Yes, I’ve been baking again – What, two recipe posts in one week? I hear you cry – but for two good reasons. Firstly, it is National Afternoon Tea week and I couldn’t let a celebration like this pass me by without baking some cookies to dunk in my cuppa, and secondly, I’ve just found out about The Great Blogger Bake Off challenge and it’s always good to have a legitimate excuse to do some mid-week baking for my blog!
In honour of National Afternoon Tea week, I am planning my trip to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom in order to experience one of their amazing high teas (it looks fabulous, doesn’t it?). During my last trip up north to a friend’s wedding in Lytham, I ran out of time on my holiday and couldn’t fit in seeing all my pals as well as making the trip to Blackpool that I so wanted to do. So I missed out on an afternoon of decadence, but this time I’m booking my tickets and making certain that I get my tea-and-cake! As you may have already read on my blog, I’ve been learning to swing dance (with a little lindy thrown in – I’m getting adventurous now!) at a weekly dance class and although I’ve finally invested in some proper dancing shoes, I’ve really not had much opportunity to try them out. I am super-excited about the thought of dancing in the famous Tower Ballroom on a sprung dance floor to the sounds of the famous Wurlitzer organ. If it’s good enough for Strictly Come Dancing, it’s good enough for me! So watch this space for an update of my visit and plenty of photos of me twirling, no doubt!
On to the second part of my blog post; The Great Blogger Bake Off. Megan from The Briar Rose blog told me about the challenge during Blogstock last weekend, and I immediately started thinking about biscuit recipes for this week’s theme. I went for a fairly safe double chocolate chip cookie recipe that I found on All Recipes.co.uk but Megan has baked some uber-pretty white chocolate millionaires shortbread with salted caramel - I SO want a square right now! My cookies turned out decidedly spongey when baked but they taste good with all the chocolate chips thrown in and absorb a nice lot of milk when dunked, which is highly important in any cookie recipe. Here’s the recipe I used:
Ingredients: 250g plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 170g unsalted butter, 200g dark brown soft sugar, 100g caster sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 325g chocolate chips
Method: Preheat the oven to 170 C and grease lots of baking trays because these cookies grow and spread while baking, so need room on the trays – you can maybe bake four cookies per standard oven tray. Melt the butter before mixing in the brown sugar and caster sugar, and a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Allow the melted butter mixture to cool a little before adding one egg and one yolk and beating until creamy. Sift together the flour, bicarb and salt and mix into the sugar-butter-and-egg batter. Stir the chocolate chips through the batter - I added both white and milk chocolate chips. Drop a heaped tablespoon of the batter onto a baking tray for each cookie but don’t flatter – it will spread and rise during cooking. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted and allow to cool – if you can wait that long!