Over the last couple of weeks I have tried to make chocolate cookies with little success. They were either too flat looking or they had were like biscuits all the way through with no chewy centre. Not good. So googled looking for the “best chocolate cookie” and Nigella’s recipe came up a few times. So this was the one I used and guess what – yes – the cookies were delicious! Moist and chocolatey.
The first recipe I made called for chillies – these tasted lovely in the cookies (even though the cookies themselves were no good)! They added a very faint hotness on the palate which I quite liked. And – because the chillies are boiled in sugared water, they weren’t too hot. If you don’t like chillies just omit them from the recipe.
In my first attempts I had added chocolate that I had chipped myself, but I found they melted into the recipe too much so for the Nigella recipe I used chocolate chips. I bought these from Amazon as I wanted to use something that was of a better quality than the ones you usually buy from a supermarket. They worked very well in this recipe.
As Nigella says you can roll up half the cookie dough and place in a freezer bag and defrost when you want to make some more at a later date. Whenever you have them, they are very good. Just like a cookie should be – slightly biscuity round the edges and slightly moist and chewy towards the centre. Lovely!
- For the candied chillies:
- 55g caster sugar
- 60ml water
- 3 fresh red chillies (descended and finely chopped)
- For the cookies:
- 125 grams dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
- 150 grams plain flour
- 30 grams cocoa powder (sieved)
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 125 grams soft butter
- 75 grams soft light brown sugar
- 50 grams white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg (cold from the fridge)
- 350 grams dark chocolate chips (or semi sweet chocolate morsels)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/325ºF (gas mark 3).
- To make the candid peel, heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the seeded and chopped chillies and boil for 2 minutes, then strain away the water, setting the chillies to one side to cool.
- Melt the dark chocolate either in the microwave or in a heatproof dish over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Put the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
- Cream the butter and sugars in another bowl.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix together.
- Beat in the vanilla extract and cold egg, and then mix in the dry ingredients.
- Finally stir in the candied chillies, chocolate morsels or chips.
- Scoop out 12 equal-sized mounds - an ice cream scoop and a palette knife are the best tools for the job - and place on a lined baking sheet about 6cm apart. Do not flatten them.
- Cook for 18-20 minutes, testing with a cake tester to make sure it comes out semi-clean and not wet with cake batter. If you pierce a chocolate chip, try again.
- Leave to cool slightly on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to harden as they cool.