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Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Perfect chewy chocolate chip cookies, melting brownies and gingerbread snowflakes

I love to cook. It's a fact. But when i meet someone that loves to cook as much as i do, guess what we do. WE COOK. For days, literally.
And we tend to use each occasion as an excuse to cook. Saturday we made a great dinner for our girlfriends and yesterday we baked.

This year i've got an awesome english teacher : he's fun and wants us to speak as much as possible. So whenever we want we can plan to talk about a topic; and this week Maud and i decided to plan a cookie swap for the english class.

We made :
- perfect chewy chocolate chip cookies (following MY recipe but with some changes - see below)
- melting brownies
- gingerbread snowflakes

Perfect milk chocolate chip cookies
Just a short note: thank you Maud for helping improving my cookie recipe.
Indeed this time the cookies were exactly what i wanted them to be; which means as chewy as mine were, but also *thick*.
They were a pure delight.
Slighty crispy outside and oozing inside. With big chunks of milk chocolate. Yum delicious !

You can find the recipe here, but i'll give you some good (and new) tips:
- we used 1 1/2 cup caster sugar and 1 1/2 cup light muscovado sugar: increasing the muscovado sugar ratio helps the cookies getting chewier and with a lovely golden colour.
- we replaced the butter by vegetable shortening as we did not have enough butter. I think it might have an influence on the texture but truth to be told i prefer my cookies with a great butter taste. So i think the kind of fat you use don't have much influence.
- but what's important is not to add the fat melted as my first recipe stipulated but cold and diced. So what i do now is: first put flour, baking powder, sugars and vanilla seeds in a bowl. Add the butter (cold and diced) and rub it into the flour mixture. Add the eggs. Add the chocolate chips (here we used milk chocolate chip only).
The dough won't be as smooth as the old one, it'll be more like a pate sablée [shortcrust pastry]. So you'll have to form small disks of 1/4 cup worth and 2cm thick.

Melting brownies
We used the recipe from Nigella Lawson's Feast : snowflaked brownies but leaving out the white chocolate chips.
We ended with delicious plain brownies, perfectly cooked.
Maud prefered to reduce the sugar to 300g, but i think that 350g (as stipulated in the recipe) wouldn't have been too much. Blame my sweet tooth for that.

Gingerbread cookies
Due to popular request (*Tiphaine*), i'll write down the recipe we used to make these wonderful gingerbread cookies.
Just remember these are better the day after they are made.

Festive gingerbread
From Delicious(december), page 178
makes 18 (but we made at least 36 - small shapes)

380g plain flour
1 tbsp ground ginger (we used cinnamon instead)
1 tsp mixed spice
125g unsalted butter (we used vegetable shortening - no flavour modifications)
175g dark muscovado sugar
1 medium egg, beaten
4 tbsp maple syrup (we used honey)

Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Sift the flour, ginger and spice into a bowl. Rub the butter and ugar, removing any sugar lumps. Stir in the egg and maple syrup and mix well.
Tip onto a floured surface and roll out to 5mm thick.
Cut out shapes using festive cookie cutters and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Decorate with icing (see the recipe for royal icing here.
Keep on an airtight box until the next day.

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4 sweets:
Blogger Mona said something sweet:

Your photos are amazing. I'm hoping it's not too late to nominate you for the Acc.Hed photo awards...

16 December, 2005 21:14 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

First, I must say how much I enjoy your adorable web page...
I have made your “Chewy Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies” twice this week; experimenting.
I cut the recipe in half, and adjusted for American measurements.
What I ended up with is:

2-1/4 cup (10 oz.) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. cold unsalted butter (cut into chunks)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (5 oz.)
3/4 cup brown sugar (4.5 oz.)
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
12 oz. Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate (cut into chunks)

I realize I used a little more butter than you suggested; but when I cut back the butter to 4 oz., the resulting cookies were too crisp. I thought the vanilla extract gave as much flavor as the vanilla seeds and I do not have easy access to muscovado sugar...

Fanny, these may be the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever tasted. I love that they “puffed-up” and did not spread too much in the oven; and I never knew I was such a big fan of milk chocolate! The cookies were more pale than I would like, but they tasted REALLY GOOD! I still want to experiment more. What would happen if I swapped baking soda for baking powder? If I used 1 egg instead of two?
My cookies look nowhere near as good as yours though
so I’ll probably have to try your full recipe just as you’ve written it, and hope for that result.
Thanks for all your lovely inspiration...vici

18 December, 2005 23:08 

Blogger *fanny* said something sweet:

Hi Mona, thank you so much for your kind note and for voting for FOODBEAM. I know i wont be winning but you know, that's so nice of you.

Hi vici, you can't imagine how happy i am to know that my cookies are one of the best you've ever had. I aspire to be a food writer so im glad people like my recipes.
I think you should try with the whole recipe but if you want to halve it use one egg (or even better two egg yolks and a little milk or a little egg white) - the dough should be crumbly. I usually use baking powder but i think it's fine to use baking soda - maybe you should add a little more (let's say 2tsp for half a batch) but taste the dough before as the taste of baking soda should not be overpowering. I find that by replacing the brown sugar by muscovado sugar the cookies are darker and chewier. Just a short note on salt - if you're halving the recipe just use a pinch of salt.
Hope your next batch will be as you're expecting it to be.


18 December, 2005 23:40 

Blogger *fanny* said something sweet:


Rorie said...
Yum! Are these cookies as delicious as they appear in your photos?!!

14 December, 2005 06:22

Fanny G said...
I have tasted them and I have to admit that their are really as delicious as they seem to be... Thank U Fanny for being such a perfect cook !...
Fanny G

14 December, 2005 07:50

Fanny said...
Hi Rorie
yes they're indeed as delicious as they look.

Hi Fanny G,
thanx for dropping by. Et merci pour tout ce que tu m'as dit de gentil sur mon blog.


14 December, 2005 12:03

Aïda said...
Ca à l'air SUPER bon !
J'éspère que tu me les fera goûter !!!


14 December, 2005 13:00

Fran said...
Oh my goodness Fanny--here I sit at work with a cup of tea looking at these goodies--yum. I have been very hungry for brownies. Wonderful photos.

14 December, 2005 15:49

joey said...
That cookie looks to die for! Great pics...hunger-inducing!!! Thanks for the cookie tips as well :)

15 December, 2005 13:34

Fanny said...
Coucou mon boubinou, merci pour ton commentaire. Je t'aime fort.

Hi Fran,
you must try these brownies they so perfect.

Hi Joey,
thank you for dropping by. I'm actually craving for these cookies but there aren't any left.


15 December, 2005 15:38

Melissa said...
Gosh, you are killing me, your photos are making my sweet tooth wiggle!
Hope you are planning a great Holiday!

15 December, 2005 15:39

18 December, 2005 23:46 

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