At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Friday, 22 August 2014

can cookies get any chocolatier than this.


These are the cookies I made on Friday...before and after baking.
I must admit...much as I adore these chewy, chocolatey cookies when they are actually cooked - especially when they are still warm and fragrant from being just taken out from the oven; with the chocolate chips all gooey and the cookie dough still delightfully soft and not yet properly hardened - I actually would prefer to eat them...well, raw, I suppose.  Putting all 15 of those little chocolate dollops into the oven was an act in itself that almost made me quite tearful indeed. You see I was baking them as a gift for a friend, so I didn't feel quite so inclined to just help myself as I baked like I usually do. Oh never fear, I cleaned the bowl of course as always, and my mixing spoon, once the cookies were safely out of harm's way in the oven. But, could I have very easily have placed one of those heaped tablespoons of raw cookie dough onto a saucer instead of onto its designated place on the baking tray, and have eaten it just as it was, then and there? Well, I suppose you don't need me to tell you the answer to that question.
Anyway. Whichever way you choose to eat them, these certainly are awesome cookies. Rather substantial as you can see from the picture, not that that matters. To be honest, the actual cookie dough mixture quantity isn't that much. I suspect their large size probably comes about due to the generous amount of chocolate chips - I used milk and dark, but it's up to you, really, what you fancy - mixed into the dough. What with that and the fact that the actual dough is also infused with about 150 grams of melted dark chocolate, I don't think I have ever come across a cookie as chocolatey as this. 
The search continues...but for now, here's my recipe.
  • 125 g butter, softened
  • 75 g light brown soft sugar
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 150 g plain chocolate
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
  • 150 plain flour
  • 2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g plain chocolate + 100g milk chocolate (well, that's the minimum amount I would recommend, anyway... ;) ) for the chips.
  • Grease two big baking trays and line them with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 170c/fan oven 150c.
  • Chop the milk and dark chocolate INTENDED for the chips (that's one of the many reasons I recommend using more than the amount specified here...chips are often lost along the way ;) )
  • Beat the butter in a big bowl with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until nice and soft and squishy. Put a pan of water on the hob to boil.
  • Add the sugars and beat well until lighter in colour and fluffy. In a jug, beat the egg with the vanilla. 
  • Put the 150 g dark chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and balance it over the simmering water on the hob. Allow it to melt, stirring every now and again. Once melted, remove from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • Gradually add the egg, bit by little bit, to the creamed mixture, mixing well between each addition. Replace your wooden spoon/electric mixer for a large metal spoon and then add the melted plain chocolate. Oooh this mixture is just getting harder and harder to resist...
  • Sieve in the flour, the cocoa, the bicarbonate and the salt. Fold in with all those yummy chocolate chips... (all...? ;) ) and mix well.
  • Use a tablespoon to scoop out mounds of the cookie dough and space them well apart on the baking trays. As I mentioned above, I usually make about 15. But again, it depends how big / small you like your cookies to be...
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes. You will notice that the cookies are still very soft and fragile when you take them from the oven...but don't worry they will harden :) but don't transfer them to the wire rack straight away to cool - leave them on the trays for about 5 - 10 mins before removing them with a sharp edged spatula and placing on the rack. The rest is self-explanatory: clean bowl, utensils etc until free of raw cookie dough, then proceed to eat at least one cookie while still warm...they WILL keep in a tin for up to a week though don't worry, but I don't think, realistically, there will be any still in there for that long, right. ;)

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