Tri-chocolate chip cookies

Welcome to another cookie recipe ūüôā

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You can never have too many cookies in my opinion!  Cookies with milk chocolate, cookies with dark chocolate, cookies with white chocolate.  Cookies with all 3?!

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(I just want to dive in here)

 

This cookie recipe uses a similar base to my lemon & white chocolate chip cookies (love those), which is chewy, fudgy and chocolatey. ¬†I’ve never made cookies with all 3 chocolate chips in them (why, I don’t know), so thought it was about time! ¬†I’ve tweaked the cookie dough base slightly from the chocolate chunk peanut cookies, as I’ve found that cookies without a double hit of chocolate (cocoa powder) don’t seem to need that extra dark brown sugar. ¬†Dark brown sugar is fab as it means the cookies will keep soft for days, however the high amount of molasses means a strong treacle flavour, which I find detracts from the other lovely ingredients (such as the vanilla and the chocolate chips). ¬†It’s important to be able to taste the chocolate chips in chocolate chip cookies! ūüôā

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As with most cookies, bake these until only just looking vaguely set (7-8 minutes). ¬†They will firm up as they cool and this means the cookies will keep soft for around 5 days afterwards (I know, as I’ve just snaffled the last lonely looking cookie from the tin!)

I challenge you not to stuff these in your mouth before they have had their 10 minutes cooling time on the tray. ¬†I did and it was a collapsing cookie goo-fest ūüôā

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(I have a weird pink hand here. ¬†But I’m pleased with the this picture and it took me ages to take so it’s staying!)

 

Ingredients (makes around 18 cookies):

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50g dark chocolate chips
  • 50g milk chocolate chips
  • 50g white chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy.  Ensure all the lumps are broken down from the brown sugars.
  2. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla extract.  Fold in the dry ingredients (including the salt).  Fold in all the chocolate chips.
  3. Chill the dough at this stage for at least 2 hours (I chill mine overnight).  Preheat oven to Gas 4/180C.
  4. Line trays with baking paper/liners.  Roll dessert spoonfuls of the cookie dough into balls and place on the trays.  Bake for no more than 8 minutes and leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes, before removing to a wire rack.
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Chocolate orange brownies

If you’ve been reading the Baking-Joy for the last few months, you will know that I love peanut butter and chocolate. ¬†But sometimes (for like 5 minutes) I have a break for the holy grail of all baking combinations for another combination I love…chocolate orange ūüôā

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Did anyone else always get a chocolate orange at Christmas? ¬†That chocolate orange was the inspiration for these delicious, fudgy brownies. ¬†I adapted my peanut butter swirl brownie recipe, but substituted half of the dark chocolate for pieces of chocolate orange. ¬†Awesome ūüôā

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These brownies do honestly taste like fudge. ¬†They may as well be fudge with this texture ūüôā ¬†You’ll notice the very small amount of flour in this recipe, which gives the brownies their soft, dense texture. ¬†The addition of the chocolate orange pieces (which contain orange oil) and orange zest give them a fresh taste which goes brilliantly with the dark chocolate.

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I want to finish this rather short post on this thought…why oh why didn’t I put Cointreau in these? ūüėČ

Ingredients (makes 16 brownies):

  • 100g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 100g orange chocolate
  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 130g plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 50g dark chocolate chips
  • 50g milk chocolate chips
  • Zest of 1 orange

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas 3/170C.  Line a 20cm x 20cm brownie tin with baking paper.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together (not the chocolate chips) gently in the microwave.  Stir in the sugars, making sure there are no lumps in the brown sugar.  Stir in the orange zest.
  3. Fold in the flour, then beat in the eggs (do not panic at this point, it will look as though it’s going wrong! ¬†Keep mixing and you’ll be fine!) ¬†Mix in the chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes (check after 25).  The brownies should be slightly wobbly in the middle  (this is important, as overbaked brownies are not happy brownies :-))
  5. Let brownies cool in the tin, remove and cut into 16 squares.  They are best stored in the fridge.

 

Soft baked peanut butter chocolate cookies

It’s National Peanut Butter Lovers Day on March 1st and even though we don’t celebrate it in the UK, I’m flying the UK flag for peanut butter lovers! ¬†I can’t quite describe how much I love the stuff, especially as I used to hate it as a child. ¬†Seriously. ¬†I know it’s hard to believe, but I have a particularly traumatic memory of visiting a friend’s house after school and being fed a peanut butter sandwich for tea. ¬†I’m pretty glad my tastebuds have changed ūüôā

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Welcome to PBLA (Peanut Butter Lovers Anonymous) ūüôā

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I’ve made peanut butter cookies with oatbran before (peanut butter raisin cookies) which were great, but I wanted something with pure peanut butter flavour here. ¬†They feel ‘heavy’ when you pick them up, almost like they will be dry to eat, but do not fear. ¬†They may not be the best looking cookies in the world, but in terms of taste, they beat everything else I’ve baked. ¬†Hands down.

