Salted Caramel & Double Chocolate Cookies

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies // Amy Elizabeth

So… you want to win a bake off. I’ve been there, my friend. There is something about charity bake offs that brings out my competitive side, and my inner show off. However, in the past I have gotten a little too big for my boots; home-made pies and celebration cakes have been the order of the day. There are two problems with this approach; the first is that I am much less practiced at such bakes, and the second is that really… my colleagues just want to eat a whole load of chocolate. They don’t care about the flakiness of the pastry or the lack of a soggy bottom – unfortunately, I’m not baking for Mary and Paul. They’re just chasing the sugar high that comes with a good work bake off.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies // Amy Elizabeth

So this time round, I defied my ego and whipped up a batch of these cookies. They were demolished in about three minutes flat, with some people going back for seconds… and the votes don’t lie. These are a winner! I can’t take much credit for that; this recipe is from the incomparable Izy from Top with Cinnamon with almost no adaption. Just follow the instructions, and let victory reign down upon you… 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies
Yields 16
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 110g butter
  2. 350g soft light brown sugar
  3. 55g cocoa powder
  4. 2 eggs
  5. ¼ tsp salt
  6. ¾ tsp baking powder
  7. 260g plain flour
  8. 100g milk chocolate chips
  9. 16 squares of Cadbury Caramel (or alternative caramel filled chocolate of your choice!)
  10. flaky sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare two baking sheets by lining with baking parchment.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, followed by the eggs.
  3. Sieve in the cocoa powder, salt and baking powder, and stir through. Do the same with the flour, stirring until everything is well combined. Finally, stir through the chocolate chips.
  4. Using a tablespoon or dessert spoon, place 16 heaps of dough spaced out on your baking trays. You may want to roll the dough slightly before placing on the tray to make them a little more even.
  5. Take a square of chocolate and press down into the top of each cookie so it's nice and snug. Using the remaining dough, make 16 disc shapes and use to cover the top of each square of chocolate, pressing down around the edges so the chocolate is fully sealed inside.
  6. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Leave to cool slightly on the trays before using a spatula to transfer to a cooling rack.
Adapted from Top with Cinnamon
Adapted from Top with Cinnamon
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Life Hack: Freezer Cookies

Is there anything better than a freshly baked cookie? Warm, slightly gooey with crispy edges, just the perfect amount of sweetness. If heaven exists, then I imagine it will have a lot in common with a cookie. Only, whilst cookies aren’t the most complex of bakes to whip up, sometimes you don’t have the energy, the time or the ingredients to hand. And let me tell you, those supermarket cookies will never quite scratch that itch. So let me tell you my little secret… freezer cookies! Make up your cookies like normal and then, instead of baking them, freeze them into little balls and save for when you’re feeling snack-ish.

Any cookie recipe will work for this, and you don’t really have to do anything special. Just follow the instructions and, instead of popping them in to bake, pop the tray straight into the freezer (because they’re not going to spread out like they would in the oven, you can probably fit all of your cookie dough balls on one tray, depending on the size of your batch). Once they’re frozen (overnight should do it), you can pop them all in one big freezer bag or tupperware box so they take up less precious freezer space. 

You can even bake them straight from frozen; just add a couple of minutes onto the baking time from your original recipe. Voila, freshly baked cookies any time you want them! They make a great gift for friends, too – we took some round to our sweet friends who’ve just had a baby, but I’m pretty sure there’s no occasion when people wouldn’t appreciate their freezer being stocked up with cookies just ready to be baked. All of the delicious with almost none of the effort. Life hack: achieved! 

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies

Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies // Amy Elizabeth

Baking should be fun. It’s butter and sugar and flour and joy. For me, it’s sticking on a podcast, closing the door to the kitchen and taking my time making something delicious. Is there anything more fun than that? Some baked goods, however, are more fun than others – and I think anything with sprinkles very much falls into the category of ‘most fun’. I spotted these confetti cookies on the Smitten Kitchen blog and I knew immediately that I had to make them. All kudos to Deb, because when I’d finished, Paul hoovered up two in a row and admonished me for not making cookies more often. So I added a little cocoa powder, swapped my pastel sprinkles for chocolate ones and these were born. Cookies that are made of chocolate and fun – can there be anything better? 

Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies // Amy Elizabeth

Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies
Yields 24
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 350g plain flour
  2. 25g cocoa powder
  3. 1 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1/4 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
  5. 3/4 tsp. table salt
  6. 200g unsalted butter, softened
  7. 80g cream cheese
  8. 250g caster sugar
  9. 1 large egg
  10. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 140g (ish) chocolate vermicelli sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C and prepare two baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt.
  3. Beat together the cream cheese, butter and sugar until fluffy (using an electric mixer is recommended!). Add the eggs and vanilla and mix.
  4. Add the flour mixture gradually until everything is just incorporated.
  5. Using your hands, roll a tablespoon-ish of mixture into a ball. Gently roll in the sprinkles until coated.
  6. Place on the prepared baking sheet and press down slightly so the cookies are flat and about 1/2 inch tall. Repeat, placing cookies about two inches apart.
  7. Bake for 9-10 minutes - they should still be a little soft. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Although soft, they should keep their shape after that few minutes - if not, they may need a couple of extra minutes in the oven.
  8. Using an electric mixer, add the butter and cream cheese gradually until
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies // Amy Elizabeth

 

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

White Chocolate, Pine Nut & Cranberry Cookies

White Chocolate, Pine Nut and Cranberry Cookies

There’s nothing more satisfying than a really good cookie. They’re so simple to make, you can stuff them full of your favourite flavours and they have that melt-in-the-mouth, butter-aftertaste thing going on. In less than half an hour (20 minutes, if you’re fast) you can have a warm cookie in your hand, ready to be devoured. Slightly crunchy around the edges, soft and chewy in the middle, they really are one of life’s greatest joy. 

I don’t want to boast, but a colleague described these cookies today as ‘the best they had ever had’, which is high praise indeed. I’ll let the cookies take all the praise though, because they do all the work – this recipe doesn’t require much skill on the part of the baker. Creamy chunks of white chocolate, subtle nuttiness from the pine nuts and a little burst of sour sweetness from the dried cranberries. These are a pre-festive delight and a perfect Sunday morning bake. 

White Chocolate, Pine Nut and Cranberry Cookies

White Chocolate, Pine Nut & Cranberry Cookies
Yields 12
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 150g unsalted butter, softened
  2. 150g golden caster sugar
  3. 220g self-raising flour
  4. 2 tbsp milk
  5. 100g pine nuts, roughly chopped
  6. 150g white chocolate, roughly chopped
  7. 50g dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Sift in the flour and pour in the milk, before mixing together into a stiff dough.
  4. Fold in the chocolate, nuts and cranberries until evenly distributed.
  5. Take a spoonful of cookie dough and roll into a ball. Place on the baking tray and gently squash with your fingers until the dough is about 1cm thick. Repeat with the rest of the dough until you've used it all up.
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before placing on a cooling rack.
Notes
  1. You can substitute the dried cranberries for other fun fruits, like dried blueberries or cherries. Roughly chop them if they're a bit large - cranberries are relatively small so won't need chopping.
Adapted from Waitrose
Adapted from Waitrose
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
White Chocolate, Pine Nut and Cranberry Cookies

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

Candy Cane Cookies

candy cane cookies

Despite its freshness, there’s something about peppermint that feels Christmassy. When paired with chocolate, it’s soothing, comforting and deliciously festive. Pinterest is peppered with peppermint cookies and I couldn’t resist whipping up my own batch. These are fancier than your regular cookies and all the dipping in various toppings can get a bit messy, but if you can’t pull out all the stops at Christmas, when can you?

Luckily for me, Christmas came early in the form of this Kenwood kMix mixer, which was kindly gifted to me by Argos. Whilst I may dream about a KitchenAid underneath the Christmas tree, I realise that Santa doesn’t have that of money – at least not for now. Argos has a great range of different mixers which are a bit more purse friendly. It’s certainly a revelation for this girl, who’s used to mixing with a good old fashioned wooden spoon – a mixer sure takes a lot of the work out of it! This is a fairly hefty mixer, and it’s a little heavy to hold for a long time but it also has an excellent base which means you can stand it on the side of the bowl for when you’re adding ingredients or testing the mixture – which is an excellent feature, because ones I have used in the past have been balancing acts to avoid splashing sticky dough all over the kitchen. It also comes with detailed instructions for what setting to use depending on what you’re making, and it all packs into a handy compact base. Neat, huh?

