Category: Cookies

The only Double Chocolate Cookie recipe you’ll ever need!

Chocolate cookies

Cookie stack chocolate cookie recipe


I love chocolate cookies. I mean I LOOOVVVVEEE them! But, I’m fussy! They have to be dark chocolate (milk chocolate in a cookie? No way! Well not for me anyhow) and they have to be soft, melt in the mouth and just plain yummarge!
This recipe is for the best double chocolate chip cookies you will ever make. I’ve made them many times and even when they go wrong (like when I burnt the melting chocolate and just left it out of the ingredients) they still taste great. But with the melted chocolate included they are divine!

The last time I made them I was in a bit of a strop. I’d had a particularly stressful day. It was half term, my girls had trashed practically the whole house and the snowman I was making for an up and coming shoot was flopping big time which was making me really stressed out!
When I’m stressed I crave chocolate more than ever, so I decided to hit two stones with one bird (before you say it- I know, I always say that the wrong way round. I think it’s funny!) To chill out and relax I bake. It’s a simple remedy. Baking and creating something cheers me up and if it’s chocolate I get my sugar rush too! My sister popped round that evening and said I should be in a strop more often if it meant more cookies like this!

so, onto the recipe

The Ingredients for Double chocolate cookies

Makes around 20

  • 400g dark chocolate
  • 110g butter – at room temperature
  • 130g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg (medium)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda

How to make double chocolate cookies

Preheat your oven to 170 C ( Fan 150C) Gas 3. Line a baking tray or two with grease proof paper and pop them in the fridge. This prevents the cookies baking too quickly on the bottom.

Melt chocolate for chocolate cookiesTake 150g of the chocolate and melt it in a heat proof bowl placed over boiling water. Make sure that the boiling water doesn’t touch the bowl or the chocolate will burn (trust me on this! Been there. Done that!) Once melted set aside to cool a little.

Chopped chocolate chunks
Roughly chop the remaining chocolate. You can use chocolate chips but the oozing won’t be quite as big!

butter and sugar for chocolate cookies
Mix the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

Add egg
Add the egg and mix again adding spoonful of flour if it starts to separate. Add the vanilla essence.


Stir in the flour, bicarbonate of soda  and cocoa powder.

mix in the chocolate
Add the melted chocolate and stir through. Mix in the roughly chopped chocolate pieces.

Let them cool
Use a  dessert spoon to measure out equal measurements of dough (it will be a bit sticky) and roll it into a ball, place it on the baking sheet, leaving space for spreading between each one. Flatten slightly with your fingers.

Let them cool
Pop them in the oven for 10 minutes and not a second longer. Then place them on a rack to cool down.

Mmmm. Oozing chocolate cookie!
Now this is where it all goes wrong for me! All that roughly chopped chocolate is all melted and gooey and if you break a cookie in half it should be too moist for you to be able to resist eating it. I have normally eaten a few before they have cooled down completely. This is my favorite time to eat them. Fresh out of the oven!
They will last a day or two in an air tight container but I think they taste best eaten on the day of baking. They stay moist even once they have cooled down completely.

Who can resist gooey chocolate like this? Not me!

enjoy!

Why I don’t love shortbread (Part two)

Shortbread is a sticky subject!

So, yesterday I made shortbread biscuits. The reason I made them was to test that they would work as individual biscuits. I have had some shortbread nightmares recently when trying to do one big tray/mould bake.

My friend Astrid emailed me :
“ I’ve been trying to perfect my shortbread technique and it’s not going too badly (I find the rubbing technique works much better than creaming for me) but I wanted to use a mould I bought in a cook shop in Scotland and it’s not working: the dough sticks to the mould (it’s ceramic) and twice now I’ve had to scrape it off with a spatula, which defeats the object of having a patterned mould in the first place! Is there a different recipe I can use or a way of doing it so this doesn’t happen?”

So I set about finding a recipe that I thought would work best in a ceramic mould (I also treated myself to a cute Scottish Shortbread mould from Lakeland- thistles and all!) And used the shortbread recipe from yesterday which is here.

Round one

Grease the mould well

I used ‘Cake release’ which is a great non stick product (that I use with a lot of success with cakes) and applied it to the ceramic mould with a pastry brush so I could get into all the nooks and crannies.

Press the shortbread dough into the mould

To make the dough I used the rubbing method that Astrid used, popped it in the fridge for an hour then pressed it into mould.

The full mould

and baked it in the oven until it was a light golden brown colour.

Baked to perfection

But it didn’t work!  It got well and truly stuck. Even scraping won't get it out!

Round two

So, I tried again!
This time I blended the ingredients in the food mixer, creaming the butter and the sugar together before I added the dry ingredients. I chilled the dough overnight, greased the mould with butter and dusted it with plain flour, removing any excess.Butter and flour the mould
Then I rolled out the dough and pressed it into the mould lightly and baked it. Guess what? It got stuck again. It did taste good though – I tried to remove the shortbread  with a spatula and little pieces popped out. Don’t worry, none went to waste. It still won't come out!
 

