Sunday, 11 April 2010

Double Dose of Cookies

I whipped up a batch of cookies for the Chief Tester this afternoon, just to keep the cake tin filled. Cookies are something I can take or leave, so hopefully I won't be too tempted to eat them. I used a recipe for cookies which I've had hanging around for many years - I used to make them for my children's Primary School teachers at the end of term! The recipe is for a basic dough, which you can vary to taste, adding dried fruit, nuts, spices and chocolate, to make different flavoured cookies.

While I had the scales and the mixer, and all the ingredients out, I thought it would be just as easy to make a double batch of dough and try some of the cookie dough with added granola - using some of the Dorset Cereal Chocolate Granola with Macadamia Nuts which I won recently. Flapjacks made with the granola were very successful, so I had high hopes for the cookies too.

Basic cookie dough:
225g butter, softened
225g sugar (I used 150g light muscovado sugar and 75g caster sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
330g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 190C. Sift the flour with the salt and bicarbonate of soda. Make the dough by beating the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla, with a little flour from the weighed amount. Mix in the rest of the flour with a spoon to give a soft sticky dough. Divide the dough in half, to make two differently flavoured cookies.

Add your chosen additions to each half, and mix in to distribute evenly. Use two spoons to portion out the dough onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment or silicon; place them well apart to allow for spreading during baking. I get 14 cookies out of each batch of dough, using a heaped dessertspoon - not very scientific, I know, but I don't have the dough scoops which seem common in the US.

Bake for about 12 minutes (depending on size). The cookies should just be colouring at the edges, but will still be soft when you take them out of the oven. Allow them to harden for 2-3 minutes, then carefully move to a wire rack.
I decided to make Stem Ginger and Chocolate Chip Cookies for my son, so added 100g plain chocolate chips and 8 nuggets of stem ginger chopped into small pieces to one batch of dough:

To make the Chocolate Granola Cookies, I added 150g chocolate granola with macadamia nuts to the other half of the dough:

Although both batches of cookies were quite tasty, those containing granola didn't taste strongly of anything in particular. Obviously the granola was not enough on it's own to make a big enough impact on the cookie mix. The Stem Ginger and Chocolate Chip cookies would have been better with more chocolate and a little ground ginger in the dough.
This recipe seemed very good thirty years ago, when we didn't often see really good American-style cookies in this country (a packet of Maryland Cookies was the standard to go by), but now I think it's a pretty ordinary recipe, and a little disappointing. This is obviously another area where I need to look for better recipes.


Foodycat said...

Stem ginger and chocolate chip sounds like heaven to me! Maybe some of the syrup from the ginger instead of the vanilla?

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

Suelle, it's interesting how our tastebuds change, isn't it? I think your chocolate and ginger cookies sound very nice, though! Best version I've ever had with that combination of flavours has been a shortbread cookie which a friend made for us for Christmas - must see if I can get the recipe...

Lucie said...

This look delicious - a lovely combination of flavours. Lucie x

Suelle said...

The ingredients added to the cookies made them OK, particularly the choc chip and ginger, but I think I need a better, richer, basic dough recipe. This one now seems rather plain and ordinary compared to other things I've made.

C said...

Chocolate and ginger is definitely one of my favourite combinations. I've enjoyed this recipe when I've made it before (from your instructions!) but I suppose trying new things makes you question the tried and tested version too.

Shame the granola didn't work as well as you were hoping. It would seem to defeat the point to add chocolate and more nuts to the granola version if using up the granola was the point of making the cookies!

Suelle said...

I think you're right C; adding chocolate chips and more macadamias to the granola would vastly improve the flavour, leaving the granola to provide a textural contrast within the cookie.