Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Crushed Cornflake and Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am often asked where I get my ideas for recipes and things to try. Well, some of my inspiration of course comes from existing and established recipes, traditional combinations and the near infinite number of highly skilled and talented individuals that choose to share their enthusiasm and passion online. Sometimes it comes from what is available, in season at the time or even just from what I have left over in the store cupboard or refrigerator. Occasionally it is something as simple as an aroma, a texture, even a colour that grabs my attention and sparks my imagination. However, a surprising amount of my recipes begin as merely a thought, a curiosity that nags at me and keeps me awake at night. Usually it's just a single ingredient or concept, that sits there in my mind, teasing me and daring me to explore its possibilities. As you can imagine more often than not my exploration and experimentation ends in little more than total failure, but every now and again my efforts are rewarded spectacularly, such as with these fantastic cornflake cookies.

Replacing much of the flour with well crushed cornflakes adds an amazing dynamism in both the texture and flavour of these charming cookies. They are soft and chewy, but with a light crunch and deep in their biscuity, almost toasted flavour. Add to this a dash of vanilla and a couple of handfuls of dark chocolate chips and you have what I can confidently declare as not only one of the best cookie recipes I've ever made, but one of the best I've ever eaten. And I've eaten a LOT of cookies!

Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 14 Mins
150g Cornflakes
85g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
115g Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg plus 1 Yolk
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2tsp Baking Powder
3tbsp Plain Flour
200g Choc Chips

The first task is to crush the cornflakes. A food processor will make light work of this, but I just use a large bowl and a rolling pin. After ten minutes of gentle pounding they should be relatively finely pulverised, with a few large crumbs and flakes remaining. This is PERFECT!

When the cornflakes are crushed you can make the cookies. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line two large flat baking sheets with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg and yolk along with the vanilla extract. Sift in the baking powder and flour, then toss in the crushed cornflakes and chocolate chips. Mix together lightly with a wooden spoon then get your hands in and bring together to a firm, but sticky dough. Take a small amount of the mixture, roll into a golf ball shape, then flatten very slightly between your hands and place on one of your trays. Repeat for the rest of the mixture, making sure each squashed ball is evenly spaced apart (as they will spread during baking). You should get about 14-15 cookies from this quantity of mixture. Place both trays in the centre of the oven and bake for around 14 minutes, until the cookies have spread and are a deep, even golden brown. When you are happy they are baked, remove from the oven and carefully slide the paper from their trays onto a wire rack of heatproof surface. Leave for 20 minutes to firm up, before gently peeling each cookie from the paper and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack. Congratulations, you have finished!

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