When my children were little, I was conscious of feeding them as nutritiously as possible. Snacks comprised plates of sliced fresh fruit and sultanas or carrot sticks; and the only biscuits in the house were reasonably low in sugar and fat, and baked by me at home. Chocolate was a treat, or 'sometimes food', rather than a daily given. These days, my son and daughter comment on how much they enjoyed morning and afternoon teatime when they were small.
Now they're all grown up, it's delicious to offer my family a home-baked chocolate indulgence, especially at Easter. These triple chocolate chunky cookies are ideal for when the whim of eating chocolate takes your fancy. The aroma as they bake is divine. If you are selling your home, I'd recommend you pop some into the oven 45 minutes before the open house, and have a plate of them on the kitchen bench for prospective buyers! (I had a roast pork in the oven when a buyer popped in to my open home once. It worked a treat, the property sold that afternoon!).
My cookie recipe here is adapted from Diva Cooking by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Jennifer Joyce. I changed the quantity of chocolate slightly and also opted to use chopped, fine quality chocolate, rather than supermarket chocolate chips (which are often based on compound chocolate... quite ok for some purposes, but the flavour and texture is not always to my liking).
Handle the cookies with care as you transfer them to a lined wire rack to cool. Use a palette knife, as the dough will still be quite molten and the cookies may split into pieces. Should any happen to break, you should eat them as soon as possible so as to remove the evidence! Happy baking!
TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CHUNKY COOKIES
125g good quality dark chocolate, broken into squares
125g plain flour
25g dark cocoa powder
1/2 scant teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a tiny pinch of salt, optional
85g cultured unsalted butter, cut into cubes and at room temperature
175g soft brown sugar
2 free range eggs
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
200g good quality dark chocolate, extra, cut into chunks
60g good quality white chocolate, cut into chunks
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare your baking sheets by lining them with baking paper. Measure out all of the ingredients before you start. Place 125g of dark chocolate pieces into a bowl and melt gently over a saucepan of simmering water. Take care not to allow any water into the bowl, as the chocolate will seize.
Combine the sifted flour, cocoa, salt and bicarb in a separate bowl. Combine the sugar and cubed softened butter in the bowl of a mixer, and cream until light and fluffy. Remove the melted chocolate from the stove. Add the eggs, vanilla extra and melted chocolate to the creamed sugar and butter, and mix to combine. Using a strong spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the remaining chocolate chunks and then stir in the combined flour and cocoa.
Drop heaped tablespoons of the mixture onto the lined trays, allowing space between each one, as the mixture will spread as you bake. Bake for ten minutes (baking in batches if you don't have sufficient baking sheets). Allow the cookies to cool slightly, then using a palette knife, carefully transfer them to wire racks that have a sheet of baking paper on them (so the cookies won't stick or bend). Makes about 20 cookies. Should they last long enough, store in an airtight container.
What's your favourite baking aroma, dear friends?
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- Liz Posmyk
NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.