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Fully Loaded Favourite Cookies

Fully Loaded Favourite Cookies

Cookies, stuffed full of raisins, milk and white chocolate and toasted hazelnuts

Inspiration for new bakes can come from all kinds of places, but I never thought the One Show (don’t judge me, my landlord watches it) would lead me to bake such a cracking cookie. They did one of their scintillating features on biscuits – the science of dunking, the nation’s favourite biscuit – all that need-to-know stuff. Anyway, they made some biscuits with the nation’s favourite ingredients – chocolate, raisins and hazelnuts – and apparently they were really rather good. So I decided I’d have a bash at something like it myself and here’s the result.

The hazelnuts keep the cookies from being overly sweet, what with all the chocolate and raisins in there. If you can’t get hold of toasted hazelnuts, put them on a baking tray in a hot oven for about 5 minutes. You can then get the papery skins off quite easily by rubbing them with a clean tea towel or some kitchen paper, but it doesn’t matter too much if you don’t remove the skins.

Fully Loaded Favourite Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 120g butter, softened
  • 100g soft, light brown sugar
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 190g plain flour
  • half tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • small pinch salt
  • 50g raisins
  • 50g milk chocolate (drops, or chopped into smallish chunks)
  • 50g white chocolate (drops or chopped)
  • 50 toasted hazelnuts, chopped a little

Heat the oven to 190C. In a bowl, or in a freestanding mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy and light. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well until well incorporated.  Add the flour, bicarb and salt and give another good beating so that you have a thick, sticky cookie dough with no lumps of flour. Chuck in the raisins, both types of chocolate and the nuts and give a good stir so that everything is well distributed in the dough.

You’ll need a couple of baking trays. Use your fingers to pinch off a lump of dough and roll roughly into a ball shape, about the size of a gold ball. Place the balls on the baking sheet, well apart as they will spread as they cook. I only got 4 to a baking sheet – you can always cook them in batches. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. They’re done when golden, but should still be soft to the touch as they’ll firm up as they cool and it’s better to under-bake a cookie so you get that soft, chewy middle. Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool (eat one while they’re warm – lush!).

I made 8 cookies with just over half the dough. Cookie dough freezes brilliantly, so just put any that you don’t use in a freezer bag, sling it in the freezer and then the next time you want a quick batch of cookies take the bag out and leave it on the kitchen counter – it’ll be ready to use in about 30-40 minutes!

For more of my cookie and biscuit recipes, take a look here.

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Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake, perfect for a rainy autumn day

I was over at my parent’s place this weekend because I was looking after all the sick people there. Mostly this just involved feeding people, something I rather enjoy. I knocked up this simple little cake because there were lots of apples to be eaten or used, and a slice of comforting apple cake on an autumnal day is surely good medicine even if you’re not feeling poorly.

Apple and Raisin Loaf Cake

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g self raising flour
  • half tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eating apples (I used Pink Lady), cored and chopped into small chunks
  • generous handful raisins

Heat the oven to 170C and grease and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg and beat, then add about half the flour and mix to incorporate, then mix in the second egg followed by the remaining flour, baking powder and cinnamon (if you’re a big cinnamon fan, I’d say chuck in an extra half teaspoon). Mix well, then stir in the apple chunks and raisins. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about an hour. It’s done when golden and it springs back when pressed with a fingertip. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about half an hour before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.