Cookies – there are days, when you can think of absolutely nothing nicer than a tank sized cup of coffee and a cookie the size of a dinner plate to go with it (yep those are dark and bad days!) – however cookies (and not biscuits – there is a definite difference here and I am going down the cookie route today that is not to say that I don’t appreciate a jolly good biscuit, because I most definitely do – for example the digestive biscuit will hold up to the rigours of even the most foolhardy dunker and eater).
Cookies are extremely easy to make, and you can achieve that scrummy squidgyness that packet cookies lack very easily.
So putting aside my January diet (the obligatory one you know wont make it past 10 February) – I have bravely and without a thought for my own personal waistline delved straight into cookie making.
Here, as always, as the best of my online recipe tried and tasted bunch!
Just like the real ones apparently – now I admit I have never tried a real one, and so I cannot compare them! However BBC Good Food has never let me down, and these cookies are certainly not about to rock that boat. Extremely easy to make, full of sugar, butter and everything bad for you they made scrummy squidgy vanilla and choc chip cookers which will fly off the baking sheet – if they make it to a Tupperware box and along to the next day, I would suggest that you done something wrong! These cookies are irresistible. If you fancy baking, but don’t want to get too bogged down in cake tins and food mixers, a batch of cookies will sate that domestic urge perfectly – and Millies Cookies from the BBC Website cannot be faulted – classic – squidgy – buttery and scrummy!!
Before I go through the next one – a quick note on American and British recipes, a couple of friends have said how annoying it is when recipes call for cups etc – most American recipes measure almost all their ingredients out in a quantity (cups) rather than by weight – this actually makes for a very easy way of measuring!, and it is a hurdle very easily jumped. Simply take yourself off to EBay – search for American cup measures and spend about £2.00 buying a set of cup measures – easy peasy lemon squeezy.
It occurred to me as I was writing the above paragraph, that I suspect our American readers when faced with British recipes have the same kind of dilemma! So I did a little research and found the niftiest of websites – http://www.cupstograms.co.uk/ – this site will do either a conversion from cups to grams – or grams to cups!
Now I have started on the conversions let's carry on with another one – in the UK we have Self-Raising Flour and Plain Flour, and in the US there is All Purpose Flour (I know we have a large Australian readership, so please in the comments let us know what you have and other countries?).
Plain Flour and All Purpose Flour are the same thing – a flour which contains no extra rising or leavening ingredients.
Self-raising flour – contains rising agents already evenly distributed within the flour (baking powder).
So if you are following an American recipe in UK – and the recipe calls for All Purpose Flour and baking power and salt – use Self-Raising and leave out the baking powder (and salt)!
If you are following a British recipe in the US – and the recipe calls for Self-Raising Flour – use All Purpose Flour and add baking power (and salt) as you would do normally.
Now there are no recipe barriers – so let's continue on our cookie journey.
WARNING – the following recipe should only be attempted by those for whom chocolate is a never ending love affair.
Nigella's recipes are often rather decadent, and take a decent amount out of your purse, and these cookies are no exception. They are however easy to make and so deliciously chocolately, that for a treat it is definitely worth it! On her website, Nigella tells a tale of how she divides the cookie dough in half, makes one batch of six cookies, and freezes the other half to make at a later date. This is in theory a super idea, however in practise these cookies are so delicious, that I am not sure I could ever save half of the dough, knowing it was there in the freezer, all chocolately and yummy.
These are without a doubt my favourite cookies, chocolate heaven, a buttery delight. However they are a bit too special for everyday consumption.
These cookies give themselves a fairly high billing, simply by their name – is it justified? Yes – I think it is – I found them on Food.com, and the cook who submitted the recipe had done the recipe testing for me – testing eight of them to find the best, in fact the World's Best!! A butter cookie is slightly less squidgy than their chocolatey counterparts – it should be light and a bit crumbly, somewhat tasting like shortbread, but lacking the density of shortbread. This recipe ticks the boxes very very well – I adore them, only a few ingredients they are perfect. they take only 16 to 18 minutes to cook and are perfect each time. The recipe suggests making them smaller and sandwiching them with jam or lemon curd. The idea of jam doesn't float my boat – but with lemon curd these really would rawk!
Out of all of the recipes featured here today, this is the one I have made the most, and am fairly certain its going to become part of the standard arsenal.
Finally, from the Good Food Channel comes Sophie Grigson's deliciously different White Chocolate, Apricot and Pecan Cookies, the combination of the white chocolate and apricot is probably an unsurprising marriage, but quite how well pecans,my favourite nut, also go was a little bit of a shock. Like all of these recipes, they are very easy to make – i thought probably the easiest, and although the recipe of course does call for apricots, pecans and white chocolate, the rest of the ingredients are fairly simple, so it is not a break banker. If you fancy something rather than your standard chocolate chip cookies, with some added fruitiness give these a whirl.
NOTE: Contains nuts
What are your favourite cookies – share your recipes with us?