Round three

Okay, so by now I was getting pretty annoyed. Why is it sticking? What am I doing wrong? I searched on Google and I messaged every Twitter foodie I could find. No one came up with any better ideas than the ones I had already tried. So I thought I’d go straight to the experts in baking equipment. I spoke to Lakeland direct!  Their advice was….

“Use a slightly lower heat and cook a little longer, to prevent sticking. The dough needs to be firmly pressed into the mould. It should be a toasty light brown when cooked. Be sure to let the shortbread cool in the pan before trying to remove.”

Well I decided I would give it one final shot using all their advice. And here’s the result!

I buttered the mould (or should I say caked it in butter?)

Rolled out the shortbread, placed it in the mould and pressed it into place. Baked it, left it to cool, placed it back in the fridge for an hour or so and….

 Grrrrrr!!

it STILL got stuck!!!!

So, I’m stumped! Do you have a clever trick for getting shortbread out of a ceramic mould? What’s the knack! If you can shed any light/ experience/ help,  we (Astrid and I) would love to hear your tips! Please post a comment below.

Many thanks,

Emma

Enjoy!

 

 

Extra Chocolatey Christmas Pudding Cookies

The perfect Christmas cookie gift

My good friend Kathryn is popping over today with gifts for the girls. She is one of my oldest friends and always buys them a gift for Christmas. She’s so generous. We always buy her a birthday present (her birthday is in January – it’s one of those funny set ups) but I thought it would be lovely to give her some home made Christmas cookies as a little treat when she comes for lunch today. I know she loves chocolate. I mean who doesn’t? I decided to make extra chocolatey cookies and give them a Christmas touch. These cookies are pretty quick and easy to make, but they do need to be left over night to harden.  

Ingredients

Makes around 30 biscuits (enough to give and to ‘test’)

  • 200g unsalted butter- at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 egg – at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • Green and red sugar paste for the holly

To make the biscuits

  • Heat your oven to 160° and line a baking sheet with baking paper.Put all the ingredients into the bowl
  • Place all the ingredients into a bowl in one go and mix until just blended, then use your hands to form a soft dough.
  • This mixture is quite sticky so it needs to chill in the fridge for at least an hour or you’ll end up with a sticky mess! Wrap the dough in cling film first so it doesn’t dry out.Wrap and chill the dough
  • When you are ready to roll out the dough, take a little out of the fridge at a time so it doesn’t get too warm and handle it as little as possible. Also, try not to use too much flour when rolling out as it will remain on the baked biscuits. I used a 2 ½ inch circle cutter to create the round cookies and used spacers to ensure each cookie was the same size. Pop them in the oven for 12 minutes or when the edges start to go darker.Cut out the circle cookies
  • Leave to cool completely on a wire rack once baked.Leave the cookies to cool off

To decorate the chocolate cookies

  • Roll out a small amount of green icing and use a holly leaf cutter (available at Cake craft world.com or hobbycraft shops) to cut out 1, 2 or 3 leaves for each cookie. Set aside to dry a little, then roll out tiny balls of red sugarpaste. When you have enough press the bottom of the leaves together to secure. Add the berries to the base. If they don’t stick use a tiny amount of water or edible glue to position them.Cut out holly and roll the berries
  • Set aside to dry for 10 minutes or so, so you‘ll be able to handle them when you want to put them on the cookies. It’s a good idea to place some baking paper on the plate so the sugarpaste doesn’t get stuck.The holly
  • For the top of the Christmas pudding melt the white chocolate in the microwave in a non metallic bowl. I blast it for 30 seconds at a time so it doesn’t burn. Stir between each session till there are no lumps. I have a new toy (more on that next week) it’s a Lekue decopen which is a silicon icing tool. It’s perfect for holding hot melted chocolate without burning your hands and allows me to control where I ‘ice’. You can easily use a plastic icing bag with a nozzle though. If you don’t have either you could use a small spoon but it might take a bit of patience to do it that way!  Create an outline of the dribbling icing at the top of each pudding  then fill in the space with the chocolate.Melt the chocolateAdd the white chocolate topping
  • You can simply add the holly at this stage as the cookies look really cute. But for a ‘death by chocolate cookie’ melt the dark chocolate and create the bottom half of the pudding in the same way as the top. Then add the holly and leave to dry overnightReady to serve

Top tip: When adding the melted chocolate remember that it has a tendency to run so don’t ‘ice’ too close to the edge of the cookie or it will dribble off the side of the cookie and you won’t want to give it as a gift – you’ll have to eat it yourself!!! Wrapped up cookies

Enjoy!

