Monster Cookies

Summertime. You’ve been sweating for that bikini body since January and you definitely deserve a cookie. Just one won’t hurt. These melt in your mouth little monsters are full of peanut butter deliciousness, and a touch of butterscotch too.

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I’ve not baked cookies in a while and when the craving struck I had no chocolate chips, #bakingprobs. I did however have a bag of butterscotch ones which I thought would be the perfect compliment to peanut butter. I’ve never reaaaalllyyy been a fan of PB but that’s rapidly changing. I do prefer natural to creamy but this recipe demands the creamy stuff or your cookies will fall apart, it’s worth it so just do as you’re told, starting with your ingredients:

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  •  115g butter
  • 185g peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 165g flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g butterscotch chips
  • 1 sharing bag of peanut M&Ms
  • 40g quick cooking porridge oats

Cream the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy

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Add the peanut butter and mix to combine

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Repeat with the egg and vanilla essence, in that order.

Add the flour and bicarb slowly, I mixed with a spoon and was careful to only mix until the flour just disappeared.

Fold in the butterscotch chip, oatmeal and M&Ms

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Shape into balls, I used about 1.5 tbsps worth of dough to make my cookies and managed to get 24 out of the mix.

A few tips on cookie aesthetics:

Mine were not perfect (see here for the originals) and took a couple of attempts to get looking even close to that.

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Monster cookie evolution

Be sure to flatten the cookies slightly before baking so they spread out a bit and get nice and ‘monstery’ looking.

Place a couple of chips and some M&Ms at the top of the dough, otherwise they all get hidden inside and you’ll have great tasting cookies but they won’t look very fun. ImageImageImage

Try using a combination of chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, the butterscotch chips don’t stand out much from the colour of the cookie dough and I’d have liked to use chocolate ones as well to cut at the sweetness and add a little contrast.

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These disappeared in 24 hours flat

They’re delicious and while not as chewy as I had expected, they had a melt in your mouth kind of texture and flavour you only really get with peanut butter.

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Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Another great recipe to add to your cookie arsenal. These are a simple chocolate chip cookie with plenty of extra chocolatey bits. I like that they’re full of cocoa powder and have a bitter chocolatiness to them as well as a sugar hit. Image

I only chilled mine for a couple of hours and made quite small rounds, I wanted these to be thinner rather than thick though as I’ve not made thin chewy ones before and I love the texture of them.

You’ll need:

  • 115g butter (at room temperature)
  • 90g brown sugar
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 125g flour
  • 1tsp milk
  • 2 – 3 tbsp milk
  • 200 – 300g chocolate add ins (chips, chunks, etc)

Cream the butter

Add the sugar and continue to whisk until light and fluffy

Whisk in the egg and vanilla essence

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Toss together the dry ingredients and add to the wet ones, whisk to combine – you’ll end up with a very thick dough.

Stir in the milk by hand and then fold through the chocolate chips.

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Leave to chill for 2 hours at least but the best results will come from dough chilled overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180C

Shape the dough into balls and place on a sheet of baking paper, flatten them a little bit and dot a few more chocolate chips into the top to make them look pretty if you like.

Cookie size is at your discretion, I made 23 but the original recipe says 16. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes depending on size, the smaller they are the less time they need.

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The cookie will seem completely underdone when you take them out, they’re not and that’s exactly how you want them to look. Let them cool and don’t even attempt to transfer them from the rack until they’ve had at least ten minutes to do so.

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Pour yourself a glass of milk and try not eat them all at once.

 

Date and ginger flapjacks

I spoke about them in my last post and this time I finally gave in.

In Peyton & Byrne’s Great British Baking they’re called ‘oaty date and ginger slice’ s… but they’ve got all the components of a flapjack, and they taste like the best flapjack I’ve ever had. So I call them flapjacks.

My friend and baking guinea pig was on her way over for coffee when I realised I had absolutely nothing to offer her. Not even a rich tea biscuit. I’d been keen to knock up some of these but knew that my self-control around them is absolutely zero so had been trying very hard to resist the urge. Long story short, I didn’t. Instead I only made ¼ of the amount, enough to offer a couple with coffee and have one for myself.

