You wouldn’t believe that I actually find making cookies, and getting that signature crisp outside and soft and chewy interior, quite daunting as all the recipes I’ve tried in the past have failed miserably with cookies that are too soft or just don’t deliver what they promise.
All this changed on a trip to South Kensington and a visit to Ben’s Cookies. The cookies were huge, soft and had massive chunks of chocolate (that quite frankly must have doubled the weight of the cookie!) They made such an impression on me that I just had to find a recipe for them online.
I first went to their site and found the entire array of cookies they have available. From Milk Chocolate Chunk to Triple Chocolate Chunk, from Cranberries and White Chocolate to Praline and Milk, there are flavours to suit everyone’s tastes. So once I found a basic recipe on marmaladeandme.com, I was happy to experiment with many different flavours including:
- Coconut and Oat
- Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate
- Vanilla and Chocolate Marble
- Double Chocolate
- Peanut Butter and White Chocolate
I’ll give you my recipes for these 6 cookies but of course there are many other flavours and combinations that you could make, for example dried cranberries go well with the white chocolate, raisins could replace the coconut with the oats and dried apricots would go well with some orange zest.
Once you’ve got the basic dough down, feel free to mix and match. One important thing is that the chocolate is in large chunks, so literally take squares from the bar and place them into the cookie. When it comes out of the oven, it is warm and gooey. The white chocolate caramelises, intensifying its flavour.
I upped the recipe quantities slightly so that the yield of this recipe is 16. Most standard baking trays will comfortably hold 4 of these cookies, which is the maximum I suggest because these do spread quite some way, especially if you flatten the cookie slightly.
250g plain flour
250g self raising flour
½ tsp salt
360g granulated sugar
1 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Coconut Cookies – 160g desiccated coconut
- Coconut and Oat Cookies – 50g desiccated coconut, 100g rolled oats
- Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate – replace 100g of the margarine with peanut butter, 100g of the sugar with light brown sugar, 100g dark chocolate squares
- Vanilla and Chocolate Marble – 50g cocoa powder to be combined with half of the dough, 2 tbsp milk, 100g dark chocolate squares
- Double Chocolate – replace 50g of the plain flour with 100g cocoa powder, 100g of the sugar with light brown sugar, 2 tbsp milk, 100g dark chocolate squares
- Peanut Butter and White Chocolate – replace 100g of the margarine with peanut butter, 100g of the sugar with light brown sugar, 100g white chocolate squares
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the plain and self raising flour and salt (and cocoa powder if using) and make a well in the centre.
In a large microwaveable bowl, place the margarine (and peanut butter if using) into the microwave and melt on 30 seconds blasts until no solid lumps remain. Add the granulated sugar and stir until it has cooled down. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla extract and whisk together until even.
Pour into the well (adding the coconut/oats at this point) and stir to combine, using a folding action when it comes together, scraping right down to the bottom of the bowl. The dough shouldn’t be too stiff but it shouldn’t be too wet.
Take portions of the dough weighing 78g each (this allows me to get 16 cookies) and roll into a ball, placing them on the baking tray with enough room to allow for spreading. With the chocolate cookies, push 2 squares of chocolate into the tops of the cookies and then reshape the cookie back into its original shape so that the chocolate is slightly hidden. For the coconut cookies, sprinkle over more desiccated coconut.
Bake for 13 minutes until the cookies are golden (where applicable) and give just slightly when pressed. Leave to cool on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.