Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Honeycomb AND Chewy Chocolate Honeycomb Cookies

Honeycomb is so easy to make it felt miserly of me to end the story of its creation without at least one cheeky little twist. You can fold broken honeycomb through vanilla ice cream, drizzle it in melted chocolate, or just nibble on it as desired. However I cannot recommend these utterly delicious cookies highly enough. I could wax lyrical indefinitely about the sweet, almost cindered toffee flavour of the honeycomb, the intensely dark and aromatic chocolate, or the charmingly chewy texture,  but instead I will simply demand that you make them immediately.

For the Honeycomb
Prep time: 20 Mins (Plus around 90 Mins to set)
200g Caster Sugar
150g Golden Syrup
2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

For the Cookies
Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 11-12 Mins
150g Honeycomb
100g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
100g Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg
175g Plain Flour
1/2tsp Baking Powder
100g Dark Chocolate (Chopped)

As I previously mentioned, honeycomb is very easy to make. However it is important that whenever you are working with hot syrup or sugar you do so with great care, as not only can it burn very quickly, if you become cavalier it can also burn you!

Tip the sugar into a medium saucepan along with the golden syrup and place on a low heat. Allow the sugar to melt slowly into the golden syrup, without letting it come to a simmer (yet). When the sugar has dissolved bring the heat up to medium and simmer, lightly bubbling away until the syrup is a golden amber. At this point turn the heat off and tip in the bicarbonate of soda, which will cause the syrup to froth and expand. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the bicarb has disappeared, then carefully tip the mixture onto a large shallow baking tray that has been lined with baking paper. Leave for around 90 minutes in a cool place until set. Done!

For the cookies begin by lining a large baking sheet with baking paper and preheating the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. With a very sharp knife chop 100g of the honeycomb into little nuggets, making sure you aren't left with any large fragments. For the other 50g of honeycomb crush to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar. You want to avoid doing this too far in advance or the moisture in the air will cause the powder to set again to a solid lump. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and caster sugar, then add the honeycomb powder and do the same. Beat in the egg, then sift in the flour along with the baking powder and mix until you are left with a  cookie dough. Add the chopped honeycomb and chocolate, then fold through to combine.

Take a relatively small amount of the mixture, roll into a ball, about the size of a walnut and place on your prepare baking sheet. Repeat, making sure each ball is very well spaced apart. I tend to bake these in batches of only five as they do spread considerably during baking. The mixture should make about 20 cookies and will sit happily in a cool place whilst you bake each batch. Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake for around 11-12 minutes, until the cookies have spread and are a deep golden brown. When you are happy they are baked, remove from the oven and carefully slide the paper onto a wire rack or ovenproof surface so you can continue with another batch. After around 30 minutes you should be able to peel the cookies easily from the paper, leaving them to finish cooling completely on a wire rack. Finally, only one important task remains, to eat them all up!

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