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This is the original recipe for the full quantity:

  • 180g butter
  • 6 tbsp golden syrup
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 100g dates
  • 20g fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 275g oats.

Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan

Chop the dates up into bits and grate the ginger

Add the dates and ginger to the melted mix followed by the oats

Mix together then spoon into a 20 x 20 in pan (or whatever you’ve got, they don’t spread so you can shape them to a thickness you like if you’ve made less)

Bake for 30 mins at 180C

I quartered the recipe and added a teaspoon of treacle and slightly more dates and ginger. I really like dates and ginger.  Then I baked them for 10 minutes at 180C.

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Let the slices/flapjack cool before slicing, although we did have ours still slightly warm. They were delicious but more delicate to handle, plus the chew develops once they cool and these have just the right amount of crumble to chew ratio.

Simple Spiced Date Biscuits

I started off my new year baking with more of a puff than a bang. These cookies aren’t the most exciting but they have a nice sweet and spicy flavour somewhat reminiscent of Christmastime. The original recipe says to roll them in sesame seeds, but I’m not too keen on those. Seeing as I’d originally planned to make my favourite date and ginger flapjacks I rolled them in oats as a compromise.

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  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 50g treacle
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 175g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 175g chopped stoned dates
  • 100g, give or take, of oats

Notes:

  • I had no plain flour so used wholemeal which I think worked well with the dates, I probably wouldn’t use it with a more tart fruit like cranberries.
  • I used 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg and ¼ tsp each of cloves and mace. You can easily hange up the spices to suit whatever fruit you choose.
  • I used oats but you could again, you could roll them in whatever you fancy – seeds, nuts, anything.

Make sure the butter is soft then cream it together with the brown sugar and treacle

Add the egg yolk and continue to beat until the mix becomes fluffy

Spoon in the dry ingredients and stir until smooth

Finally add the dates and beat to combine

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Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes (it will keep for up to a week in the fridge)

Preheat the oven to 180C /160C fan

Shape the mixture into walnut sized balls and place them on a plate

On another plate spread your oats out

Roll the dough in the oats and flatten to about 4-5cm wide and slightly less than1cm thick.Image

You should have enough to make 15 – 18 cookies

Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the oats turn a golden brown.

Allow to cool and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!

Hidden gem cookies

So I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is probably the most versatile cookie recipe I’ve ever come across and it never fails to impress. I followed the same method as here but with different add ins. I’ve tried it before with Rolos and they worked a treat, better even than these.  Still, it’s all about trying new things and the Galaxy bites were the first caramel/toffee chocolate I saw so I rolled with them.Image

For the cookie dough:

(I’ve converted the recipe this time)

  •  170 g soft unsalted butter
  • 150 g soft brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 125g  all-purpose flour
  • 125g  bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 100g dark chocolate chips
  • 100g milk chocolate (I chopped into chunks because I had no chips)
  • 100g milk chocolate chunks
  • 140g bag Galaxy bites or other chocolate

The amount of chocolate you use depends on how big your cookies are, I usually make about 30 from this recipe so one bag was more than enough to have some hidden bites plus decoration. I’d definitely add some more chocolate chips and chunks next time, the dough seemed a bit bare.

Cream your butter then add the sugars and cream again until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla, again creaming until nice and light.

Add the dry ingredients and incorporate them well before folding in your 4. chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into balls and now it’s time for the hidden gem bit to come in.

Half your cookie dough balls and make an indent in each your thumb.

Press a galaxy bite into the middle, sandwich together and reshape them.

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I chopped up leftover bites and stuck them onto the top of the cookie dough balls.

This bit is really, really important – chill the dough in the fridge for AT LEAST 2 hours before cooking. Overnight is preferable and they can chill for up to a week. If you don’t want to make a huge batch of cookies then freeze some so that you can use them as you please.

When ready to bake heat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Bake the cookies for no longer than ten minutes, I usually find 9 is best they look underdone but they’re meant to, they get chewier as they cool – if you move them right way they will fall apart so do let them cool down before transferring to a wire rack or plate

Image They went down well with everyone and you could easily change the galaxy bites for another toffee type chocolate, or any chocolate, whatever takes your fancy!

