving, you can bake fresh cookies, one at a time – perfect for if you just want a quick sweet treat, without having to make the whole batch!
The dough will keep in the freezer for about three weeks, and can be microwaved for about 2 minutes.
Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Makes 24 small cookies.
- 225g unsalted butter
- 350g light brown sugar
- 400g flour (all-purpose)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 225g dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 170° (gas mark 3); chop the chocolate bar into large chunks, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Combine the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl, mixing thoroughly so everything’s evenly distributed.
- Separately, cream together the butter and sugar, being careful not to overmix (this will make your cookies spread & go flat) – about 2 minutes by hand should do it; add the eggs to this mixture, one at a time, and the vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, stirring until it’s just combined. Then add the chopped chocolate, mixing just enough that the chunks are evenly distributed through the mix.
- Use an ice cream scoop to get consistently even cookies, scooping 6 cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet at a time; cook the cookies in batches, placing each newly filled tray into the middle of the oven for 10 minutes.
- If freezing the cookies, place the filled baking sheet into the freezer, and allow to set for about an hour; then remove the dough balls from the sheet and place into a food bag, back in the freezer, for up to 3 weeks.
When was your last ’emergency comfort food’ situation?