Oat, hazelnut and chocolate chip cookies

IMG_1742I’m in Pembrokeshire at the moment on our annual Easter holiday. After a childhood spent on wet campsites around Europe and North America, this is one of my favourite family traditions. Every year, we spend a week in a cottage with very good friends in some beautifully remote part of the country, going on walks, reading books and eating great food. This week, we’ve walked along lots of cliff tops in varying degrees of bad weather, had lots of evenings around the fire, and generally mooched and pottered to our hearts’ content.

This was obviously a golden opportunity for me to get up to date with this blog, given that I’ve been so lax at it lately. But, alas, I’m the kind of person who, when not faced with thirty six urgent things to do, struggles to complete a single task. There are a whole host of post ideas in my head, and tons of Filipino recipes I’m dying to try out, but it turns out Haverfordwest doesn’t have much by way of exotic ingredients – and anyway, I’ve spent much of the week distracted by Margaret Thatcher’s death.

The one thing I have managed to do this week, however, was whip up a batch of cookies for our packed lunch. I spotted the inspiration for these on the wonderful Two Spoons blog, of which I am a big fan. I’m very much a cookie kind of girl. Crispy, crunchy biscuits do little for me, but give me an American-style, chewy-on-the-outside-fudgy-in-the-middle chocolate chip cookie and I’ll do anything for you. Constantly on the lookout for new and improved cookie recipes, I just had to give these a go – and because I’m a meddler, I couldn’t resist giving the recipe my own twist. Instead of walnuts and ginger, I went for chocolate, hazelnuts and oats. Because of the oats, which soak up more liquid, I also added an extra egg to keep that wonderful fudgy texture. If you decide to skip the oats, you’ll only need one egg, as the original recipe indicates here. I was very idea of adding miso paste to the dough, but alas, the Nisa in St David’s had none to offer me.

I’ve found that leaving the dough to rest for a while – at least an hour but preferably overnight – does deepen the caramel-ly flavours and give you a firmer but still fudgy end result. For those unfamiliar with leaving the dough to rest for a while, this ‘How to make perfect…’ column by the wonderful Felicity Cloake explains why.

Give this recipe a go and let me know what you think! These were definitely a big hit on our walk from Solva to St David’s. As you can see from these pics of my nearest and dearest. Classy.

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Makes about 16 cookies

Time needed: 20 mins prep, at least 30 mins resting, 12 mins cooking time

What you need

170g salted butter, soft enough to mix

½ tsp salt

140g dark brown sugar

90g caster sugar

2 large eggs

240g self raising flour

Flavouring options

100g good quality dark chocolate, chopped

Handful of hazelnuts, chopped

75g oats

How to make it

  1. Combine the salt, brown and caster sugars in a mixing bowl. Chuck in the butter and beat until mixed well.
  2. Next add half the flour and one egg, folding in carefully. Repeat with the remaining flour and egg until you have a fairly wet dough.
  3. Now add the flavourings – the chocolate, nuts and oats work nicely together, but use whatever you like. Make sure the pieces are small enough to mix into the dough.
  4. Now rest the dough, covered, in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (overnight is best).
  5. When you’re nearly ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 160˚C, then grease and line two baking trays. Separate the dough into walnut-sized balls, then arrange on the baking trays. Flatten each ball firmly with two fingers, leaving plenty of space between each cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes until no longer wet-looking. Leave to rest on a wire rack until firm.

More cookies I want to try

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