Thursday 24 August 2017

Chewy triple chocolate chunk cookies

Chewy triple chocolate chunk cookies

When it comes to chocolate chip cookies I have pretty exacting standards. Let’s examine:
  1. They must be soft and chewy. A crisp outer edge is allowed, but beyond that, absolutely no crunchiness, no sand-like crumbliness (save it for shortbread), no sogginess and definitely no dryness please.
  2. They must have a high chocolate chunk to cookie dough ratio. Let’s go with about 50:50 for the sake of argument.
  3. Despite the name, I want sturdy, brick-like chocolate chunks populating my cookie - something with a bite, not barely-there chocolate chips that dissolve on the tongue before you’ve even realised they were in the cookie.
  4. Like the chocolate it is studded with, the cookie should be chunky and solid. I want a body-builder of a cookie not a waif-like thin one.
  5. Ideally they should be eaten with a big glass of cold milk for accompaniment, whilst one is in one’s pyjamas.
Chewy triple chocolate chunk cookies

Sadly, I find it hard to get cookies that meet my requirements when frequenting cafes and coffee shops - even after I’ve made allowances for that fact that they probably won’t let me in in my pyjamas - so I was delighted when I visited Mast Brothers in Shoreditch, East London, a year or so ago. I found that they did the most amazing chocolate chip/chunk cookie I’d ever tried outside of homemade ones and that it met all of my criteria (at £3.50 a pop, there would have been a strong degree of indignation had it not). As there was no seating, I even got to take my precious cookie home and eat it whilst in the comfy-cosiness of my PJs. Good times!

Chewy triple chocolate chunk cookies

Unfortunately, these good times were short-lived, as Mast Brothers closed their London shop earlier this year (I'm not sure why, other than maybe most people weren't willing to pay £3.50 for a cookie...?) I’d imagine they may still sell their cookies in their other shops, but this would require me flying all the way to the States to buy one. Suddenly £3.50 for a cookie is looking rather reasonable…

Chewy triple chocolate chunk cookies

Oh well, I guess this means I’m back to square one when it comes to my perfect shop-bought cookie hunt. In the interim I continue to bake my own. The latest are these triple chocolate cookies. They deliver on points 1-4 of my criteria. I’m trusting you to deliver on point 5.

Chewy triple chocolate chunk cookies

Adapted from Sainsbury's double chocolate cookies
Yields 24-25 cookies

  • 250g unsalted butter, melted
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g light brown soft sugar
  • tbsp condensed milk (I used sweetened)
  • 250g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 100g cocoa, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 300g plain, milk and/or white chocolate, cut into chunks
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (fan oven).

  2. Using an electric hand whisk or mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until they are fully combined.

  3. Beat in the condensed milk, then add the flour, cocoa and salt, and beat again.

  4. Stir in the chocolate chunks.

  5. At this point, I always like to leave my cookie dough to chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, but preferably overnight (or even a couple of days if you wish), as it yields a chewier cookie, but if you don't have the time (or the patience!), you can skip the chilling and move straight on to shaping and baking.

  6. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and space at least 5cm apart on a baking sheet, then flatten a fair bit with the palm of your hand. I get about nine on a sheet and bake them in batches but if you want to bake on a couple of sheets at the same time, do so. Bake for about 12 minutes. When you take them out of the oven, they will still be very soft, especially in the middle, so don't pick them up right away. Instead, leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.