I've been hunting for the perfect chocolate chip cookie for an age. I think we all have, actually- and I think this is one of those situations where no one is ever going to find The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie because while there may be hundreds of recipes floating around the internet purporting to be The Best, everyone's opinion of what makes the best chocolate chip cookie is going to be different, isn't it?
I think the problem I've had so far is that I've been making recipes which are like the soft, chewy type of chocolate chip cookie- and those are great, don't get me wrong. But I think what I'm after is actually something completely different.
If I'm buying chocolate chip cookies, I don't go for the bakery bagged ones, which are soft and chewy. No, I go for M&S' chocolate chunk cookies, or Maryland cookies, or Boasters- all of which are kind of thicker and chunkier and more biscuity than the type people tend to bake.
So I decided- I'm not going to make those chewy versions any more. And instead, the other week I made chocolate chunk shortbread which is pretty damn close to the thing I'm after. It's not perfect- but it is't far off. And it's a pretty brilliant version of what it is too.
I'm not normally wildly prescriptive about ingredients and getting the "right" thing- but I will give you one word of warning with these. When it comes to making shortbread of any variety, your butter is really important. While these can, and do, work with Tesco value butter, they are so much better if you use good quality butter- Guernsey butter is particularly fantastic for shortbread. And make sure you go for salted because it actually does make a difference to these, in my opinion. And I used Cadbury's for these because it was what I could get in my little local Tesco- but if I was being choosy, I think I'd go for a mixture of milk and dark chocolate chunks next time. And maybe even increase it up to 200g- but that one is up to you.
I don't have a source for the recipe- my mama taught me to make shortbread years ago, and it is just a case of "3, 2, 1" multiplied up or down, plus whatever extra flavouring you'd like. The baking powder is also optional- I often forget to put it in, and they are completely fine without it. And I always make biscuits by hand, but feel free to use a mixer if you so wish.
And yes, the bottoms of these burnt. It's the terrible oven, not the recipe. As soon as I move, I promise I'll bake things which aren't burnt on the bottoms. And even like this, they were damn tasty.
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Biscuits
Makes around 16, depending on how big you make them!
300g plain flour
200g salted butter, softened
100g soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
150g chocolate in chunks
In a large bowl, cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add your flour, baking powder, and chocolate to the bowl, and mix well until it's all combined- I always start with a spoon but pretty quickly end up moving on to just using my hands- its easier. Try to make sure your chocolate chips are evenly distributed. Your mixture will come together, but not completely- if you've noticed, there's no egg in this recipe, so there's nothing to bind it together that way. Just go with it, okay?
Pre-heat your oven to 170C. Using your hands, scoop up small-ish chunks of the dough, shape them into a ball, and put onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Flatten slightly- these are't cookies, remember, so they aren't going to spread out massively or change shape completely. Repeat with all of the dough. Bake for around 10 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Enjoy with tea and a smile.