#Recipe #ChocolateChip Day

A food lover’s calendar is choc-full (pardon the pun!) of days on which to celebrate, indulge and extol the virtues of food stuffs galore. In fact I’m pretty certain that if you research hard enough you’ll find that every single day is bequeath to some food or ingredient somewhere in the world. Not that I’m complaining! On that note, May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Day here in North American waters. And without further ado I present not one but TWO culinary efforts in homage to that humble morsel of cocoa goodness.

My “Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies” are chocolate, chocolate, chocolate lovers dream! Crumbly mint chocolate cookie studded with chocolate chips, enrobed in a smooth, dark chocolate case. Absolute perfection with a glass of ice-cold milk. Girl scouts eat your hearts out!

The second cookie that we have, “Choc Chip Short Oat Cookies” are a wonderful hybrid between buttery, crumbly shortbread and a classic oatmeal cookie. Easy to bake they’re also a handy one to have ready should you be looking for an afternoon activity with little hands.

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Peppermint Cookies 1

Ingredients (makes apx 50)
Chocolate Cookies:

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet

Chocolate Peppermint Coating:

16oz chocolate, semi-sweet, broken into pieces

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Method:
Making the cookies:
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and powdered sugar until well combined (apx 10 mins) Add the vanilla extract, peppermint extract, salt, and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is well combined and there are no pockets of cocoa dust
  • Add the flour and mix until you have crumbly dough
  • Gather the dough into a ball, and knead it together on a counter for about 3-5 mins It should become somewhat smoother. (Don’t worry if it’s still a little crumbly)
  • Divide the dough in 2, flatten into disks, and wrap in cling wrap. Chill in a refrigerator for 15-20 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line two baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment
  • Roll dough out to a thickness of 6mm. I used a rolling-pin with guides to get a consistent thickness. A trick I found that works really well is to roll the dough out between two sheets of baking parchment. Not only are the cookies easier to lift, it also saves on counter top mess and cleaning up!
  • Cut out cookies (I use a 2 “ cutter) and place, spaced apart, on the pre-lined baking sheets
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the trays for 3-5 mins. Then careful remove to wire racks and allow to cool completely
  • When your cookies have cooled completely prepare your chocolate coating

Peppermint Cookies

Making the coating:
  • In a bowl set over hot water in a pan, slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally
  • Add in the peppermint extract and stir to combine. It may look like it’s caused the chocolate to separate and become grainy but fear not! Keep stirring and it’ll come right in the end.
Finishing the cookies:
  • With a fork in each hand, gently drop the cookies one at a time into the chocolate coating
  • Using the forks, flip to coat all sides. Lift the cookie out of the chocolate with one of the forks and allow any excess chocolate to drip off the cookie back into the bowl
  • Place the freshly coated cookie on a parchment lined counter, and repeat
  • Allow the cookies to cool at room temperature until ready. They’ll be ready in a couple of hours but I find it best to leave them overnight. They can be stored in an airtight tin for 3-5 days. (Use baking parchment to separate the layers and prevent sticking)

Peppermint Cookies 3

*When dipping the baked cookies you’ll get to a point where it becomes too awkward to flip and properly coat the cookies in the melted chocolate. I transfer the remaining chocolate to a piping bag and drizzle it over the remaining cookies.

Peppermint Cookies 4

Choc Chip Short Oat Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients (makes apx 48)

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups cake flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup quick-cooking oats

12oz chocolate chips, semi-sweet

Method
  • Heat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment
  • In large bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar until light, fluffy and well combined
  • Add in the flour, baking soda, vanilla and oats., and mix until well combined
  • Stir in chocolate chips
  • On pre-lined baking sheets, drop dough by teaspoonfuls. Space them apx 2 inches apart
  • Bake in the preheated oven for between 11 to 13 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for 5 mins
  • After 5 minutes carefully transfer the baked cookies to wire racks and allow to cool completely
  • Enjoy!

Recipe- Apricot, Date & Tonka bean Biscotti

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Yet another British Bake Off inspired recipe here as part of my #TheGreatBeardedBakeOff .  It was Biscuit week and I decided to tackle the signature bake task of “Biscotti”. In fact as I sit here typing this I’m dunking one into my customary strong morning coffee. A classic biscotti has a combination of fruit and nuts so I opted for apricots, dates and macadamia. Whilslt not a big fan of dried fruit I love aprocts in baked goods, and the dates were lying spare from a previous kitchen experiment. I included macadamia nuts as I think their smooth creaminess  is massively under-rated. As for the Tonka bean? Well I had to put my. Mr. Mom’s stamp on them some how!?! What better way than with this little known exotic bean. I absolutely love it’s vanilla-like, heady fragrance and love to use it where I can. In fact so much do I adore the smell it’s even an ingredient in a couple of my colognes!

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Apricot, Date & Tonka bean Biscotti

Makes 20-24

2 eggs

180g of caster sugar

300g of plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

100g of macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

85g dried apricots, chopped

85g dries dates, chopped

2 tonka beans, grated using a micro-plane

plain flour for dusting

 

Method

  • Heat your oven to 150°C/Gas mark 2.
  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and doubled in size.
  • Add in the nuts, fruits, flour, baking powder and tonka bean until the mixture forms a dough.
  • Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a log shape. Divide the log into two, halfway along it’s length. With your hands lightly flatten logs 40mm wide x 20mm high.
  • Place the logs on the lined baking sheet, bake for 12-15 minutes or until pale golden and firm.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and leave to cool for 10minutes. After this time cut the logs into slices (10-15mm thick) and  lay  them flat on a baking sheet and bake again for 10-15 minutes or until crisp.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • Serve and enjoy with strong coffee or a glass of dessert wine.
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    Heady and fragrant- Tonka beans