Some countries just do a particular food well – where would we be without French bread or Italian pizza…and when it comes to cookie baking you really want to turn to the Americans for a little cookie know-how. There is something about an American cookie that is just so much better than a British biscuit.* Biscuits are kind of crunchy and crispy and a bit brittle, whereas American cookies are chewy and gooey, soft and moreish.
I am a bit of a strict Mum when it comes to sugar so the kid’s standard sweet ‘treat’ is a date, nut and tahini concoction rolled in unsweetened coconut. So you can imagine the absolute delight this afternoon when they arrived home to a house heavy with the smell of sweet cookie dough baking. They were completely giddy…and I let them drink some milk…just imagine! It was like Mum had gone completely mad.
What can you do? Every now and then we all need a little sweetness in our life.
Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe has been adapted from the queen of American baking, Martha Stewart
2 ¼ cups plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
220g unsalted butter (room temperature)
½ cup caster sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or 2 teaspoon of vanilla essence)
1 ½ cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Beat the two sugars and butter together on high speed until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the vanilla, salt and eggs and beat on low until just combined. Add the sifted flour and baking powder and mix until just incorporated. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.
Dollop dessert spoon size balls of dough onto a baking tray lined with baking paper leaving enough space for them to spread. (Tip: when baking biscuits always use a cold tray to stop the mixture from spreading like crazy. Cold mixture and a cold tray will stop the spread).
Bake until cookies are golden around the edges but still soft inside (about 10 minutes). Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 1-2 minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 24 cookies.