Half-and-half chocolate chip cookies

Why pick one cookie when you can have two in one? This is what happens when you are an indecisive baker. The longest part of any baking session for me is simply deciding what to make. I have a bookmarks folder on my computer called ‘Sweet’ that has 480 recipes in. At home, we have over 200 cookery books. There’s Instagram inspiration, new magazines each month, dishes I have in restaurants that I want to recreate at home. Having so many options is exciting but it definitely makes narrowing it down to just one a challenge.

At university, I’m helped by the fact that my limited equipment, time and ingredients cupboard narrows down my options. Add in the fact that my friends’ requests will involve chocolate 99% of the time, and we’re getting easier still. I first saw this idea on Instagram and instantly wanted to make it. It’s a very simple idea – essentially this is just a chocolate chip cookie two ways – but it looks so much more interesting, and reminded me of the classic New York black and white cookies but without the kerfuffle of multiple icing bowls. The end result is super cute, giving you the best of cookie worlds without too much extra effort. And whilst looking cute is great, the proof is obviously in the taste which I can happily report doesn’t disappoint either, sitting on the cakey end of the cookie spectrum (the cocoa side tastes like a brownie). Enjoy!

Half-and-half chocolate cookies

Makes 14

  • 150g butter
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 200g plain flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80g dark chocolate chips, plus a few extra for sprinkling
  • 80g white chocolate chips, plus a few extra for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until fully combined. Divide the mixture in half (you can weigh it to be totally accurate), removing half the mixture to a separate bowl.

In one bowl, add 110g of the plain flour, the vanilla extract and the dark chocolate chips. Stir to bring together to a cookie dough. Take walnut size pieces of the dough and roll into balls.

In the second bowl, add the remaining 90g of plain flour, the cocoa powder and the white chocolate chips. Stir together to bring to a cookie dough. Take walnut size pieces of the dough and roll into balls.

Take one ball of each type of cookie dough and press together to make one cookie. Press down slightly to flatten and place on the baking tray. Repeat with all remaining cookie dough.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until beginning to go firm. Scatter with the remaining chocolate chips whilst the cookies are still warm. Enjoy!

 

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

I mean. Recipes with titles like that don’t need much explaining, do they? Those five words should get you scrambling to the kitchen with very little persuasion from me. But I’ll go ahead anyway, in case by some miracle of resistance you are still here.

Want cookies but don’t have time to be scooping and rolling and swapping endless trays in and out of the oven? Love the crispy edge and gooey middle of a perfect cookie but never manage to bake it quite right? Are you cooking for others and need to provide dessert that’s fractionally fancier than a pile of biscuits in the middle of the table? This cookie pie solves all these conundrums. I’ve written before about the issue of having to eat something for days on end when you’re cooking for one. This is entirely not an issue with this bake because not only would I be happy to eat just this for eternity, as soon as I posted this on Instagram I had multiple friends in college commenting enthusiastically. My message of ‘wanna chill and help me eat cookie pie?’ could not have been answered faster. Make this. I promise you won’t forget it.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

I adapted this from this Nigella recipe for chocolate cookie pots, which she makes in ramekins. Ramekin servings would up the adorable factor, whilst one big one feels extra decadent and ensures plenty of gooey centre – the choice is yours! I baked mine in an 18cm dish which serves up to 4 people (it’s very rich) but this would also be easily doubled up to suit bigger tins and bigger crowds.

  • 110g soft butter
  • 90g soft light brown sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 150g plain flour
  • big pinch of baking powder
  • 100g chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Cream the butter and sugar together until soft. Add the vanilla and egg and stir until combined. Fold in the flour, baking powder and chocolate chips.

Spread the cookie dough into an 18cm pie dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden round the edge but still a little soft in the middle (the joy is the melting centre so better to under than over bake here). Serve warm with plenty of ice cream or crème fraiche. Enjoy!

Chocolate Orange Dipped Shortbread

The start of term is always a blank canvas for my kitchen cupboards. Whilst the odd tin of tomatoes and packet of microwaveable rice stayed in my lockable storage over Christmas, on the whole my cupboards were bare when I returned this week. This is largely positive – starting afresh means I can make anything, the fridge is clean and there is nothing lurking forgotten at the back. However, it also means that my first few food shops are pretty hefty as I try to rebuild stocks to enable me to actually cook regularly. This means when it came to baking this week, I wanted to find something that required buying as little as possible (so that I don’t fill up my cupboards with ingredients I will only use once) yet would still go down well with my friends.

