A few years ago I spent Christmas in the Basque country with my family. The main celebration is on Christmas Eve with everyone out in the bars, dressed in traditional Basque clothes. Male choirs walk around the town singing carols then everyone goes home around 10pm to start dinner. The food is incredible – jamon, foie gras, smoked salmon, asparagus, steak, turrones…
The whole experience was amazing but I was heartsick as Lewis was home in London. One phone call to him made me particularly maudlin. It was Christmas Eve and he was looking after his dad’s dog and making chocolate chip cookies to give to his family as presents… awwww! Of course he made me the cookies upon my return and they’ve been a favourite ever since.
The recipe is Hugh Fearnley and very easy to make with kids. They take about 7 minutes to bake and the day we realised we could freeze them in batches then cook from frozen was a very good day!
Chocolate chip cookies (makes 12-14 cookies)
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
- 125g unsalted butter
- 100g caster sugar
- 75g soft light brown sugar
- 1 lightly beaten egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 150g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped into smallish chunks – Bourneville or Sainsbury’s dark chocolate are nice
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190 degrees and grease a baking tray with butter. Weigh out all your ingredients (tutu optional).
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Put the sugars into a mixing bowl, pour in the melted butter and beat well with a wooden spoon. Beat in the egg and vanilla (this is Lewis ‘adding vanilla for Phillipa blog’ face).
Sift the flour into the bowl and add the baking powder and salt. Stir them in, then add the chopped chocolate (eat some chocolate).
Using two tablespoons put little blobs of cookie dough on to the baking tray – leave lots of space between them. Either use 2 baking trays or bake in 2 batches (or freeze half the cookie balls – see below). Bake for 8-10 mins until the cookies are pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes then use a spatula to put the cookies on a wire rack or plate to cool. I always eat at least one cookie straight from the oven when it’s all goey chocolately (or “chocolalli” as Lexie’s little friend Bonnie says). Lexie prefers to eat hers nudie on the sofa. Remember to store them in a biscuit tin so they are nice the next day.
To freeze the cookies (we usually bake 6 and freeze 6) put the little blobs of cookie on a plate and pop in the freezer. Once they are pretty frozen you can pop them into a plastic freezer bag. Then every time you want a cookie just take a ball out of the freezer and bake in the oven for 8-10 mins. This is Lewis ‘putting the cookies in the freezer for Phillipa’s blog’ face.