Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes we all need a pick-me-up. For some it's a massage or a new pair of shoes or maybe even a long phone call with a friend - don't you just love those? However for me, it's food and it's usually the sweet kind. This time it comes in the form of a chocolate chocolate chip cookie (that's quite a mouthful!)

It's been a rough summer to say the least. Not a lot has gone according to plan and there's been quite a few bumps along the way that my family and I are still dealing with. And there's also the difficulty of being a fresh graduate and looking for my first official job; the job hunt is a lot harder than I anticipated. But I am hopeful and patient, I believe something good will be coming our way very soon.

In the meantime, I try to cook and bake for everyone at home to keep spirits as high as they can possibly be. I always believed that good food was not just fuel for the body but also for the soul. And if you can bring a smile to someone's face by just putting together a few ingredients as well as your love then, why the heck not?

The name of these cookies is what first attracted me; the way Nigella Lawson described them as, "Being chocolatey to the point of madness" just meant I had to try making them myself. While you make the mix for the cookies, you know that it's going to be a chocolate explosion because the batter leaves glorious marks of chocolate on your fingers that you, of course, lick off. I'm quite shameless about that, might I add. Once these chocolate monsters are baked and cooled, you get a nice crunchy shell (if I may call it that) that you bite into to reach a lovely soft center with pops of more chocolate from the chocolate chips. This cookie's fit for any chocolate fiend lover.
Behold, the ice cream sandwich from Heaven

And if you wanna have a bit more fun with these cookies, why not make an ice cream sandwich? It'll melt as fast as you do in this heat though, so gobble up!

Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies from Nigella Lawson's Nigella Express
makes 12-16 depending on size

125g dark chocolate
150g flour
30g cocoa, sieved
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
125g butter, softened
75g light brown sugar
50g white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, cold from the fridge
350g semi-sweet chocolate morsels or dark chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 170°C. Melt the 125g of dark chocolate either in the microwave or in a heatproof dish over a pan of simmering water.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
  • Cream the butter and sugars in another bowl. (You can do this with a freestanding mixer or a hand-held mixer). Add the melted chocolate and mix together.
  • Beat in the vanilla extract and cold egg, and then mix in the dry ingredients. Finally stir in the chocolate morsels or chips.
  • Scoop out equal-sized mounds - an ice cream scoop and a palette knife are the best tools for the job - and place on a lined baking sheet about 6cm apart. Do not flatten them.
  • Bake for 18 minutes, testing with a cake tester to make sure it comes out semi-clean and not wet with cookie batter. If you pierce a chocolate chip, try again.
  • Leave to cool slightly on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to harden as they cool.
  • Enjoy!
To make the ice cream sandwich:

  • Thaw out your favorite ice cream. I like plain, gorgeous vanilla with these cookies.
  • Scoop out a generous amount of thawed out ice cream onto your first cookie.
  • Place your other cookie on top of the ice cream and gently squeeze both cookies together.
  • Prepare yourself for a delicious mess!

Happy Baking!