Thursday, October 27, 2011

A trip to Chinatown and Chocolate Cookies

A lovely afternoon and lunch with friends in Chinatown in London today, we ate lovely pork buns and beef noodles and prawns in a light silky rice pasta - it was delicious. For desert I tasted a sesame flavoured gelatinous ball with an aniseed flavour inside. Interesting dessert, but not for me - neither in terms of texture nor taste. All of this was washed down with Chinese tea. Lovely!

Now we're back home and about to bake chocolate cookies for the office. I promised a co-worker that I would bring some in to ease the pain of putting up the Halloween decorations and basically to stop everyone from scoffing the Halloween candy !!!

I am following a recipe from across the pond, from one of my favourite foodie bloggers - The Brown Eyed Baker - only one criticism though BEB and that's that I don't, off the top off my head, know what the converted temperature for 325 degrees is, but I did find a handy conversion here:

I also don't know what constitutes a 'stick' of butter - here they come in blocks of 250gr, but I did find it here:
Dontcha just love google ? It's 170gr by the way..

CC just said she doesn't like it when I go on blogspot. I just said to her 'Does it make your tummy hurt when I go on blogspot' and she gave a resounded 'Yes'. I got that from the book that I read many years ago called 'I don't know how she does it' which has suddenly become very popular due to the recent release of the new film of the same name. Anyway, in the book every time the busy mom talks to her boss or someone else that the daughter feels threatens her time with her precious mommy she says 'It makes my tummy hurt when you do that mommy'.. Too funny.

Now I know my measures let me grab my camera and get on with some baking !

Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure, the recipe can be found here, and as I copied it exactly I am not going to repeat it ..

If you don't have chocolate chips, just use chocolate chunks and then chop each chunk into four pieces. Use a sharp knife and press down with your hands keeping your fingers out of the way as my little CC is here.#

Here CC is measuring out vanilla extract.

Yummy chopped chocolate!

Adding the flour.

I like BEB's method of placing the cookie dough, here goes, measure out a quarter of a cup of dough, using a quarter of a cup measure, then twist the ball like you are wringing something out (does anyone actually wring anything out anymore ? I am wondering...) into two equal parts, then place the two jagged edge side by side facing up, and place on the tray. You can, kind of, see what I mean if you look at the bottom left cookie blob on the photo above.

Last photo ...

Ok, there they are, the done deal. Not the best looking batch of cookies in the world, but certainly not the worst either. BEB advises that to achieve a chewy cookie they are taken from the oven when still soft in the middle and, as long as they are kept on the baking tray to cool, they will continue to cook and firm up a little, whilst still retainng the lovely chewiness, that I find so difficult, usually my cookies are crunchy, not gooey.

So, did it work ?? Well, kind of.. I often read about cookie dough going in the fridge before it is baked. I think I would refrigerate this next time as the dough got sticky and melty quite quickly especially a you have to roll it in your hands. I also had to dig the dough out of my cup measure too, which didn't help, heat wise.

Usually, I would flip my cookies straight onto a cooling tray, thereby freeing up my baking tray. Can't do that with this recipe! See my last photo if you want to see what I mean. This meant that I was juggling baking trays, these are pretty large cookies so you don't get many to a  sheet. Soemthing to bear in mind.

Lastly, I sprayed the trays with oil, and used baking parchment on another tray. Actually, the baking parchment is more like wax paper, and was therefore not greaseproof, so I have since had a 'merry game' trying to get the cookies off that paper. One of which ended up in a goeey mess.... the others, well, although they were greased, were a real *pain* to get off the tray, because they were stuck. I guess that was because they were left to finish 'cooking' on the tray.

Well, that's all, gotta get to bed.  Special thanks to my little CC to helping me with these.

Night, night and happy half/mid-term to all those that are enjoying their holidays.

28 October 2011 - An update

These cookies went down a storm at work today. They are far better the day after baking, and tasted just like shop bought chewy cookies. The chocolate chips harden up nicely. I will definitely follow this recipe again, all of those little tips make the recipe really work. A real ten out of ten - and I don't often say that.

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