 

Christmas tree cookies- The quick and easy way

Christmas Tree cookiesThe cookie gift of giving

This weekend the girls are going to a Christmas party for the whole of Year One. I offered to make some cookies for the big event- this is our first Chrimbo party of the season so my first baking session (there are lots more planned!) I decided that as I need to make 40 cookies I needed to have a plan that would be really easy. In all they took in about 2 hours to make. Not bad for so many!

To make the Christmas tree cookies

You will need

1 x Vanilla cookie dough (see here for recipe to make around 30 cookies)

Rolling pin

Spacing sticks

icing sugar to dust

sugarpaste in green

cookie cutter

new damp sponge / damp kitchen roll will do

Spatula / cookie lift

To make the cookies
Cut out the Christmas tree cookie

Roll out the dough between two spacing sticks to ensure that each cookie is exactly the same. Cut out as many trees as you can. Avoid over kneading the dough as it makes the texture tough.

The more cool the dough is, the less the cookie will spread when being baked. Load up the baking trays and pop them in the fridge for a while if the dough has become too soft.

Vanilla cookies straight out of the oven

Then bake the cookies until the edges start to brown and your whole kitchen smells like vanilla. Around 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

To ice the cookies, roll out a thin layer of green sugarpaste(about 3-5mm thick) Use the same tree cookie cutter to cut out each piece of sugarpaste. If the dough was cold going into the oven the cookies shouldn’t have spread too much and the green tree shaped icing will fit on top perfectly. To make sure that the icing stays put place it on a new damp sponge or dampen a piece of kitchen paper. Don’t let the sugarpaste get soggy.

Lay the sugarpaste on a Christmas tree cookie

Position the sugarpaste over the cookie. It may need a bit of tweaking to make it fit but it’s malleable at this stage and can be made to fit quite easily. Smooth down any icing that goes over the edge of the cookie as once it has dried it will be brittle and will break off.

 Smooth the icing with the palm of your hand

Once in position smooth the sugarpaste with the palm of your hand then set aside to harden up a little. I leave them overnight.

Decorating the Christmas tree cookies

There are so many options when it comes to what you can then do to decorate these Christmas tree cookies. I did a load of different ideas but the world is your oyster.

What you'll need

I made up a small amount of royal icing to make the balls and sprinkles stick. I used my new toy, the Leuke Decomax icing kit (more to come on that later) silver and pearl balls, red edible glitter and multicoloured sprinkles.

ice lines for the decorations

I iced lines of royal icing across the tree.

silver or multi colour decs!

Diagonal lines worked much better than straight ones!

Add the Sprinkles to the Christmas tree cookies

Then I added the sprinkles. These ones were from the supermarket and looked so much better than I expected.

The glitter worked well too but made a lot of mess! Once dry I had to dust off in between the lines of glitter with a paint brush.

Add the balls

Individual dots of icing were great for holding the silver balls in place. On some I made the dots of royal icing bigger, added a ball and then added sprinkles on top. These were my favorite ones!

I had to do these when my daughters weren’t around or I wouldn’t have got a look in! It is so much fun to do.

Once you have finished decorating the cookies leave them overnight to dry, then bag them up in cellophane bags with festive ribbons. They make the perfect personal Christmas gift.

I can’t wait to take these to the party on Saturday!

What are you baking for gifts this Christmas? I’d love to know.

Christmas tree cookies

The easy way to make Viennese biscuits

The easiest way to make Viennese biscuits


I was given one of these fab cookie press gadgets to test for a feature I was writing for ‘Feel Good Food’ magazine last year. It was around New Year so I made some biscuits to take to a party. I put them on a plate and made them look all lovely and my friend asked me where I bought them from! I laughed and when she said “was it M&S?”  She was serious. They tasted and looked so good that she thought they were shop bought! I don’t think compliments come much better than that.

Cookie pressPumpkin and bat shapes

In truth, these are the easiest biscuits to make whether you have a cookie press or not. If you don’t you can always use a piping bag with little zig zag cuts at the bottom or use a buttercream  piping nozzle (as seen below)

I made these with my girls when we were going to a play date during the last half term. The weather wasn’t good so baking was a great distraction. They loved it as there are gadgets involved.

Ingredients

100g soft butter

25 icing sugar

100g plain flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

50g good quality plain chocolate ( 70% cocoa solids tastes best)

To make the Viennese biscuits

  1. Heat your oven to 190.C (170.c fan ovens) Gas mark 5. Grease your baking trays then pop them in the fridge – this is the trick to making the dough stick, cold trays. There’s no need for baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and the sugar to form a pale and fluffy texture.stir it well
  3. Use a sieve to add the flour and baking powder so there are no lumps. Mix until well blended.Sieve the icing sugar onto the butter
  4. Assemble your cookie press or nozzle and icing bag and fill it with the soft and squidgy dough.Fill the press
  5. Position your cookie press at a 90 degree angle to the backing tray. Squeeze once then lift up. The cookie should stick to the tray. It’s great childs play as Beau and Darcey demonstrate.