kenwood mixer

For simple things like cookies and brownies, a wooden spoon and a bit of elbow grease will do. In fact, I think I might personally prefer it – as you can feel more easily if the mixture is the right consistency and there’s less danger of over mixing (vital for a fudgy brownie). But for anything more labour intensive, like a cheesecake or meringue, a mixer is a must. Have you ever tried whipping cream into stiff peaks by hand? It’s no fun, let me tell you. What takes 15 minutes of hard labour by hand takes just a couple of easy minutes with a mixer like this beauty. Plus, it’s really pretty, right?

On a separate note, I really struggled to find candy canes to make these cookies with. I thought they were Christmas staples but I searched high and low in the supermarkets to find them with no luck. Eventually, with Wendy‘s help, I tracked some down in a 99p shop. So just a warning that it may be harder than you think!

peppermint essence

To make 18 medium-sized cookies, you’ll need:

  • 110g unsalted butter, softened (just leave it out of the fridge for a few hours before you start baking)
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 175g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g white chocolate chips
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 6 candy canes, crushed (I used the end of a rolling pin and crushed them whilst they were still in their wrapping but go wild with it, there’s no wrong way!)

mixing

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.

1. Cream the butter and sugar together (if using a mixer, set it on a fairly low setting).

2. Add the egg and peppermint extract and continue mixing until fully combined. The mixture might look a little odd at this point, but stick with it!

3. Stir in the dry ingredients until they form a cookie dough. Fold in the chocolate chips.

kenwood k mix

4. Using your hands, make 18 medium-sized balls of dough from the mixture. Place on the prepared baking trays and squish just a little bit so the tops are flat. They’ll spread a little whilst cooking, so give them room to breathe.

peppermint cookie dough

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies should still be fairly soft when you take them out of the oven, as they will continue to cook and firm up after they’ve been taken out. Leave to cool on a wire rack for half an hour.

6. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Dip the cookies half into the melted chocolate, sprinkle some crushed candy cane and set on some baking paper or a wire rack to dry. Be prepared to get a little messy – it’s worth it!

candy cane cookies 3

candy cane cookies 2

Disclaimer: This post is in association with Argos.

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

  cookie dough

Now that September has hit, everyone is in a tizz about Autumn’s impending approach. As the wind and rain lash down outside, it certainly feels like we have successfully transitioned into yet another season – although the glorious sunshine yesterday had me bouncing through town. So it seems we must contend with the daily struggle over whether or not to take a coat for a few more weeks yet. Whilst we all seem keen to rush into Autumn’s open arms, I’m sure that it won’t be long before we are bemoaning the constant grey weather and getting our hair soaked after yet another umbrella decides to break in the gales.

However, there is one part of Autumn that is guaranteed to please. I’m talking, of course, about the food. Sumptuous stews, roasts replete with towering trimmings, yummy Yorkshire puddings, crumbles chock full of Autumn fruits, glorious gravy and splendid sponge puddings. There are certain flavour combinations that invoke an Autumnal feeling, of roaring fires, preparing for Christmas and wrapping up in jumpers and scarves. For me, chocolate, cranberry and orange are a perfect pairing which prepares you for the long, cold nights ahead. In cookie format, these flavours are simply divine.

white chocolate and cranberry cookies

To make 16 big cookies, you’ll need:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g white chocolate chunks
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk

 1. Pop all of your dry ingredients (flour, bicarb of soda, salt, cranberries, white chocolate, orange zest) into one bowl and mix together.

dry ingredients

2. Mix all of the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl (sugar, butter, egg, vanilla).

mixing ingredients

 3. Combine the two until you get a dough. It might be a bit stiff, but don’t worry too much!

cookie mixture mixing dough

4. Using your hands, make 16 small balls of dough. Place on trays covered in greaseproof paper with plenty of space to spread out.

5. Place in an oven, preheated to 170°C for 10-12 minutes until the dough has spread out and started to crack and brown slightly on the top.

6. Cool on the trays for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. Eat warm with ice cream, or pop into tupperware and enjoy with friends the next day.

Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest