The last few weeks have primarily been spent nursing children (and myself…) back to health from the coughs and colds that winter invariably brings. Days spent juicing oranges, reading books, cooking comfort food and playing the occasional quiet board game… fine for a day or two, but let’s just say I’m thankful that children are now back at school and that life can finally drift back to normality. Drafts for three different posts I’d hoped to share with you, sit half-written from this period. All seemed a little flat and lacklustre (exactly as I was feeling) in both the writing and photos, so when time permits I’ll attempt to spice them up with some new, improved photos and a touch of editing, before sending them out. A winter-warming soup and a beautifully fragrant casserole were amongst the three, so it really won’t be much of a hardship to cook them over again…
During this time, I’ve also had a little fun playing around with my favourite choc-chip cookie recipe, adding various combinations of spices, cocoa, coffee and chocolate. This was much to the delight of my super-keen taste-testers who probably couldn’t taste a thing with their blocked noses, but loved the fact that we were experimenting all the same! A home economics, food appreciation and science lesson packed into one… Some batches were a little over the top in my enthusiasm for packing a punch of flavour, so when the following cookies came out of the oven, I was very relieved that the flavours I wanted were there, but with a touch more grace and subtlety.
Spiced-Up Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 100g Unsalted Butter
- 150g/2/3 Cup Raw Sugar
- 1 Free-Range Egg
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 150g/1 Cup Plain Flour
- ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- ½ Teaspoon Instant Coffee (crushed to a fine powder)
- Pinch Salt
- 100g Chopped Milk (or Dark) Chocolate
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment/baking paper.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, over gentle heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and tip into a large mixing bowl, along with the sugar and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the egg and vanilla extract and once again, mix well. Sift in the flour, baking powder, Chinese Five Spice, coffee and salt and stir until combined. Add in the chopped chocolate and mix gently.
Onto the baking trays, scoop teaspoonfuls of the mixture, leaving a little space around each. Bake for about 10 minutes for a crispy texture, or a minute or two less if you prefer soft.
Remove to a cooling rack for at least a couple of minutes, before tasting…