June 3, 2020

The Berry Project: Chocolate Chip Cookies

A bowl of cookie dough with a wooden spoon

Is there anything as delightful as the smell of freshly-baked cookies wafting around your home? I think there are few things that come close to that delicious, sugary aroma that has so much promise. At this stage of my life, I’d like to think I’m a bit of a cookie connoisseur. I’ve sampled A LOT of cookies over the years – they were a complete stable at uni. My third-year housemates and I had a terrible habit of buying those brown paper bags of freshly baked Sainsbury’s cookies each and eating the entire lot, while watching episodes of House. We also used to bake batches of chocolate chip cookies with the intention of eating them over the course of the week – we were lucky if they lasted longer than a day.

Nowadays, my cookie consumption is not as high as it once was, but a freshly baked cookie will always tempt me at a coffee-shop counter or on a pub menu. Don’t get me started on cookies and cream ice-cream, which really is the ultimate sweet treat on a warm day.

Luckily Mary Berry’s Baking Bible has an entire section dedicated to biscuits and cookies, including a chocolate chip cookie recipe. These cookies contain seven ingredients – all of which are probably kicking around in your baking cupboard/fridge already; butter, caster sugar, light muscovado sugar, vanilla extract, egg, self-raising flour and plain chocolate. For me, the ultimate chocolate chip cookie circa May 2020 is Ravneet Gill’s cookie recipe from her book, the Pastry Chef’s Guide. She has set the bar incredibly high and so I was interested to see how Mary Berry’s would compare.

Berry’s recipe is certainly quicker as you don’t need to freeze the cookie dough overnight. After mixing the butter and sugar, you carefully add in the beaten egg with the vanilla extract. If the eggs are too cold or if you add the egg too quickly this can cause your mixture to curdle, so adding them very slowly will prevent this from happening. Once this step is done, you just add in the flour and chocolate. Looking at the recipe now, I see that it says spoon teaspoons of the mixture onto baking sheets – I completely misread this as tablespoons, hence why I couldn’t make the full 20 cookies as the recipe suggested out of the mixture! They took just under 10 minutes to cook, turning a golden brown colour.

Don’t get me wrong, they are good cookies. They definitely fill the criteria of a tasty cookie and have a lovely chewy consistency. But, they are just not Ravneet’s cookies. I think it might have something to do with the lack of freezing overnight – they still taste great but they are not exceptional. I have spotted a double chocolate cookie recipe a few pages on which look incredible from the pictures – they contain condensed milk and white chocolate buttons, which just sounds heavenly and might knock Ravneet’s cookies off the top spot. Watch this space for cookie recipe attempt number two!

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