“Egg yolk chocolate chip cookies” from “The Violet Bakery Cookbook”

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Kirstin: I made these one blustery Sunday afternoon. Having read the introduction to this book, I was wary of the whole butter/egg whisking and so didn’t cream the mix too much. They came out perfectly. And yes, the egg yolks made them creamier. I don’t have a favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I would be very happy to make this my go to recipe. Love.

“Egg yolk chocolate chip cookies” from “The Violet Bakery Cookbook”

“Double Choc Chip Cookies” from “Mary Berry Cooks”

Anna: Tuck in!

Nina: Mmm. Yum!

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Anna: Oooh these are very good. I like these.

Nina: They are lovely and soft. The outside of some cookies get a bit hard but these are soft all over. Yum!

Anna: These are better than Rachel Allen’s recipe. Those are chewy but are very thin and flat. These are lovely and cakey. Mary says the secret is self-raising flour. Whatever it is, it’s worked.

“Double Choc Chip Cookies” from “Mary Berry Cooks”

“Double chocolate chip cookies” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

Louis: Mummy and Louis baking! Cookies! Chocolate! Flour. Sugar… oohh!. Eggs, one, two. Tap tap tap. Louis press the button Mummy. Try it. Yum!

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Louis: COOKIES READY MUMMY! COME ON! Louis share with Papa. Oom omm oom. Yummy! Another one!

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“Double chocolate chip cookies” from “Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”

“Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies” from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was a weekend treat for us. And when I say “treat,” I really mean it.

These cookies were unbelievably delicious. But also, given that they took two days to make, they were a labour of love. I’m sure I could have completed them in one afternoon, but spreading the process over two days seemed to make it easier somehow.

First I had to make the peanut butter cookie batter. That was a pretty straightforward process, but then they had to set in the freezer. Rather than doing that, I put them in the refrigerator overnight. I would have used one of my reliable cookie cutters to make shaped cookies, but my 10-year-old helpers weren’t so keen on the labour intensity of that task, so we just cut the cookie logs instead. They shapes weren’t uniform, but they were close enough, and that’s a much easier way to do that step.

After baking, you then have to fill them with the chocolate (yum). I thought it was much easier to do this with a piping bag, but if that seems too challenging for you, just use some teaspoons. The end result is beautiful, if I do say so myself, and tastes even better.

For anyone who loves Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (and I’m going to enthusiastically raise my hand here) these cookies could be described as heavenly. But after 15 years of living in the U.K., where Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups do not enjoy the same adulation as they do in the U.S., I know that they are an acquired taste.

 

“Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies” from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook”

“Cookies & Cream Cupcakes” from “The Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home”

Pre-baking discussion:

Nicholas (10): These are going to be EPIC.

Maureen: We’ll see about that. I think I might prefer the salted caramel cupcakes, but maybe that’s just me.

NIcholas: I think everyone is going to love these. I’m going to call them my C + C Cupcakes.

Maureen: Catchy name. I have to say that the instructions for these cupcakes are absolute rubbish. They could not be more vague. They say we need double chocolate cookies, like Oreos, but don’t say if they are with or without the cream filling. They also say we could make our double chocolate cookies. As if.

Nicholas: Maybe I should run to Sainsbury’s and buy their big double chocolate chip cookies?

Maureen: Good idea. We can use those for the cookies.

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Post-Baking Discussion:

Maureen: What do you think?

Nicholas: Just as I predicted: EPIC!

Maureen: They’re interesting, I’ll grant you that. You realise, of course, that these are just chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing with cookies stirred into both?

Nicholas: If you want to be technical about it, yes, I know that. But they’re still great.

Maureen: The instructions are still rubbish, but they are good. They’re a little too sweet for me, but that’s me.

Nicholas: I disagree. They’re perfect. Yum.

“Cookies & Cream Cupcakes” from “The Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home”

“Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies” from “The Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home”

The Pre-Bake Pep Talk:

Maureen: OK. Let’s make some cookies.

Nicholas (9): Are we making chocolate chip cookies, like we always do?

Maureen: Nope. We’re tying something different. Peanut butter and chocolate.

Nicholas: Yum. Sounds like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, in a cookie.

Maureen: We’ll see.

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The Post-Bake Debrief:

Maureen: They’re much flatter in the book. These are all puffy.

Nicholas: You’re right. They don’t look like the ones in the book at all.

Maureen: Also, I just realised that while they had vanilla in the ingredients list, they forgot to include it in the instructions. So there’s no vanilla in these, even though there should be.

Nicholas: I can definitely taste that there’s no vanilla.

Maureen (laughing): No way. I don’t believe that. It does make me worry that the book hasn’t been proofread, which might be a problem down the line. What do you think of them?

NIcholas: They’re delicious. They’re like the peanut butter cookies you make, but with chocolate too. I really like them.

Maureen: They might be best straight out of the oven when the inside is still all soft and warm.

Nicholas: Maybe next time when we make them, we should criss-cross them with a fork, like we do with regular peanut butter cookies.

Maureen: Good idea! That would make them flat, like they are in the book.

Nicholas: We should definitely make them again, though.

Maureen: Yes. For sure.

“Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies” from “The Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home”

“Chocolate Cookies” from “The Family Meal”

The scene: While I get the supplies in order before we start, Nicholas, 8 is reading the ingredient list and recipe. 

Nicholas (8): It says here we need two teaspoons of flour. That doesn’t seem right to me.

Maureen: Nor me. Here, let me have a look. (Looks at the cookbook.) You’re right. It says two teaspoons of flour to make 20 cookies. Maybe we don’t need as much flour because we’re freezing the dough.

Nicholas: It seems to me that it’s not right.

Maureen: You would know. You ARE my No. 1 assistant, especially when it comes to baking.

Two hours later, after the dough has been frozen…

Maureen: Oh no!

Nicholas: This is a DIS-AS-TER!

Maureen: It certainly looks that way. There’s no way these look like the picture, or indeed, even like cookies.

Nicholas: It’s a good thing you’re not on the Great British Bake Off today.

Maureen: You’re right. This might be a disaster, but lets bake them, just to be sure.

10 minutes later…

Nicholas: Baking them didn’t make any difference. This is an EPIC disaster.

Maureen: Epic might be overstating it a bit, but it’s not good, that’s for sure. Let’s taste them…

Nicholas: They don’t taste bad.

Maureen: No, they don’t, but nor do they taste good. This was, as Andrew would say, an epic FAIL.

Do you see those chunky chocolate cookies pictured in the cookbook?

That’s what they’re supposed to look like.

Do you see the flat, flacid cookies in the foreground? That’s what we ended up with.

I can only conclude with one word: #FAIL.

“Chocolate Cookies” from “The Family Meal”