life @ FINCA GRAN CERROS

Better Than a Hug?

I’m a hugger.

There.  I’ve said it; it’s out there in the open.

I always have been.  I think it’s something I inherited from my mum and dad during my formative years. So no matter what happens in life, I believe there’s very little that (if not fixed by) isn’t greatly improved by a hug.

But what happens when your hugger of choice isn’t available?

Well, fear not.  These soft, meltingly chewy, indulgent, chocolate chip cookies are a very close second and an ever-so-reliable substitute.

The recipe is nicely straightforward and the cookies are extremely forgiving.  It’s very hard to make a ‘duff’ batch!

And it gets even better

Once you’ve made the dough, it freezes really well ready to be woken from the freezer (and baked from frozen) to provide almost instant gratification!

So although we’re big huggers (well, one of us is, and Shaun puts up with it!), we know that not everyone is.  So instead of greeting new guests with hugs, we provide freshly home-baked chocolate chip cookies instead – surely the next best thing?!

Read on for the recipe.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

RECIPE

Makes: 12-14 cookies (depending on how generous a dolloper you are)
Takes: 30 minutes (20 to prep, 10 to cook)
Oven: 160C
Feels: Indulgent (and definitely is – especially if you eat them all)

INGREDIENTS

  • 150g soft butter
  • 80g granulated sugar
  • 80g soft brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 225g plain flour
  • 200g chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 160C (fan oven).

Line two baking sheets with grease-proof paper; these cookies will spread a little, so you’ll need both baking sheets.

Cut the bars of chocolate into large chunks with a sharp knife and set them aside for later (trying really hard not to nibble any while getting on with the rest of the recipe…).

Beat together the butter and two types of sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is light and creamy.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well to combine evenly.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together and add to the bowl.

Mix gently by hand with a wooden spoon to combine all the flour.

Once the mixture resembles a heavy cookie dough, with no obvious lumps of flour, add in the chocolate and stir through to distribute it evenly (there’ll only be arguments later if you don’t!).

Scoop dollops of the mixture onto the baking sheets. I use an ice-cream scoop,which keeps the cookies vaguely even in size (because I’m useless at dolloping evenly).

Then put them into the pre-heated oven to cook for 8-10 minutes.  I usually check them after 8 mins and turn the trays around to make sure they bake evenly.

*If you’ve made-ahead your batch of dough, just add an extra 2 minutes to the baking time.

Let them cool on the baking tray for the first 5 minutes (otherwise they’ll break if they’re too hot when you try to lift them off!), then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

They go really nicely with coffee – and even an apple martini, if you’re feeling decadent!

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