i like to bake. cakes and pies and biscuits and bread. sometimes i make lemon curd and sticky jam and put it in pretty little jars. i sell it all at markets. and then i write about it here.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

it's a cookie day

Whenever I find myself at a loss as to what to do with my time, baking is often up there at the top of the list (and invariably wins over such activities as hoovering the flat.) On my day off yesterday, I found myself with a spare hour ahead. With this limited amount of time, cookies sprang to mind. These are a great thing to make when you haven't got long and you're not feeling up to sourcing unusual ingredients or tackling complicated techniques. Mix the ingredients, bung in the oven, 10 minutes, done. I'm talking big, fat cookies. The kind that is soft, chewy and best served with a big mug of tea.

This is a recipe from one of my favourite books, The Hummingbird Bakery. There are so many varieties of cookie you could make. I had a tub of peanut butter in the cupboard and some leftover chocolate lying around so it seemed the obvious choice. This recipe calls for 400g of sugar (a mix of brown and white) but it seemed such a huge amount to me so I used 300g of light brown and they are definitely sweet enough. Because this makes 24, I have frozen some of the cookie dough to use on another day.  
peanut butter and chocolate cookies
225g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
200g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
240g crunchy peanut butter
340g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
75g dark chocolate, chopped
 Preheat the oven to 170C.
 1. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. You can use an electric hand whisk for this.
2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well.
3. Beat in the vanilla extract and the peanut butter.
4. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix well until a smooth dough is formed.
5. Stir in the chocolate.
6. Arrange balls of the dough on a greased baking tray, making sure that they are well spaced to allow for spreading. I only managed to get about 6 cookies on each baking tray so you will need a few!
7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown and quite flat.
8. Leave the cookies to cool on the tray slightly before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Or eat them straight from the oven - delicious!