Friday, October 22, 2010

National Baking Week - Giveaway Winner and Chocolate Chip Cookies



First of all, huge congratulations to Jo Bryan of Peterborough, who is the winner of the selection of Pyrex non-stick bakeware and prepware worth £50 courtesy of Pyrex and National Baking Week.

This is my last post in celebration of National Baking Week, and for me, no celebration of baking would be complete without my chocolate chip cookie recipe. They are one of the first things I baked as a child, and over the years they have become one of my signature recipes. Everyone always asks for the recipe, and I’m happy to share it.

One thing that really makes a difference is using Nestle Toll House Morsels instead of ordinary chocolate chips. They can be hard to find in England, but are available from The Stateside Candy Company. It’s really worth sourcing these as I think they are among the best chocolate chips in the world – although other brands still give a delicious result.

These cookies are best eaten the day they are made, although I have never found it to be a problem as frankly, most of them get eaten before they even get a chance to cool! Try them with an ice cold glass of milk - it may sound cliché, but it really does make an ambrosial snack. A cup of tea doesn’t go amiss either!

2/3 cup soft unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups all purpose (plain) flour
½ teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
½ teaspoon salt
1 package (6 ounces) chocolate chips (preferably Nestle Toll House Semi Sweet morsels - see above)

You’ll need two baking sheets, either lightly greased with butter or lined with some greaseproof paper.  Heat the oven to 350ºF or 170ºC (160ºC fan oven). 

Cream together the butter and the sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and stir in.  Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. 

Drop the mixture by teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets. (You may need to bake the cookies in more than one batch.)  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly brown. 

It is worth keeping an eye on them as all ovens vary.  The cookies should still be soft, but will get firmer as they cool.  Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on them for about five minutes. (This is an important step - they won’t come off the baking sheets properly if you don’t allow them to rest first.) Carefully remove the cookies from the baking sheets and place on wire racks to cool - if you can resist them!

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