The addition of chocolate and peanut butter chips (what else?!) only adds to the whole flavour. ¬†There is no better combination in the world than peanut butter and chocolate. ¬†Who’s with me? ūüôā

The dough for these cookies doesn’t need chilling for long (bonus if you’re impatient like me!) ¬†It is important not to overbake these little lovelies as I believe they could become dry if left in the oven too long. ¬†Stick with 7-8 minutes and they’ll be perfect. ¬†Make sure you leave them to cool on the tray for around 10 minutes, as they need some time to firm up before they are moved.

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Ingredients:

  • 115g soft butter
  • 100g crunchy peanut butter
  • 155g smooth peanut butter
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 185g plain flour
  • 80g peanut butter chips
  • 80g milk chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy (I use an electric handmixer).  Beat in both lots of peanut butter.
  2. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla.  Fold in the flour, baking powder and bicarb, followed by the peanut butter and chocolate chips.
  3. Chill dough for 30 minutes.  In the meantime, preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C and line 2 baking trays.
  4. Roll the dough into golfball size balls and place on the baking tray, flattening slightly with the palm of your hand.  Bake for 7-8 minutes and leave to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes, before removing to a wire rack.

Happy Peanut Butter Lover’s Day!

Lemon white chocolate cookies

I love lemon and white chocolate. ¬†When I used to work for a recruitment agency, I would pootle down to a certain UK shop that’s known for its expensive food (any guesses?!) and buy a lemon and white chocolate muffin to go with my lunch (sometimes it was my lunch!) ¬†I have plans to recreate those muffins very soon, but in the meantime I wanted to put the flavours into cookie form ūüôā

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I wanted these cookies to be packed with lemon flavour, so I used both lemon zest and lemon extract. ¬†All the natural, fragrant lemon flavour is contained within the oils in the zest and the lemon extract just ramps it up even more! ¬†You need the extra sharp lemon flavour in these cookies, as they are so packed full of white chocolate, which provides the sweetness. ¬†Sweet vs. sharp. ¬†Awesome ūüôā

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In some of my previous cookie recipes (such as my chocolate chunk peanut cookies) I used a high proportion of light brown and dark brown sugar compared to white. ¬†As I wanted today’s cookies to be quite light, I adjusted the amount of dark brown sugar accordingly. ¬†You’ll notice that the majority of the sugar in the recipe is still light brown, as that means the cookies will stay wonderfully soft and chewy for a few days after baking. ¬†Soft and chewy is good in my cookie book! (I wish I had a cookie book)

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Like most cookie doughs, make sure to chill this for at least 2 hours (although I chill mine overnight now out of habit!). ¬†This chilling means the cookies won’t spread so much whilst baking , staying soft and puffy.

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I’ve just thought of a way to make the extra cookie dough in the fridge even better…lemon curd ūüôā

Ingredients (makes around 18 cookies):

  • 125g soft butter
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar (superfine)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 150g white chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugars together until soft and fluffy (around 3 minutes with an electric hand mixer)
  2. Beat in the egg, followed by the lemon zest and extract.
  3. Fold in the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt, followed by the chocolate chips.  Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C and line baking trays.  Bake cookies for exactly 8 minutes (no longer).  They will appear underdone, but will firm up as they cool.  Leave on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Banana Nutella Cupcakes

I’ve just had an idea…if banana + peanut butter are good on toast and banana + nutella are good on toast, how about all 3?? ¬†Breakfast is sorted for tomorrow!

I will admit now to slathering extra nutella and peanut butter on top of one these cupcakes…don’t judge ūüôā

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I have a nutella banana treat for you today, in the form of banana cupcakes with a nutella swirl. ¬†You all know how much I love peanut butter & banana (and apple & cinnamon. And peanut butter & jam. And…you get the picture :D), but banana & nutella is definitely in the top 3 favourites (ok, maybe top 5 :-)).

Anyone notice the heart swirl in the picture below? ¬†I’d like to say I did it on purpose…

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These cupcakes start with a straightforward cupcake base, with a few delicious add-ins ūüôā ¬†Start in the regular way by creaming butter and sugar until pale and soft (about 3 minutes, I used a handmixer). ¬†Beat in your eggs, one at a time. ¬†The mixture shouldn’t curdle, but if it looks like it’s going to, add in a small amount of the flour. ¬†Next, fold in the dry ingredients, which include cinnamon. ¬†I freaking love cinnamon. ¬†Particularly in any sort of banana cake ūüôā ¬†The baking powder and self raising flour makes these little cakes amazingly light, even though they contain banana.

Now. ¬†I’m going to make a suggestion that I didn’t actually do when making these cupcakes (but it’s a good idea, promise!) ¬†Slightly warm the Nutella before swirling it into the top of the cupcakes. ¬†As the kitchen was pretty cold when I made these, the Nutella was solid. ¬†Solid Nutella + swirling = not such a good idea ūüôā ¬†These cupcakes still taste great though and will keep for 2-3 days (but are best enjoyed soon after baking!)

