Friday, 17 May 2013

Here, Have A Cookie


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So a nice thing happened which I quite forgot to tell you about, what with all of the garden talks and bake sale hoopla. It’s a really nice thing, a skip-around-the-room-and-pour-yourself-a-margarita sort of thing.

My blog has been nominated for the Guild of Food Writers’ Food Blog of the Year Award , alongside Kerstin Rodgers’ The English Can Cook  and Emma Gardner’s Poires au Chocolat . The chichi là là party is on May 29. Not long to wait. In the meantime, do join me in a celebratory Friday afternoon cookie.

MochaButta Cookies

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I’ve been at my desk since seven o’clock this morning, taptaptapping away. By tea time, I was desperate for something sweet and there was nothing but oranges in the kitchen. Now I love an orange, but I needed the You-Lift-Me-Up transformative powers of butter and sugar. So I came up with these cookies using what I have in the cupboards, and they’re pretty good. Dark, nutty, not too sweet, quite grown up in fact. I’m eating one now. It’s still warm and I’m thinking how good it would be with vanilla ice cream.

I was going to make them with half caster- and half light muscovado sugar, but I’m out of light muscovado so I did a 8:2 blend of caster- and dark muscovado sugar. I also wanted to use up some caramelised cocoa nibs I was sent so I threw those in. Chocolate chips would be good if you're all out of caramelised cocoa nibs.

Makes about 20 cookies.

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75g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
50g unsalted butter, softened
80g caster sugar
20g dark muscovado sugar
200g crunchy peanut butter
1 egg, room temperature
2 tbsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
70g caramelised cocoa nibs or chocolate chips

Sift the first four ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer - or certainly by hand if your desire is to have perfectly toned upper arms to rival Michelle Obama’s – beat together the butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in the peanut butter, then the egg, coffee and vanilla. Slowly but thoroughly beat in the sieved dry ingredients then fold in the cocoa nibs or chocolate chips. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Line two cookie sheets with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 170C.

Roll the cookies into balls roughly the size of a walnut. Place them on the prepared sheets about 4cm apart. Flatten them slightly with the bottom of a glass then press a criss-cross pattern into the surface with the tines of a fork.

Bake for 10 minutes. Leave on the tray for two minutes to firm up slightly, then drag the baking parchment onto wire cooling rack and let the cookies cool completely.

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