Simply Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

If I keep baking cookies, it’s because I am never quite satisfied with them: I have searched long and wide for that perfect cookie that “looks the part, smells the part” and more importantly “tastes the part”…. I believe I found it! My older son tells me “You can stop looking now Mummy” so time to share!

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Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 85g soft light brown sugar
  • 75g sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk straight from the fridge
  • 200g flour
  • 100g rolled oats
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt (but not if you’re using salted butter)
  • 1 tsp ground vanilla
  • Chocolate chips ( 3 large handful)

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 170°C/ 150°fan/ Gas 3 and line 2 baking trays: it makes 12 to 14 cookies
  • Melt the butter and set aside to cool a little
  • Add to both sugars and cream together
  • Beat in the vanilla and eggs until the mixture is light and creamy

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  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oats,soda, salt and ground vanilla

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  • Slowly (speed 1) mix the dry ingredients to the creamy mixture until just blended
  • Fold in the chocolate chips

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  • Using an ice cream scoop (I find the medium sized one works best), drop the dough onto the baking trays, well apart

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  • Bake for 15 to 18mn, until the edges are slightly toasted. When I have 2 trays, I swap them after 10mn, back to front and top to bottom

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  • Leave to cool for 5mn before transferring to cooling wire

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and resist for as long as you can….

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Courgette cake

As part of my Courgette day, to accompany the puff potato and courgette pie…. clearly I had an abundance of courgettes!

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For this one, I was inspired by a recipe from Anna Olson and made it my own…. I will add the American measurements which  I used this time as many times have I heard it doesn’t work the same… it does!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter – 125g
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup sugar – 130g ( I mixed in light brown for colour)
  • 1 to 2 tsp of finely grated orange zest: as you prefer but you don’t want it to overpower the taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup flour – 200g
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ salt
  • ½ tsp ground vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup grated courgettes, loosely packed
  • chocolate chips, as little or as much as wanted

Streusel topping:

as in: https://farandoleofcakes.com/2014/07/17/banana-cake-with-streusel-topping/ but substitute 1 tbsp of cocoa powder with flour

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and grease or line a loaf tin
  • Beat the butter, eggs, sugar, zest and vanilla extract together in a large bowl
  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and vanilla powder
  • Stir in the courgette to coat it with the flour
  • Add this to the wet mixture, stirring until just blended.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips (if using) and scrape the batter into the prepared pan
  • Top evenly with streusel
  • Bake in the oven for 50 to 60mn, until tester comes out clean
  • Cool the cake completely in the pan until turning out to slice and enjoy!

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Puff Potato & Courgette Pie

Last month, I ended up having a “Courgette Day” when that vegetable made it into a cake, no surprise here, and a savoury pie, yes it does happen too! I am a bit late posting the recipes but the boys have been on my computer non-stop and I am just too tired by evening…. So here goes, a lovely vegetable pie.

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and no, I didn’t make my own puff pastry. Quite frankly, it is too time consuming and the shop-bought ones are perfect, make sure it is made with butter!

Ingredients:

  • Vegetables: mainly potatoes (4 or 5), thinly sliced, boiled for a few minutes,drained and cooled, and grated courgettes. I added thinly sliced onions and red pepper.
  • diced bacon or lardons
  • 450g puff pastry
  • 150ml double cream
  • Seasoning
  • 2 beaten eggs

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 200°C/ 180°fan/ Gas 6
  • In a bowl, mix together all your vegetables and bacon

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  • Stir in 2 tbsp of the cream and plenty of seasoning: salt&pepper obviously, and my favourite: a pinch of nutmeg
  • Divide the pastry in half and roll out one piece to the size of the oven plate (I used my stone pizza). Roll out the other half but make it 1 cm bigger all around.
  • Place the first circle on your oven tray and top with the potato mixture, leaving a border

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  • Brush the border with a little of the eggs
  • Top with the larger circle of pastry. Seal well and crimp the edge
  • Cut a steam vent in the centre, wide enough to accommodate a small funnel
  • With the back of a knife, mark a pattern and brush with a little of the eggs
  • Bake for 30mn

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  • Mix the remaining beaten eggs with the rest of the cream and pour into the pie through the steam vent, lifting the sides of your tray in turn to allow even spreading

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  • Return to the oven for a further 15mn then leave to cool for 30mn before serving

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Dried Figs and Apricot Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

I baked this because I was left with so many dried figs that just eating them wasn’t going to make them disappear…. the perfect excuse for a cake that might not sound that interesting, doesn’t have that “wow” look about it but just taste soooo nice, and so the neighbours still mention it, I might have to make another one! Perfect for Coffee!

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Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 cup of dried figs, chopped up (scissors work best here)
  • 1 cup of dried apricots, chopped up, mixed with dried strawberries, just to try

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  • 420g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 170g soft butter
  • 175 sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml crème fraiche (sour cream)

Streusel:

In a small bowl, combine:

  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 60g soft butter
  • 40g flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

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Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4. Grease and flour a 28cm/ 11″ ring tube springform pan
  • Sift together the first 5 dry ingredients and take 1 tbsp of the flour mixture to sprinkle over the dried fruits to stop them from sinking into the cake whilst baking
  • In a stand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy then slowly add the sugar and cream together
  • Add one egg at a time, beating for at least 3mn after the last addition
  • Add the vanilla extract and not to worry if it looks curdled

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  • Add the flour mixture alternating with the cream, starting and finishing with the dry
  • Fold in the fruits by hand
  • Spoon 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle half of the streusel. repeat that layer and top with the last of the batter

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  • Bake into the middle of the oven for 50 to 60mn ( mine took 55 exactly). Remove to a wire rack and let it cool for 20mn

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  • Remove from the pan to let cool completely. A dusting of icing sugar completes the picture

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