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Archive for October 13th, 2008

Today marks the official start of Chocolate Week, an auspicious observation of all things chocolately. You may ask “why devote a whole week to chocolate”? I would quickly answer:  a week is not long enough to explore every facet of the world’s favourite confectionary. There a literally hundreds of brands of chocolate bars, some candy, some gourmet. And then you have liqueurs, hot chocolates, ice creams, biscuits, nibs and beans. There are Premier Cru, Single Origin, Single Estates, Vintages and Couvertures.  The list is truly endless and for the chocolate fanatic, Chocolate Week gives us the chance to spend even more time indulging in our favourite, well, indulgence.

This week, we at Cocoa Lounge are devoting each day to the ultimate in Chocolate Recipes. Our choices are purely personal but we hope that you will enjoy trying them out. Chocolate is such a generous ingredient that loves the company of other ingredients so please feel free to experiment with our recipes and let us know what you come up with!

To kick off Day 1 of Official Chocolate Week – the ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie.  This recipe comes from my mother-in-law who is from the Dairy State, Wisconsin. This probably accounts for the large amount of butter in these delicious, crumbly, chocolatey cookies. Well, that and the half cup of peanut butter and copious amounts of chocolate chips too….

This recipe makes 30 or so cookies but they do not stay around for long. Warm from the oven, with the chocolate still molten, they are dreamy. When cool they are a softer cookie, not crisp like the ones over here in the UK but this is no bad thing. The peanut butter is an inspired addition and to cut through the richness, I would recommend a dark chocolate. Paul’s Mom uses Hershey’s Mini Kisses which hold their distinctive droplet shape. Unfortunately, us Brits have to make do with chocolate chips or just chopped chocolate.

The batter is super fast to whip up and you can have a batch prepared from bowl to mouth in about an hour.

Other additions would be raisins, white chocolate chips and cranberries, pecans or any nut in general. Omit the chocolate altogether, make a larger cookie and these are great for ice cream sandwiches. Play around, have fun but most of all, enjoy!

JUDITH’S PEANUT BUTTER CHOC CHIP COOKIES – makes approx. 30

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter, crunchy or smooth depending on preference

3/4 Cup (160g) Butter, softened

1/2 Cup Muscovado Sugar

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1 Egg

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 1/4 Cups Plain Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

6oz Mini Kisses or 6oz chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 180c.

Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, sugars, vanilla and egg until completely amalgamated.

Sift in the flour, baking soda and salt. Using an electric hand whisk, mix until just combined.

Fold in the chocolate.

Leaving plenty of space in between, spoon out the cookie dough onto your baking sheets using a teaspoon or small ice cream scoop.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Leave to cool on the tray for 2 minutes then remove to a cooling rack. They will still be soft but firm up as they cool.

Repeat until all the cookie mixture is used up. As you can see, I reused the baking paper between batches with no harm at all.

Enjoy!

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