This is my favourite cookie recipe, modified and improved over the years. For a while it was sold commercially as the base of the ‘cookie dough’ dessert option at the luxury boutique hotel I owned/managed for three years. These days is a very popular choice for Pot Luck events.
Makes about 12 good (big) sized cookies, or 18-24 or so regular cookies.
- 200g margarine
- 180g caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
- 300g plain flour, sifted
- 5 tsp baking powder
- 200g Chocolate chunks (easy to make totally vegan using vegan chocolate)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
- Cream margarine and sugar together in a mixer, until light and fluffy
- Slowly add sifted flour & baking powder to the butter mix, to form a dough
- Add the chocolate chunks to the dough, and mix slowly and carefully
- If making larger cookies, roll into golf size balls, arrange on paper on a cookie tray, and press down slightly. Otherwise divide the mix into about 12 – 18 cookies.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes in the middle of the pre-heated oven.
- Transfer to a cooling rack, and then store in an airtight container when cool.
- In my experience, the best chocolate chunks are actually half a ‘square’ of regular chocolate bars, like ‘Whitakers, Dairy Milk, etc.’. This way you end up with cubes of chocolate around 1cm square (which are much nicer to eat within the cookie). Chocolate drops are just a bit too small, melt too much during cooking, and so become more of a background total flavour rather than a satisfying chocolate hit in most bites of the cookies. The chocolate doesn’t always break evenly, so don’t worry about the irregular sizes, just put it all in the bowl.
- The cookies do not need cooking for quite as long as you may expect. If they’re just going golden brown, they’ll still be quite soft when getting out of the oven, but they’ll firm up nicely when cooling after a few minutes out of the oven on a cooling tray. So also don’t try and take them off the hot baking tray too quickly. Just give it a few minutes on the tray, before moving onto the cooling rack.
- You can prepare larger amounts of ingredients in advance, and then freeze the raw cookie dough in batches to bake later. To defrost, just move it from the freezer to the fridge the day before baking, and use as you would normally. Or if you just want to make giant cookies one at a time on demand, just freeze individually wrapped portions, pre-flattened to size & shape. You can also just make it up to a couple of days in advance, and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
- Particularly when you’re making multiple batches of cookies, always place the raw dough onto a cool baking/cookie sheet, rather than one recently fresh out of a hot oven. If you put it onto a hot baking tray, it starts to melt the margarine element before the flour starts cooking and binding, so you end up with very thin merged cookies that really aren’t so good in my opinion.
- These times are based on a regular thin metal baking tray, lined with baking parchment / paper. If you use one of those thicker reusable silicon baking sheets instead of the paper, the cooking time may need to be extended by up to 5 minutes (depending on your oven and the silicone sheet) and this slower cooking time will also result in drier and flatter cookies.
Cookie Dough to Share – Boutique Hotel Style
‘Cookie dough to share’ at the hotel was around 100g of raw mix, topped with four balls of ice-cream, about half a tub of then freshly whipped cream, fresh chocolate shavings, and a quick decorative lattice of melted chocolate as a type of sauce and decoration.
Each ‘cookie dough’ was cooked from frozen (a pre-wrapped portion, made in advance, weighed, shaped, and then individually wrapped in clingfilm before freezing), for 12 minutes into a commercial pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C.
It was pulled out just before it started going brown, transferred to a cool deep serving plate, topped quickly with the cold ingredients in a stylised way, and then served immediately.
It was always greatly enjoyed by the hotel guests.
This is another of my favourite soup recipes, very warming, very filling, and very moorish. Best served with some good hunks of fresh wholemeal bread.
- 1 onion (corsely chopped)
- 1 carrot (corsely grated)
- a small sprinkling of chilli flakes
- 250 grams (1 cup) split red lentils
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 750ml (3 cups) vegetable stock
- Fry the chopped onion in a little oil/butter to soften until just turning golden.
- Add the spices, the carrot, hot stock, and lentils, and stir well.
- Put the lid on, and keep it on (otherwise you’ll need to add up to a litre more of water)
- Bring to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer for around 10-15 minutes
For a creamier soup (now my preferred taste), after cooking, put about half the hot soup in a blender (or a large bowl for one of those hand blender things), and process to a smooth liquid. Then put this back in with the chunkier soup mix, and enjoy 🙂
- 175g – margarine
- 175g – caster sugar
- 150g – Natural Yoghurt
- 2 ripe bananas (mashed)
- 250g – Plain Flour
- 5 tsp – Baking Powder
- Strawberry jam & Freshly whipped cream
- Preheat oven to around 180 degrees Centigrade (350F)
- Prepare two non-stick 8 inch round cake pans (or grease and line if not using non-stick)
- In a mixer if you have one, (or a large bowl if not), combine the sugar and margarine until creamy.
- Add the yoghurt and mashed bananas, and mix well.
- Add the sifted flour & baking powder, and fold in carefully.
- Split between the two tins (around 500g of mix per tin)
- Bake for around 40 minutes (until a skewer inserted into the middle, comes out clean). Ideally leave in the oven to cool with the door open (to help reduce slight sinking).
- Add the middle filling when mostly cooled, and then dust lightly with icing sugar.
- This is a surprisingly sweet recipe, so don’t be tempted to add butter icing (like I did the first time), it’ll make it too sickly!
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