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Monday, November 23, 2009


Chocolate chocolate cookies

The festive season will soon be upon us. With this in mind, I'd like to share my recipe for chocolate cookies with chocolate. 

A note: as it's a recipe I made up myself (to support a friend who was getting married in one week's time and had to work nights up until the big day, if I recall correctly), the quantities are approximate. The main point is this: you want a fairly stiff dough, otherwise they start to melt a bit in the oven. If you find them spreading into little lacy bits at the side, you need more flour.

Chocolate Cookies With Chocolate

-1 and a half cups butter
-1 and a half cups sugar (fine if you want a smooth texture, Demerara for a bit more crunch)
-200g good quality dark chocolate
-2 and a half cups plain flour
-Minstrels. Lots of Minstrels. Like, two large bags. 
(For those of you who don't live in the UK, Minstrels are large chocolate buttons with a brown candy shell, like M&Ms but much bigger. You'll need to seek out your own equivalents, though I'd counsel against Smarties because they're produced by Nestle who are nasty people. Something big is best.)

Cream together the butter and sugar. Gently melt the chocolate and add, mixing in. When the mixture has cooled a little bit, add the Minstrels.

Gently fold in the flour; the less you stir, the less tough the cookies will be. You want a good stiff dough.

Wet your hands to prevent the dough sticking, then start making the cookies. Scoop out a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball, roll it into a sphere and then flatten it into a little patty. Lay on a baking tray lined with baking parchment (if you have to use greaseproof paper, prepare it first: brush with oil then shake sugar over it). The cookies spread a bit in the over, so leave some space between them. 

The cookies are done when they've spread out to cookie size; some of them will have little cracks in them. Take them out and let them cool on the tray for a bit before trying to move them, or they'll fall apart. 

This recipe makes really quite a lot of cookies. 

Even if I weren't so culinarily challenged (baking *anything* is right out), I still can't afford six large bags of M&Ms. But it sounds... nice. And no iguanas got harmed.
I am immensely charmed by this recipe, mostly by its chatty informality.

"The cookies are done when they've spread out to cookie size."

That's lovely. Right up there with my mother telling me that the eggs are done boiling "when the shell is cracked and no egg gooshes out."

[verification word: "bactiest" -- referring to one's children, the one that had the most bumps and scrapes requiring topical antibiotics]
I remember hearing someone read from an autobiography once, in which the author's mother described how to make a dessert. The conversation went something like...

'First, mix your butter and sugar?'
'How much of each?'
'As much as necessary. Then whip in the eggs and fold in the flour.'
'How much flour?'
'As much as you require. Then cook it in the oven.'
'How long?'
'Until it seems to be done.'

The author remarked that interestingly, the listener seemed to find these perfectly adequate answers.

When you make up your own recipes you really do judge a lot by eye and texture in a way that's hard to describe to third parties, especially third parties who aren't used to cooking. It can be a bit of a bugger, which is why I deliberately measured how much I was using this time...

By the way, what does 'hapaxnym' mean?
By the way, what does 'hapaxnym' mean?

It means that I forgot I was still logged into LiveJournal when I posted. :-)

It's a nickname that stuck from my UseNet days -- a silly bastardized Greek for "unique user name".

(verification word: "buminwhe" -- er, nope, not goin' there)
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