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Taking the biscuit

Ok, all that stuff I said about it being unseasonably warm and hating it? I take it back. It’s freezing now and I’m scrabbling around for excuses not to leave the house. So far, the best one I have come up with (‘Jermey Kyle’ and ‘Cash in The Attic’ not withstanding) was the desire to knock up a great big batch of chocolate chip cookies. Normally I’ll reach for many a chocolate confection before I get my sticky mitt in the biscuit barrel – brownies always get my vote as does anything that combines chocolate with ground almonds but yesterday I just had to have a big fat cookie. I wanted to combine the grown up taste of Green and Blacks 70% with the childhood sensation I used to get from eating Wagon Wheels. I remember the first time I saw a Wagon Wheel as an adult and being truly crest fallen that it was no longer the size of my 8 year head. Cries of “They are not as big as they used to be” were swiftly followed by the realization that it was I who had grown and not the Wagon Wheels that had shrunk.

These  cookies are very much made in the American mould Рbig, crisp on the outside and still chewy in the middle. Sure they would taste good with a glass of milk but they are even better with a small, wickedly strong espresso.(They are just big enough to sustain you through two coffees if, like me, you need the extra caffeine hit).

It may be about to get even colder outside but after one ( OK, three) of these cookies I have just the right amount of warm and fuzzies to forget about the weather.

cookies

Choc chip Cookies ( Makes 24 large )

Ingredients

350g plain flour

1 tablespoon cocoa

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon salt

225 grams unsalted butter at room temperature

175 grams caster sugar

175 grams dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

350 grams good quality dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids ( Green and Blacks Chocolate for Cooks is excellent) chopped into small but rough peices

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/375F/Gas 5.

In a bowl, combine the flour,cocoa, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Beat in the eggs. Gradually mix in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate.

Split the mixture into two, rolling each out into sausage shapes, approximately 5cm/2in in diameter. Wrap them in cling film and transfer to the refrigerator for 1 hour.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, simply cut the log into slices 2 cm thick and lay on a baking tray, widely spaced apart. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the baking tray and cool on a wire rack until completely cold. Don’t worry if the cookies are still very soft, they will crisp up as they cool

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