Things don’t always work out

I was really excited about these cookies… and then really disappointed when they didn’t turn out as I expected. Banana and fudge in the same cookie sounds like heaven but these came out quite dry and biscuity.

IMG_0425IMG_0426I did have a couple of attempts and I thought reducing the cooking time would mean fudgier cookies. They weren’t as dry but there was nothing remotely fudgy about them. Even my easily pleased friend and baking guinea pig didn’t love them. So maybe I added too much flour, or too many oats or something didn’t go quite right. They looked good anyway and you might have more luck than me!

Banana fudge cookies. 

  • 200g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g rolled oats
  • 125g caster sugar 
  • 125g light brown soft sugar
  • 2 very ripe bananas 
  • 250g unsalted butter 
  • 2tsp vanilla extract

Mash the bananas really well

Sift the cocoa powder, bicarb and flour into a bowl

In another bowl beat the bananas with the butter, sugars and vanilla until really light and fluffy – at one stage I thought this would never happen but persevere and it all comes together!

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Add the flour to the mix and beat it in, then repeat with the oats.

Cover the dough and let it chill for at least 30 minutes.

You can also store the dough in the freezer or keep it in the fridge for up to a week and bake as you please.

Chocolate Chip & Chunk Cookies

The most adaptable cookie recipe on the World Wide Web.  It’s never once failed but MAKE SURE YOU CHILL THE DOUGH. I write it in capitals because I’ve given this recipe to so many people who complain their cookies went flat. When I ask if they put the dough in the fridge for a while they say ‘did I have to?’ .. you’ve answered your own question really.

It’s an American recipe so it’s in cups and ounces, I’ve converted it but I just stick to the American measurements when I make them because I don’t quite trust conversions. I feel it’s a bit like translating from another language and it’ll never be quite the same.

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) soft unsalted butter  (170g)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (150 g)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
( 60g)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
(150g)
  • 1 cup bread flour (150g ) (all-purpose flour may be substituted and used exclusively in place of bread flour)
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 ounces (175g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces (175g) bittersweet or dark baking chocolate, chopped into chunks

I quite like adding white chocolate chips or bits of caramel too. Really the dough is so versatile you can stick chunks of any chocolate bar in and you’ll get fantastic cookies every time.

Beat the butter until it’s smooth and creamy

Add the sugars and beat until creamed

Add the egg and vanilla extract, beat until the mix is pale and fluffy

Add the flours, bicarbonate and salt and mix until combined – sometimes I use a wooden spoon and sometimes I just whisk, I do find the whisk brings the dough together better.

Add the chocolate chips or whatever you’ve chosen to add to the dough. Again I beat them in quickly because it distributes them more evenly than I do by hand and it’s quicker.

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Scoop out tablespoons or ice cream scoops of dough – I’ll leave the cookie size to your discretion. I make about 30 but the original recipe says about 24.

Roll the dough into balls and place on a piece of greaseproof paper on a plate/baking tray/ I often use a Tupperware box.

CHILL THE DOUGH BALLS for a couple of hours,  I usually leave them for a  day. *At this point if I’ve made 30 dough balls I’ll probably be baking 25. I think I love eating the dough more than the finished cookies, just can’t resist. 

Bake at 180C for 8-10 minutes

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Raw cookie dough, yum.

The cookies will look very, very under done but that’s okay, they firm up. If you leave them longer they won’t be all chewy, just dry and biscuity. There’s nothing worse than biting into what you expect to be a nice soft cookie to be met with dry biscuit…

Let the cookies cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Wait ‘til they’ve completely cooled before devouring them. They’re also really nice and even fudgier if you stick them in the fridge for a while.

Recipe from: http://www.averiecooks.com/2012/11/chocolate-chip-and-chunk-cookies.html

This blog is full of other recipes for more American treats like blondies, bars and if you’re a peanut butter fan there’s plenty that’ll take your fancy! There’s also amazing pictures of the finished cookies which, for some reason, I’ve failed to snap even though I’ve made them countless times!.