Bad Blondies

The slutty brownie has been around the block once or twice already since it’s internet debut and while I know you shouldn’t mess with a good thing, I just couldn’t resist. Sometimes my attempts fail but sometimes I surprise myself with a glorious success. These blondes belong in the successes, along with the Jaffa Cake and the much appraised Banoffee Pie. The even naughtier version of the slutty brownie, these define gluttony.  A layer of dark chocolate cookie topped with biscuits and covered in chocolate chip blondie… I did say naughty

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I wanted them to be aesthetically pleasing and not all beige. As a general rule beige is never a great colour for food, which is why I did a chocolate cookie layer. I was also concerned about the sugariness of them so some cocoa adds a nice rich constrast. That’s the same reason I added chocolate chips to the blondie batter. I often find blondies can be a little bit sickly without anything to break up their buttery sweetness.

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This recipe is easily adaptable. Use your favourite cookie/blondie/brownie recipes and whatever biscuits you please. Start by preheating your oven to 180C and greasing the pan (mine was about 9x9in)

 Chocolate cookie:

  •  115g butter
  • 90g brown sugar
  • 90g white sugar
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 125g chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 – 3 tbsp milk
  • 100g chocolate chips
  • 100g white chocolate chips/chunks/ or I used a chopped bar because I had no chips to hand.

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Cream your butter until pale, add the sugar and continue to cream until fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.

In a bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder and salt, add to the wet ingredients and fold gently.

The mix will be really thick, I stirred more then folded until I couldn’t see any more powder.

Add the milk and then the chocolate chips/chunks. Image

You’ll have a thick sticky dough which is a bit tricky to spread but bakes gorgeously. Image

Let it sit in the fridge while you prepare the blondie batter.

Blondies:

  • 100g butter
  • 200g  brown sugar
  • 1tbsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 125g flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g chocolate chips

Melt the butter gently in a bowl, you can do it in the microwave to save time and dishes.

Add the sugar and mix to combine. Image

Beat in the egg and vanilla and mix well.

Fold in the dry ingredients, until just combined – don’t overmix, the dough will be quite thick.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

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Now to put it all together:

Press your chosen biscuits into the cookie dough, I just got excited about putting everything together and so didn’t do it very uniformly. I filled any spaces with extra biscuit – waste not want not!

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Dollop the blondie batter onto the biscuits, and spread as evenly as you can over them. ImageImage

 

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, a skewer should come out with a few moist crumbs but no raw batter.

Leave to cool completely before slicing them or the blondie will just be sludgy and messy.

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Tip – when I’m cutting cakes with icing or things with different layers I wipe the knife with a wet cloth between slices so as they stay neat and you can see the layers.

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These are so bad they’re beyond good, these blondes will keep you coming back for more, and more, and more. Can you tell I love a cliche almost as much as I love alliteration.

Enjoy!

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Selection Boxes

As much as I love Christmas, the food and presents in particular, I’m not the best buyer. I never know what people are going to want or need and I know I’ve been on the awkward receiving end of a dodgy gift or two.  On the subject of buying presents the other day someone mentioned ‘selection boxes’ and I realised I don’t think I’ve ever had a Christmas without one? Pressed for time, on a budget and with loads of ingredients to use up in the cupboard I had a moment of genius. Baked Selection Boxes! Image

So easy and gives you a great excuse to spend a day or two baking.  Cookies and brownies are crowd pleasers and it wouldn’t be a Christmas selection box without a mince pie, so I went with those three.

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I stuck them in takeaway boxes (budget friendly, you could get nice ones or wrap them) tied a Christmassy ribbon around them and gave them to friends.Image

Instead of doing individual boxes for my housemates I left them a Roses tin full of baked goods to keep them going while I’m away. They’ll only last a couple of days but I take that as a compliment! Image

So there’s an idea for you if you’re struggling with gifts this Christmas! They might not be perfect for under the tree but they’re a nice gesture and a great way to get rid of all those leftover mince pies you’d never eat yourself.

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!

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!.