Darcey making batsBeau and her pumpkins

6.If using an icing bag, position the nozzle in the bag and fill it with the dough.

Icing bag and nozzle7. Squeeze the icing bag so that it is at a 90 degree angle to the baking tray (as was the cookie press) and lift off. Make sure you leave space between each one as they spread out a little.

Viennese kisses. Squeeze and lift

8. Pop the baking tray of cookies in the oven for 10 minutes or till the edges start to brown. These biscuits are very fragile so leave them to cool on the tray for a good five minutes before transferring them to a wire racklittle kisses9.Melt the chocolate in a microwave friendly bowl for 30 seconds at a time until completely melted. Stir between each heating. Dip each cookie in the chocolate and let the excess drip off. Leave to cool and harden on the wire rack.

Dipping in chocolate

These really are melt in the mouth biscuits so share them if you can!!

Mmmmmm!

Enjoy !

Vanilla biscuits recipe – Chocolate style!

Basic vanilla biscuits / Cookies

Last night: Sunday, 7.30pm as Beau get’s out of the bath.

Beau: You said you would make biscuits for school for our biscuit tasting

Me: Yes I will. When is that?

Beau: Tomorrow!

Me: Tomorrow!!!!

Beau: Yes what will you make?

Me: Ahhhgghhh!

Beau studies a new topic each term and this time it’s chocolate. They are doing a biscuit tasting to see what different brands make and how they differ. As I had limited notice (let’s say 1 ½ hours, as Downtown Abby was going to be starting at 9pm) I had to think on my toes. “What do I have in the house-ingredients wise- that will suit?” I decided that you can’t go wrong with a vanilla biscuit and as I have recently discovered, these ones taste amazing with dark chocolate.

This is the recipe I always use when I ice biscuits as gifts, but with a chocolate topping on them they taste completely different and are very quick to make and decorate. Also melting chocolate and ‘drawing’ all over biscuits is really good fun.

Ingredients

Makes around 30 biscuits

  • 200g unsalted butter- at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 egg – at room temperature
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g dark chocolate

To make the biscuits

  1. Place the butter in a bowl. I had to cut mine up into small pieces so that I could warm it up quickly when I mixed it, but it’s best if it’s at room temperature.
  2. Add the sugar, flour, egg and vanilla essence
  3. Mix the ingredients by hand. I always mix biscuits by hand as the warmth from your hands means that it’s all being blended really well and for some reason they taste much better than when mixed with a machine. You can always start the mixing with a wooden spoon if you don’t like gloopy hands.
  4. Be careful not to overmix biscuit dough. It will not only become tough, but the biscuits will spread more when baked and we want them to keep their shape perfectly.
  5. Once it is nearly all blended I turn it out onto the worktop and knead it till it all holds together nicely.vanilla cookie
  6. Then wrap it cling film and pop it in the fridge for 30-60 minute. I was on a tight time scale last night so I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. The dough is much easier to handle once it’s been properly chilled. Mine was really soft and sticky so I just added a little more flour when rolling it out.vanilla cookie
  7. Use spacing sticks (available from cake decorating shops) to ensure that when you roll out your biscuits they are all the same thickness.vanilla cookie
  8. Cut out the letters then remove the excess first. This way you can pick up the biscuit without denting it.vanilla cookie
  9. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. This will stop the biscuits from spreading when they are baked.vanilla cookie
  10. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes at 160° or until the biscuits start to brown on the edges
  11. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To decorate

  1. Place long strips of cling film across your table. This is great as the chocolate makes a huge sticky mess and when you are finished you can simply lift it up and bin it.
  2. In a microwaveable bowl melt the chocolate. The easiest way to do this is to break it into small pieces and heat it up for 30 seconds at a time and stir in between. That way you can ensure that the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  3. Place all the cooled biscuits on the cling film so that they are close together but not touching.vanilla cookie / vanilla biscuit
  4. To transfer the melted chocolate into a plastic icing bag place the bag inside a drinking glass and fold the edges over. Snip the bottom off when you are ready to go. The chocolate will dribble out from the moment you cut off the end of the icing bag so be ready to go.
  5. Decorate each biscuit in turn by adding the chocolate in a circular or zig zag action. Leave the chocolate to harden for 5 minutes then transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack to harden completely.chocolate biscuits / chocolate cookies
  6. Once dry and hard place the biscuits in a box or on a plate and enjoy.

These are a great biscuit to make as a gift. The first time we made them was for Beau’s friend Dixie’s 8th birthday a few weeks ago. We wrote her name and did a few dog shapes too. They always go down really well.

Enjoy!

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