Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The first strawberries and homemade cookies to celebrate the end of the rain.

The rain has stopped and today has been a slow day, picking the rain swollen strawberries that are all ripening at the same time and making cookies, which seemed the right thing to do on such a grey day.

I used a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe which appears both in River Cottage Everyday and The River Cottage Family Cookbook. They're super easy to make and use ingredients that one usually has around and therefore are fantastic as speedy, short notice snacks.

Chocolate chip cookies
100g milk and/or dark Easter egg chocolate
125g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
75g soft brown sugar
1 free-range egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment. Chop the chocolate into chunks and set aside.

Heat the butter very gently in a saucepan until it has just melted. Meanwhile, put both sugars into a mixing bowl. Pour the melted butter on to the sugar and beat with a wooden spoon. Break in an egg and add the vanilla, then beat until blended.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl, fold in, then add the chunks of chocolate. You should have a pretty sloppy sort of mixture.

Dot heaped pudding spoonfuls of the mixture on to the baking sheets, leaving plenty of space in between - they really spread out - and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are turning golden brown. Remove, leave on the sheets for a couple of minutes to harden up, then carefully lift the parchment on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

I made these last weekend and decided to make slightly more, smaller cookies this time both to stretch how far the batch went and minimise the guilt twinge I felt. Fab with strawberries and a healthy cuppa.