Sunday, 29 June 2014

Chocolate chip cookies

A few years ago my best friend gave me a cookie recipe, having tried it herself (best friend you know who you are!). This recipe was supposed to create a chewy cookie and incorporated sugar-coated chocolate drops. This recipe certainly delivered and started my obsession with the well discussed topic among bakers everywhere, of how to bake a 'chewy cookie'. Since then I stuck to this recipe as a basis and swapped and changed a couple of things, until I got to the version of the recipe below which makes the more...preferable cookie of choice...for my family and I (Thank you best friend for giving me this gift!).

 I know there are many cookie recipes out there. This is because everybody has their individual preferences in a cookie. Some like them soft and chewy and others like them crunchy enough to dunk in their mug of tea. I personally like a soft chewy cookie, which is what this recipe should result in. I have used this recipe for a good couple of years now and I think I will continue to do so. From my experience, I would say that the key to a chewy cookie is a) the addition of golden syrup and b) taking the cookies out of the oven at the opportune moment- when they are just turning light golden but still somewhat pale in the middle. They will look under-cooked and it will seem unnatural to take them out of the oven. Your judgement will say "Just a couple more minutes longer". I don't normally advise people to go against their own judgement however in this instance it's worth it. Just when they're turning golden but still a bit wobbly in the middle and that moment of indecisiveness whether to leave them in or take them out of the oven hits you, ignore your judgement for the sake of a chewy cookie.Of course if you prefer a more crunchy cookie, just leave them in the oven a bit longer until they are more golden. 
On another note, I am a fan of chunky irregular chocolate chips so I always just buy a bar of chocolate and chop it roughly. However, for convenience and if you're a regular sized chocolate chip fan, by all means buy the chocolate chips from the baking aisle. 

Here's my recipe:
3oz caster sugar
3oz light brown muscovado sugar
6oz margarine
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9oz self-raising flour
8oz chocolate (milk/dark/ white or a mixture)

1) Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a baking tray. Chop the chocolate and set aside.
2) Cream the sugars, margarine, golden syrup and vanilla extract together until pale and creamy.
3) Sieve in half the flour and thoroughly mix into the sugar/margarine mixture. Add the chocolate and mix into the dough.
4) Gradually add the rest of the flour, ensuring the flour is mixed in completely after each addition. The dough should be stiff enough to mould with your fingers but still soft. (See picture below)

5) Take one heaped tablespoon of dough per cookie and set on the tray- approximately 6 heaps per tray. Squash the heaps of dough down a little to encourage the cookies to spread. Bake the cookies for approximately 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. The cookies will still seem 'doughy' in the middle when you first get them out of the oven. Allow them to cool for a minute or two on the tray before lifting them off with a spatula and placing on a cooling rack. Good to eat any time of the day. AMAZING fresh from the oven. Enjoy!