Friday, January 21, 2011

'Me want Cookie!'... or a Chocolate and Hazelnut Drop


Without doubt homemade cookies are simply irresistible! When I stumble upon a new cookie recipe I always feel compelled to try it out. Cookie dough is extremely easy to make but the baking of these delicious gems can be a little tricky. A 'walnut', 'golfball' or 'drop' are often used to descibed as the size of dough to put onto the tray however my 'walnut' may not be the same size as yours! Therefore I have found that practice makes perfect with cookies and soon you will know what size ball of dough is perfect for the size cookies you wish to produce. I always tend to err on the side of caution and take the cookies from the oven before they have completely browned. They almost still have a little softness in the middle but while they cool they crisp up perfectly.


I have to say that the nicest cookies I have ever made are posted on a fellow bloggers' site Dinner Du Jour. This is a blog written by two working mums-one in Ireland (Kristin) and one in Milwakee (Kelly). According to Kristin the real trick to perfect cookies is to allow the dough to rest in the fridge for 3 days. This proved fairly difficult in my house but on my third attempt at making the dough I allowed it to 'rest'!! As I found out, the cookies were still fabulous when cooked straight away but were even better when made as instructed. Here is the link for these cookie but I pass this onto you with a warning- if you are trying to count calories or you are sticking to some sort of a Weight Watchers/Unislim diet then this is not the recipe for you! These cookies are so irresible that one will never be enough. However if you would like to treat yourself and your loved ones to the most delicious cookies imaginable then try these out New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies.




On the note of cookies and my never ending quest to try out new varieties Clodagh Mckenna has a really tasty recipe in her latest book HOMEMADE. According to Clodagh she spent two days perfecting this recipe and the results are pretty heavenly! (pictured above and below) Many cookie recipes have the tendency to be too sweet but these have almost a shortbread taste and texture to them which make them a supreme accompaniment to a cup of coffee.

I was thrilled to receive Homemade as one of my Christmas pressies! The book is packed with recipes for every occasion, from a lazy brunch to divine dinner parties. Clodagh has included 'cook's tips' with many of the recipes and all come with an informative introduction. The food is styled by Clodagh and the dishes are presented beautifully! Clodagh told me that she had a wonderful time making this cookbook as herself and her mother headed to the South of France and just cooked, ate and took photos for the full three weeks.
Another feature of the book that I find really appealing are the pattered pages. This would even be well placed on a coffee table as I often find myself picking it up just to flick through it as it is so visually pleasing!


Chocolate and Hazelnut Drops



Ingredients
250g butter, softened
120g caster sugar
300g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
80g good-quality dark chocolate drops, 70% cocoa solids
70g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Method
First prepare the hazelnuts by placing them in a towel. Using a rolling pin, forcefully tap the covered hazelnuts


1. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together with a wooden spoon until pale in colour.
3. Sift in the flour and baking powder, and then add the chocolate drops and hazelnuts. Bring the mixture together to form a dough.
4. Using your hands, roll the dough into small drops and place them slightly apart on two baking trays (there is no need to grease or line).


5. Flatten the drops with the back of a damp fork and bake in the oven for 13-15 mins or until they are light golden brown and slightly firm on the top.
6. Transfer carefully the drops to a wire rack to cool.



5 comments:

Gillian said...

Nessa, I love the first photo with the cookie peeping out of the tin :-)

I made cookies from Rachel Allen's Bake and they were similar to what you describe, shortbread'ish.

Nessa Robins said...

Thanks Gillian!
I love setting up the food for my photos- i'm always trying to get a good shot!
Yeah those were similar - I liked the added spice!

Caroline@Bibliocook said...

I find kids are good for picking roasted hazelnuts out from the papery husks. A good use of child labour!

Nessa Robins said...

Absolutely Caroline! My boys enjoy when I give them any little job while I'm baking!

nita edzia said...

These cookies are gorgeous. My kids love them.

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