Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Gutentag to all you lovelies out there reading this! Today I bring you these chewy chocolate chunk cookies, and I dare you to try saying that 3 times fast.

Everybody has a different idea of what their ideal chocolate chip cookie looks like. If you’re my dad, then you want thin, crunchy cookies. If you’re my brother, then you’re going to want them thick and gooey. And if you’re my mother, then you have a headache. Just when you thought all hope was lost, this banger of a recipe shows up to reunite your cookie conflicted household. These cookies have a rich butterscotch flavour, chewy texture and banging taste. A glass of milk on the side makes these even more delectable.


Allow me a brief moment to discuss what exactly makes these chewy chocolate chunk cookies just so incredibly fantastic. This recipe does not call for you to mix two different types of sugar; it’s all brown sugar for double the butterscotch flavour. Refrigerating the dough overnight makes for an even more intense flavour, but I know that ain’t nobody got time for that. These can be baked straight away, or if you aren’t in a rush then I seriously recommend that you leave this in the fridge overnight. The best part about these is the dark chocolate pieces that will take your taste buds to paradise.


There is a serious shortage of chocolate chips in Zimbabwe right now. I’ve been to about 5 stores in the past 2 weeks and I’ve been told the same thing over and over again, “We haven’t had them in about a month”. The restrictions on various imported goods has meant that certain items such as coconut milk and the beloved chocolate chips haven’t found themselves in stores recently. But fear not fellow Zimbos! For in times of crisis, we make a plan. Case in point: we chop a bar of dark chocolate into little pieces and call them chocolate chunk cookies. Problem solved. The fact that all the chocolate pieces are different sizes ups the wow factor of these cookies by 387629. It’s a mathematical fact, I totally calculated it.


Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies                                                 makes 9 cookies

Ingredients

½ cup butter at room temperature

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 ½ cups + 2 tbsp self-raising flour

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

A pinch of salt

1 cup chocolate chips/chopped chocolate

Method

  1. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and line it with baking paper. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Crack eggs into the bowl, one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition. Add the vanilla essence and mix well.
  2. Measure out the flour and add it to the wet ingredients, followed by the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use a paddle brush to incorporate, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to get every little bit of goodness in there. Stir in ¾ cup of the chocolate pieces and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  3. Using a cookie scoop/ice cream scoop/tablespoon, shape the dough into cookies and spoon them into the baking sheet. I used about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie*Leave about 2 cm of space between each cookie.  After you’ve scooped all the dough and formed cookies, sprinkle the last ¼ cup of chocolate pieces over the cookies. **Refrigerate for 24 hours. This step is optional but vital in order to obtain that intense butterscotch flavour.
  4. About 10 minutes before you plan on baking, remove the cookies from the fridge and let sit at room temperature whilst you preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Bake for about 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes at room temp before moving to a wire rack to let cool further. Serve with a tall glass of milk.

Notes:

*These cookies spread quite a bit and end up being quite large as a result, so if you would like smaller cookies then I suggest using 1 tablespoon. You would also have to reduce the baking time to 9 minutes.

**Refrigerating is completely optional but keep in mind that the cookies will spread even more, and you’ll lose a bit of the butterscotch flavour. You can keep these in the fridge for up to 48 hours before baking, or you could even freeze them for 24 hours before baking.

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Chocolate and Vanilla Cantuccini (Variation of Biscotti) with Hot Chocolate

Fun fact: Italian food is my favourite kind of food.

We’re still getting to know each other here and I just felt like you should know that. I love the fact that there are 101 things to do with pasta, there is always a gelato to compensate your mood and the coffee is black enough to match the colour of my soul. Beautiful.

 Another fun fact- biscotti means twice baked. And that’s exactly what we are going to do to these babies. I felt a bit reluctant to call these biscotti though, because biscotti just refers to any ordinary biscuit. And this is no ordinary biscuit. Cantuccini is a more appropriate name, because of the shape of these biscuits, perfect for dunking in your wine/hot chocolate.

This biscuit is fearless, it can take anything you throw at it. Chocolate chips, almonds, dried cranberries, you name it. You can virtually do anything you like with this recipe as long as the core ingredients remain the same.

Biscotti on biscotti on biscotti
Jenga with biscotti

The reason why I decided to bake these is that I was missing those cold winter afternoons I spent in Tignes, drinking hot chocolate and laughing my head off. Then I decided, I could recreate the biscotti and the hot chocolate…. but the one thing you can’t recreate is the moment. Not only am I sweltering in this 34 °C Zimbabwean heat, nothing beats having the same company around.

Luckily for us, that hole can be filled by eating more biscotti.

 


Cantuccini is traditionally served with Vin Santo, a sweet dessert wine. But seeing as I’m still underage and grossly deficient in funds, we’ll just have to contend with this wicked hot chocolate. Yes, it may be 34 degrees outside, but I am forever freezing and so will continue to sip my hot chocolate whilst pretending not to see you judge me.

The recipes for the chocolate and vanilla cantuccini are essentially the same, difference being that one has cocoa powder and the other has vanilla essence. This recipe is easily manipulated, you can leave out the chocolate chips, substitute the almonds for hazelnuts or chopped pine nuts, it is really all about catering to your taste! Please note below that there are 2 recipes, but only one method because it is essentially the same. I’ll be sure to post a lot more variations of this recipe just to give y’all some ideas 🙂

To make this mini chocolate fondue, all you have to do is melt 50g of chocolate and about a tbsp of milk together, add 2 tbsps of Nutella and mix to combine.

Chocolate Cantucci                                                                           makes about 15

Ingredients 

1 cup self raising flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

½ cup castor sugar

1 tsp salt

½ cup chopped almonds

2 eggs

Handful of chocolate chips

Vanilla Cantuccini                                                                            makes about 15

Ingredients 

1 cup self raising flour

½ cup castor sugar

1 tsp salt

½ cup chopped/flaked almonds

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

Handful of chocolate chips (optional)

Method

  1. Start by taking out two bowls of medium size, one for the chocolate and one for the vanilla cantuccini
  2. Sift the flour, castor sugar, salt and cocoa powder (for chocolate cantuccini) into a bowl and mix until combined. Add the almonds
  3. Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs into the centre and add the vanilla essence (for the vanilla cantuccini) Stir until incorporated and it forms a wet dough
  4. Shape the separate doughs each into a loaf, thats about 8 inches long, 9 inches wide and 2 inches high. Place in a greased baking dish and bake in an oven at 180ºC for 20 minutes or until the dough is firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and stand on a counter for 20 minutes until cooled. Using a serrated bread knife, slice the loaf diagonally into cantuccini pieces, each about half an inch thick. Return the cantuccini pieces to the baking dish and bake a further 15 minutes.
  5. Cool and serve with hot chocolate. Store in a cool, dry place, these will keep for a couple of months.

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate 

Ingredients

50g of your favourite milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces

2 and ½ cups whole milk, and another 2 tbsp of milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp brown sugar

Method

  1. Fill a sauce pan about ¾ of the way to the top with boiling water and put it on the stove on low heat. Place a medium sized bowl over the lid of the sauce pan and add the chocolate and 2 tbsp of milk. Once the chocolate is mostly molten, but not completely molten, remove the bowl from heat. In another saucepan, boil the 2 and ½ cups of milk.

2. Stir the chocolate and milk together until combined. You will have a really thick chocolate paste. When the milk is on the verge of boiling, scoop the paste into the milk and continue to mix until all the paste has dissolved. Add the cinnamon and sugar and bring the hot chocolate to a boil. Pour into cups and serve.