Biscuits & Cookies

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Shortbread. Among one of my favourites. Everything about it is a winner in my eyes, the simplicity, handmade charm, texture, buttery taste. It’s my biscuity weakness. Having said this, I have never even attempted to make it, ever. So today, I tried. From a few days research, reading other recipes I came up with my balance. This is something I always do, instead of copying recipes from around cyber space I find a few, take the differences, balance them out, change it around a bit and make them my own. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t but I don’t like to just read, copy and bake. To me there’s nothing in that. I have no creative freedom I suppose.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

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You hear a lot of stories about bad shortbread, it being hard to make. Mine was fine. Am I a natural? I can hardly believe this. I also find it hard to believe its hard to make. The key is cold butter, straight from the fridge. I also hear you should never use anything other than your hands to mix and rub in the butter. Shortbread should be made with love, as deserved. With this in mind, give it a go. It is so simple, you will wish you made it sooner.

You will need;
A large bowl
Weighing scales
300g Plain flour
100g Sugar
240g Salted butter
Chocolate chips as required
Baking paper
Cake tin

Set your oven to gas mark 4 (180c). Weigh out your flour and sugar straight out into the bowl and mix together quickly with your fingers. Next weigh out your butter cutting into 1cm cubes as you go, once weighed put into the bowl with the sugar and flour. Now your going to just get right in the bowl, squish and squeeze the dry ingriedients into the butter, keep going, until you end up with a nice crumbly mixture (exactly like you would want on top of your fruit crumble) not too fine though, I like it a bit rough and ready. Add your chocolate chips evenly throughout the mix. It is as simple as that, now just pour it out into a lined baking tray and press down gently to fit the tray. Pop in the oven for 20-40 minutes depending on the depth of your shortbread. Its ready when it’s turning slightly golden on top, don’t worry if it’s a little soft to the touch, it will firm as it cools. When still warm cut with a knife and leave to cool in the tray.

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Enjoy with tea, perfect.

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Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Cookies

Hello friends! Welcome back me.

Firstly I cannot believe I’ve allowed myself to get sucked into not blogging since January. Oops! I made a pact with myself on the creation on this blog that I wouldn’t dwindle away, stray from blogging or just generally not blog for any time longer than 2 weeks. Yeah right, well.. I’m sorry inner conscience. People out there, take note of my perfectly named blog, for reality these last few months is the excuse for my absence. I’ve actually barely baked. I wanted to, I’ve thought up a million bakes in the depths of my mind and ill admit I’ve drooled over the bakes of many a blogger on WordPress – but that is as far as its gone. This makes me very sad! *Deep Breath* Diving in..

Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Cookies
yields 12 cookies

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I really wanted to bake some form of cookies with hazelnut. I’ve always been a nut and chocolate fan. Always. I needed simple and quick as my baker in training toddler was all hands on deck to get stuck in, of course. She wanted dark chocolate, yes she’s one of those kids. I think, given a line up, she would possibly now opt for the darkest chocolate she could over it’s milk or white variant. Shame her taste buds can’t opt for the grown up stuff at mealtimes but that’s a progressing work right there – in my flipping dreams!

You will need;
A Sturdy Bowl.
A Wooden Spoon.
A Optional Toddler.
A Whacking Instrument rolling pin.
Weighing Scales.
150g Softened Butter.
120g Light Brown Sugar.
30g Dark Brown Sugar.
1 Egg.
1tsp Vanilla Extract.
300g Plain Flour.
1/2tsp Baking Powder.
100g 70% Dark Chocolate.
100g Whole Hazelnuts.
Wire Cooling Rack.
Baking Sheet.

First off, set your oven to GM5/180 Celsius. You need to start by creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, followed by the egg until fully incorporated. Next add the vanilla extract and give it a little mix. At the point you need to set the bowl aside. Now this is where the optional toddler has fun, and becomes frankly armed and dangerous. Pop your 100g bar of finest quality dark chocolate and all the hazelnuts into a sealing freezer bag, pass the rolling pin (or such whacking instrument) to the toddler and tell them to let loose. Anger management! Allow toddler, or yourself 2 minutes of fun until you have your desired chunk sizes. I had crumbs, boulders, whole nuts, half nuts, slabs of chocolate. Prize said whacking instrument out of the hands of the user and calmly put away. Enough is enough. Chuck the bags contents into the bowl of mixture along with half the flour and the baking powder. Once it’s all combined add the remaining flour until that too has become engulfed in the batter. Spoon desert spoon size dollops onto the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 mins. Leave to cool. Enjoy!

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