I’ve been having one of those evenings. You know the ones? Yeah, one of those ones. The ones where you’ve had a kind of unproductive day, then you get a call – dinner date, great, kicked back into action. Dressed nicely, hair looking good. Then you get another call, which you were beginning to suspect anyway, because it comes half an hour late – sorry, cancelled, something came up. Can’t be helped.
So I have no dinner and my hair looks nice for nothing and I trudge on over to Tesco’s to pick up a ready meal, practising my look of aloof desolation, as I really am dressed rather too nicely for this, and also feeling rather sorry for myself.
I am thinking it’s time to bake. I am thinking of a cookie recipe I have been wanting to try for ages but never got around to: The Chewy. I am thinking that if these are the best damn cookies in the world (or even, let’s be honest, just half decent) then this evening might just be salvaged.
Makes around 24
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tbsps milk
1 tbsp vanilla essence
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 cups chocolate chips (or 200g chocolate, chopped)
1. Melt the butter, then cream with the sugars using an electric whisk (or stand mixer, if you’re lucky enough to have one that’s not a repository for kitchen detritus that you have nowhere else to put, so shove it in this handy large bowl so helpfully kept on the counter)
2. Mix in the egg and yolk, then the milk and vanilla, until well combined
3. Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add, but by bit, until all combined
4. Stir in the chocolate chips and chill the mixture in the fridge (you can chill for however long you like really – anywhere from half an hour, if you want your cookies ASAP, up to a day and a half. Apparently the flavour improves the longer you chill as the sugar does some sort of magicky caramelly thing which makes them richer and more delicious)
5. Preheat the oven to 180C. Drop balls of mixture onto greased baking sheets, being sure to leave lots of space as they really spread (I did approximately 1/8 a cup of mixture and 6 to a sheet, then for the next round a little less and 7-8 to a sheet). Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown.
I modified the recipe very minimally, decreasing the salt and chocolate (as I read that they are almost TOO chocolatey… and I didn’t have enough chocolate anyway) and upping the vanilla. They were yum, and just right for eating while curling up on the sofa with a glass of milk and some knitting. I even tried thinking about Big Things like careers and my upcoming wedding. Now I’m not saying that these cookies spurred me into action on either count, though I did finally get around to emailing the caterer, which I had been putting off all week and had been filling me with apprehension for some reason. Coincidence? Maybe, but I have this recipe bookmarked for the next time I want a handful of comfort. Things somehow seem easier to tackle when you have a cookie in one hand and a glass of milk in the other, and if that is all it takes to make me feel better about life in general then, well, I might just help myself to another.