“By the way, it’s the school fete tomorrow. Could you make a hundred or so cupcakes?” Not the words I wanted to hear at 6:30 on a Friday morning; making that many cupcakes would take a large chunk of the day, how would I find the time to write the Love and Fishes blog?
“How about some chocolate chip cookies instead?” was my diplomatic reply. Agreement reached, I could breathe a sigh of relief. Cookies are quick and easy to make, and are an ideal way to introduce a child to the magic of baking. They also require no finesse or skill, in fact they benefit enormously from looking rough and ready – as long as they taste delicious, which these do.
I have specified spreadable Lurpak here, just because Delia Smith has tested every brand of spreadable butter and Lurpak is what she recommends. I have however made these using all kinds of spreads and there isn’t so much difference that you need to worry about it. Use whatever spread you have to hand and you will still be delighted with the results.
RECIPE – makes 28 cookies
110g unsalted, spreadable Lurpak
150g light brown soft sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g toasted chopped walnuts
100g chocolate chips (use milk, dark or white chocolate, whatever your preference)
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4.
Using a stand mixer (ideally, if not then a hand mixer will do) cream the Lurpak and sugar together until light and fluffy. You can never cream butter and sugar too much so feel free to wander off and leave it beating while you get on with making a cuppa.
Add the beaten egg and the vanilla essence and mix well – again, you cannot over-beat this mixture and the more air you can encourage into the mix the lighter your cookies will be.
Fold in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, hazelnuts and chocolate chips until just combined. Be careful, you don’t want to spend an age knocking air into your cookies only to knock it all out again.
Put a walnut sized blob on to a baking sheet…
…allowing plenty of room between them because they will spread considerably as they bake. Bake for approximately 15 mins, removing them when they are golden brown. Leave them to cool on a wire rack, they will go crispy with a lovely melting texture in your mouth.
We took these to the fete and they were a hit – the lady on the stall next to ours had one, waxed lyrical and bought five more, then bought up every one that we hadn’t sold by the end. I’d call that a recommendation.