Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Mud Cookies

The art of shamless tomfoolery in one that many of us forget as we advance in our years, so it's always good to occasionally put the pressures of the day to day to one side and instead delight in something altogether more silly. These scrumptious cookies have a serious chocolate flavour, but the process of the creating them is anything but. They are fun, plain and simple and a great antidote to the relentless vexations life throws at you. So why not indulge your inner imp and give them a go?

Prep time: 20 Mins (Plus some chilling time)
Baking time: 15-17 Mins
100g Dark Chocolate
150g White Chocolate
150g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
200g Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg plus 1 Yolk
1tsp Vanilla Extract
50g Cocoa Powder
175g Plain Flour
1/2tsp Baking Powder

I warn you in advance, you are about to get your hands dirty! On a large board chop up the dark chocolate and 100g of the white chocolate into chips. It doesn't matter if they aren't uniform in size as long as there aren't any gigantic chunks. With regards to the other 50g of white chocolate, you need to chop it as fine as you can, so you can either do this in an electric mini chopper or give it a good seeing to with a sharp knife. Once it has been thoroughly obliterated set it to one side with the rest of the chocolate whilst you get on with the cookie dough.

Speak of the devil! Cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg and yolk along with the vanilla extract. Fold through all of the chocolate, then comes the fun part. Sift in the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder and mix together until evenly combined. This will be near impossible to do with a spoon, so it's time to get stuck in and mix it through with your hands. You will get mucky, but just try and remember making mud pies as a child and you'll be fine. Once the mixture is combined spoon onto some cling film, wrap up and place in the fridge for around an hour to firm up. You can leave the dough in for longer if necessary, even overnight, but if you do just take it out 30 minutes prior to baking.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a large flat baking sheet with baking paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap. Break off a piece of the dough and roll into a ball, about the size of a golf ball. Place on the baking sheet then repeat, ensuring each ball is evenly spaced as they will spread during baking. You should get about 6 balls on a sheet and 14 - 16 cookies made in total. Also, I bake them in batches as I can only trust one shelf of my oven! Bake in the centre of the oven for around 15-17 minutes, until spread and just starting to crack on top then remove, carefully sliding the baking paper onto a wire rack. Leave on the paper for 30 minutes, then peel off and return to the wire rack to cool completely. Easy, fun and delicious.

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