I wanted to start with the most heartfelt thank you to all of you sweet readers who took the time to write to me after my last post. Your messages left me a weepy mess (nothing new there!) This community is just so incredibly special, and I am so incredibly lucky to be a part of it. I don't say it often enough - thank you so so much.
Crazy as it may sound, I am prone to forget that anyone other than me is really reading this. Well, apart from you Dad, my own personal proof-reader (and thank goodness you do, my spelling and grammar being as sloppy as they are these days). Blogging can feel a bit of a one-sided conversation sometimes, and it is still amazing to me that you guys are reading and listening.
It seems like a fitting continuation of our last conversation to bring you those very cookies that I kept thinking about but was unable to find the time to test out. Reader, I made them. And now I have a tin full of the softest, most luxurious cookies to dive into whenever life threatens to get a bit much. Am I alone in drawing immeasurable comfort from the knowledge that there are sweet treats readily available? I hope not.
I am conscious that I owe you all a proper explanation of the cookery course that has been keeping me so busy, and I promise to share more details soon. For now, I'll leave you with this recipe. Please make these, they are so quick and totally delicious too.
What will you be baking this weekend?
125g dark chocolate
140ml double cream
230g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
200g soft light brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
Zest of 2 blood oranges (or other varieties will work equally well)
440g wholemeal rye flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp instant coffee
2 tsp boiling water
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
THE RECIPEBegin by making your homemade chocolate chips. Line a small baking tray that fits in your freezer with cling film. Beak the chocolate up in a bowl, and set aside. In a small pan, heat the cream until it is just bubbling, then pour over the chocolate. Leave the cream and chocolate to sit for 10 minutes, without stirring. When the time is up, gently stir it to bring the mixture together, until you have a glossy, thick and smooth ganache. Pour into the prepared tin, then set in the freezer and leave to freeze solid for 3 hours. Once the chips are frozen, remove from the freezer and cut into chunks. Store in the freezer until you're ready to use them.
For the cookies, preheat the oven to 190C. Line two/three baking trays with parchment and set aside. Next, cream together the softened butter and both sugars. Add the eggs, and once beaten in add the vanilla and orange zest. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, then fold into the wet ingredients. In a small bowl, mix the coffee granules with the boiling water, and add to the dough, mixing well.
Finally, add the chocolate chips and fold by hand to combine and distribute among the dough. Use two teaspoons to spoon the cookies onto the trays. As the cookies will spread while baking, space them out well. You should get 4-5 cookies on each tray. Sprinkle the cookies with a tiny pinch of flaky sea salt.
Bake in the oven for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies have spread, risen and sunk again, and are just golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes, before removing to a wire rack to firm up fully. Repeat this process until all the dough has been used up (you can reuse the baking parchment). This recipe makes around 30 cookies.