Dan was playing in a rugby tournament at the weekend and the forecast was for rain.
Lots and lots of rain all day.
Which, as you can imagine, if you’re a spectator is no fun at all.
The boys never seem to mind, they just dig their heels in and get on with the business of playing rugby.
The parents stand in a huddle like penguins all trying to share body heat.
So, in preparation, Dan and I thought we’d do some baking to cheer everyone up.
We made Dan’s absolute favourites, these mini chocolate tartlets, but then we thought a batch of chocolate chip cookies would go down well too.
And these Hummingbird Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies are spot on. We’ve modified it a bit to get them just right for us, but they are lovely and chewy and so so easy to make.
Thankfully we had no rain in the end, but the goodies brought a smile to many a face anyway!
Chocolate Chip Cookies – makes 24
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g soft light brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
400g plain flour
½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsps bicarbonate of soda
225g chocolate, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.
2. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with a whisk (either in a freestanding electric mixer or with a handheld electric whisk). Cream them together for a good 5 minutes until light and fluffy. This will make your cookies nice and thick and give them a lovely chewy texture.
3. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix them in well and ensure all the mixture is incorporated from the sides of the bowl.
4. Turn the mixer down to a slow speed and mix in the vanilla.
5. Add the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda and mix well with the mixer until you have a smooth, slightly moussey dough.
6. Stir in the chopped chocolate until it’s evenly distributed throughout the dough. We opted for a mix of milk and white chocolate, but you can use any variation you like.
7. You will need to divide the dough into four equal amounts; each amount will make 6 cookies.
I found the best way to bake them is to roll each cookie into a ball, put on a baking tray and put them in the fridge for a few minutes. This helps them keep a bit more shape when you’re cooking them.
8. When you come to bake them, ensure that each ball is spaced out evenly on the tray with enough space to spread (you will need to cook them in batches, with 6 on each baking tray).
Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. I found that 12 minutes was the optimum time for ours but then we have quite an old oven.
9. Leave them to cool slightly on the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
TIPS: To ensure your cookies don’t spread out over your baking tray like jelly, don’t use butter to grease the surface. Instead use parchment or baking paper.
Also, when softening the butter, make sure you don’t zap it for too long in the microwave – it needs to be just at room temperature, soft enough so you can whizz it up with the sugar.
Finally, before baking, let the batter chill in the fridge for a while if you have time. Don’t leave it in too long or it will go hard! This isn’t a problem; just leave it out of the fridge for a while before using.