DSC_0206 Bakes being popular with my friends are vital to save me eating 24 shortbread fingers myself, and luckily these went down extremely well. With flour and sugar already in the cupboard, all I needed was butter, an orange and a bar of chocolate and I was ready to get started. The process of making these was quite therapeutic – cutting out the neat rectangles, pronging them all with a fork, dipping and drizzling each one with chocolate. They are the epitome of simple but effective – the perfect bake to ease me back into baking in Cambridge.

DSC_0211Of course, these are completely versatile to suit whatever you have in your cupboards should they be more bountiful than mine. Swap the orange for a lime and dip in white chocolate and desiccated coconut for a tropical feel. Replace some of the flour with ground almonds and dip in toasted crushed nuts. Use cocoa powder in the dough for a triple chocolate treat. Instead of a white chocolate drizzle, sprinkle with freeze dried raspberries, chopped candied peel or hundreds and thousands. The opportunities are endless!

Chocolate Orange Dipped Shortbread

  • 55g caster sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • 125g butter
  • 180g plain flour
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 50g white chocolate

Zest the orange into the sugar and stir to release the oils (and maximise your orange flavour).

Add the butter and beat together until soft. Stir in the flour to form a dough.

Roll out to 1/2cm thick. If you want a rectangle, trim the edges of dough to form one large square and divide it neatly before rerolling the scraps. Otherwise, cut into whatever shape you desire. Place on a lined baking tray and chill in the fridge for 20minutes.

Bake at 180’C for 15-20 minutes and then cool completely. Break the chocolate into chunks and melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Dip each cooled biscuit a third into the chocolate, and place back on the lined tray. Melt the white chocolate as before, and drizzle over each chocolate dipped end.

My Ultimate Rocky Road

Rocky road

There are three desserts that I can never resist. Pavlova, Scottish tablet, and rocky road. No matter how full I am or what else there is to eat, I cannot ignore these if they’re on offer. And the most dangerous thing about them is that they are all things that you can just walk by, cutting another sliver and another sliver until suddenly you realise you have eaten way too much and you’re really rather full. So then you cut one ‘last’ sliver.

Rocky road

To save my waistline, I have been slicing this up as soon as I’ve made it, filling up my jar with generous wedges and then promptly inviting my friends in college to come round ASAP and take it off my hands. I live on the far side of college so it can be tricky to persuade people to make the journey (although this the Cambridge bubble we are talking about, so the ‘journey’ is well under five minutes) but I find the offer of chocolate on arrival definitely helps!

Rocky road is one of those endlessly adaptable puds: you can change the type of biscuit, add nuts, use a mixture of chocolates. Even the name varies for different people: rocky road, refrigerator cake, no-bake cake. In my family, it was simply chocolate biscuit cake, using digestive biscuits and dried fruit with plenty of glace cherries. Now when I make it, I jazz it up with marshmallows and a white chocolate drizzle. You can go classy with chopped pistachios and dried apricots, or all out sugar high with crushed maltesers and honeycomb. Really, with the two main ingredients being chocolate and biscuit, how can this ever go wrong? This also makes a super easy birthday cake when you don’t have an oven – piled high and studded with candles.

My ultimate rocky road

  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 4tbsps golden syrup
  • 100g butter
  • 300g digestive biscuits
  • handful of marshmallows
  • 100g of dried fruit
  • 100g glace cherries
  • 80g white chocolate

Melt together the dark chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a microwave – stirring at 30 second intervals so it doesn’t overheat.

Bash the digestive biscuits with the end of a rolling pin (or wine bottle) in a sandwich bag into a mixture of crumbs and larger pieces. Tip into a large bowl with the marshmallows, fruit and cherries. Pour the chocolate mixture over and stir everything together. Spoon into a clingfilm lined cake tin and level off until smooth. Chill in the fridge for an hour.

Melt the white chocolate very gently in a microwave. Drizzle all over the top of the chocolate biscuit cake, then chill again for another half an hour. Cut into generous wedges, and let the challenge of resisting eating it all at once begin…