As a child of the 90s I love a good Friends quote, and I always remember Monica saying she wanted to be the Mom that made the best chocolate chip cookies, and spends the episode trying to perfect Phoebe's Grandmother's recipe.
I do love a good bit of recipe development, but I also love the idea that when Zoe is older she'll remember certain foods and associate them with me. The way I do about my Mum's Banana Bread, or my Auntie Hilary's caramel shortbread and hedgehog. Food is such a memory trigger and I love the whole idea of having a family recipe book and memories tied up in food.
So with that in mind, I decided to try my hand at cookies. I have made cookies before, lots of times in fact, but I can say with some certainty that these are one of my best efforts. The perfect combination of crisp with a slight chewiness. The browned butter adds a hint of nuttiness and depth, while the rich dark chocolate cuts through the sweetness. This recipe made 14 cookies, but obviously you can make them bigger/smaller and make more/less - although bear that in mind when cooking as smaller cookies won't take as long to cook.
130g Unsalted Butter
60g Caster Sugar
100g soft brown sugar
1 medium egg
180g Plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
80g chocolate chips (or chopped chunks)
1. Start by browning the butter in a saucepan, it is best to use a pan with a light coloured interior, rather than a non stick dark one; so you can see when the colour change occurs. For a full and frankly awesome guide to browning butter check out Joy the Baker's awesome post, I couldn't possibly write a better guide.
2. Allow the butter to cool (you don't want it to be hot and cook the egg)
3. Preheat the oven to 160C
4. Add the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and combined. (I use a Kitchenaid mixer with a paddle attachment, but by hand is fine)
4. Add the egg and once again mix until combined.
5. Combine the flour, bicarb and salt together and then add to the wet butter/sugar egg mixture in 3 stages, mixing in-between to ensure its fully combined.
6. Lastly add the chocolate chips. I had a bag of dark chocolate chips laying about, but you could also roughly chop a bar into chunks. Combine thoroughly so the chocolate is studded through the cookie dough. You don't want someone getting a chocolate chip-less cookie!
7. Roll the dough into equal sized balls and pop on a greased oven tray (be sure to space them apart as they do spread a little) and bake for 10-15 minutes. You want them to be golden and crisp, but they will still be a little soft when straight from the oven. Transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool.
8. You can also freeze the raw cookie dough in balls to bake when the mood strikes, freeze them on a tray, then transfer them into a zip lock bag to prevent them sticking together, then you can just grab a couple of cookie-dough balls and bake them whenever you fancy!
If you don't fancy faffing about browning the butter you don't have to, you can just use regular butter, but the extra effort does pay off in flavour. This recipe is a great base recipe, you can play with flavour combination and added extra from nuts, raisins, marshmallows, cocoa powder... The possibilities are endless!
Zoe was a fan, although she's yet to meet a biscuit she doesn't like. Saying that if I was to make them again for her I might try slightly smaller ones as she made a bit of a mess and struggled to finish a whole one. Me and Paul were also big fans and polished off the majority embarrassingly quickly. The plan had been to take some to work the next day, but with only 3 left it felt a bit mean to not take enough for everyone. Whoops.
Do you have a classic family recipe that reminds you of someone? I'd love to hear your stories.