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Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes):

  • 175g unsalted soft butter
  • 175g caster sugar (superfine)
  • 175g self-raising flour (or all-purpose)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder (or 2 tsp if using all-purpose flour)
  • Nutella (enough for 12 teaspoons)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas 4/180C.  Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes using a handmixer)
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the mashed banana.
  4. Fill the cases 2/3 full with the cake batter. ¬†Place a teaspoon of Nutella on top and swirl gently with a toothpick or knife. ¬†Bake for around 20 minutes or until well risen and golden. ¬†Try not to eat straight out of the oven ūüôā

Victoria Sponge

I have an English classic for you today…Victoria sponge cake ūüôā

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Along with vanilla fairy cakes, this is one of the first recipes I ever made. ¬†I have my Granny, Mum and Mary Berry to thank for teaching me! ¬†This recipe is quite straightforward, however they are many ‘discussions’ as to the best way of making it! ¬†Today, I’m going to give you the recipe that I use, but also talk you through some of the tweaks you can make for your own recipe.¬†

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Traditionally, Victoria Sponge is made with raspberry jam, no buttercream and caster sugar sprinkled on top. ¬†However this cake is equally delicious with strawberry jam and buttercream filling. ¬†It’s also beautiful as a summer dessert with fresh strawberries. raspberries and lightly whipped cream in the middle. ¬†Take your pick! ūüôā

My personal preference is for strawberry jam and caster sugar as the topping (I know, I know. ¬†I used icing sugar for my photos. ¬†It looks prettier :-)) ¬†A bit of a controversy with this cake is whether you use butter or margarine in the cake batter. ¬†I personally use margarine. ¬†Butter provides excellent flavour in certain recipes and for most baking I will use butter, however using margarine in this case means the ‘all-in-one’ method can be used. ¬†As margarine will not cause the eggs to curdle, all the ingredients can be quickly beaten together in one bowl. ¬†As soon as they are combined, stop mixing, as overworking the flour can cause a heavy cake. ¬†I’ve tasted the Victoria sponge using butter and then margarine and it really doesn’t affect the flavour. ¬†Try it and see!

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Ensure that you bake both halves of the cake on the same oven shelf, as this should mean that they rise evenly. ¬†Don’t worry if one looks more perfect than the other, just pick this one to be the top ūüôā

My recipe makes one 7 inch cake (2 layers), if you’s like an 8 inch cake, simply increase the 4 main ingredients to 225g and the baking powder to 2 teaspoons.

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Ingredients (makes one 7 inch cake):

  • 175g soft margarine (or butter)
  • 175g self-raising flour (or all-purpose)
  • 175g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 3 eggs (about 175g)
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder (if using all-purpose flour, increase the baking powder to 2 teaspoons)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas 4/180C.  Baseline and grease two 7 inch sandwich tins.
  2. If using butter: Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes with a handmixer).  Mix in the eggs one at a time, with a small amount of the flour (to prevent curdling).  Fold in the flour and baking powder.
  3. If using margarine: Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together (with a handmixer) until just combined.
  4. Divide the cake mix evenly between the two tins, smooth the top and bake for 20 minutes until well risen and golden.  Do not be tempted to open the oven door whilst the cake is baking, as this could cause it to sink in the middle.
  5. Leave the cakes in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  6. When cool, sandwich together with plenty of jam (strawberry in this case) and sprinkle the top with icing sugar or caster sugar.

Do you ever use margarine rather than butter in baking?

Peanut butter chocolate raisin cookies

I want to start the weekend off on the right note…with peanut butter.

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These are an adaptation of the salted peanut & white chocolate monster cookies I made recently. ¬†This cookie dough base is wonderful, as it bakes to be very soft and the bonus is you don’t have to chill the dough! ¬†No waiting around with these cookies! ūüôā ¬†I’ve been experimenting with different cookie add ins and my favourites are…

Peanut butter chips (duh)

Chocolate chips

Salted peanuts

All of the above are fantastic, but I realised since I started Baking-Joy, I haven’t included any cookie recipe with raisins. ¬†This is a massive oversight on my part and I intend to fix that today ūüôā

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These cookies are packed full of flavour from the peanut butter, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and raisins. ¬†All that sweet is balanced by the salted peanuts. ¬†Salt + sweet is fantastic in my book ūüôā ¬†Hands up who had pancakes with bacon and maple syrup on pancake day?

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Ingredients (makes 14-15 cookies):

  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar (superfine)
  • 200g smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 210g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 60g oatbran (or superfine oats)
  • 100g milk chocolate chips
  • 50g salted peanuts
  • 40g peanut butter chips
  • 40g raisins

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C.  Line 2 baking trays with baking paper or a baking liner.
  2. Cream the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar together until soft and fluffy.  Gradually mix in the peanut butter, egg and vanilla.  Fold in the bicarb, flour and oatbran.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, peanuts and raisins. Roll dough lightly into balls (2-3 tablespoons) and place on baking tray.
  4. Flatten cookies slightly with your hand.  Bake for 9 minutes (no longer).  Leave cookies on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes after removing from oven so they can firm up, then place on a cooling rack.