Mint chocolate chocolatey cookies

Everyone is well aware of pregnancy cravings but you don’t hear so much about the cravings you get after the baby is born. This time during my pregnancy I couldn’t get enough lemonade ice lollies, whenever we found them in the shops I bulk bought them. This continued right up to the last few weeks of my pregnancy, which is why I now have a twelve week old baby son and a freezer drawer full of them. Once the baby had arrived I was struck by the overwhelming sweet tooth that I remembered from immediately after the boy was born. At one point in those first few weeks i was getting through a packet of bourbon biscuits and an entire banoffee pie a day. Clearly this couldn’t continue indefinitely and thankfully the intense sugar cravings have subsided somewhat. At the moment all that remains is a new found fondness for anything mint chocolate flavoured. Mint choc chip ice cream, mint chocolate ice cream bars and mint flavoured 70% dark chocolate.

Inspired, I decided I wanted to attempt some baking for a change and make some mint choc chip cookies. Casting about for ideas i found recipes that suggested using food colouring to colour the cookie dough so that it was green and the cookies sort of resembled mint choc chip ice cream. There’s something distinctly off-putting about green biscuits though and it seemed a bit, well, obvious. I decided mine would be a more sophisticated affair (natch!). This recipe is adapted from a Nigella recipe from Nigella Express and also available here. I changed some of the chocolate for mint flavoured dark chocolate and omitted the vanilla from the original recipe. Just for kicks I dyed some sugar green with food colouring and sprinkled it on top of a few, adds nothing to the taste so it’s fine not to bother but it looks pretty. They turned out pretty well, Nigella knows her stuff and the mint flavour was a subtle but sophisticated twist.

Mint chocolate chocolate cookies

  • 150g plain flour
  • 2x100g bars 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate
  • 2x100g bars mint flavoured 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate
  • 30g cocoa powder, sieved
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 125g of softened butter
  • 75g light brown sugar
  • 50g white sugar
  • 1 medium egg cold from the fridge

Preheat the oven to 170/gas mark 3.

Break the two mint chocolate bars and one of the plain bars into little bits – think (very)generous chocolate chip kind of size, which is pretty much as small as you can snap them by hand. If your mum is visiting, get her to do it while you measure the other stuff. (Thanks mum!)

Put the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt in a bowl and mix them together.

Cream the sugars and the butter in a bigger bowl.

Melt the remaining bar of plain dark chocolate in the microwave (1 minute on full power in mine, then a good stir did it).

Add the melted chocolate to the creamed butter and sugar. Once they are combined mix the egg in too.

Add the dry ingredients to the larger bowl and then the chocolate chunks/chips.

Put a tablespoon of white sugar in a wee bowl and add a few drops of green food colouring and mix it about until the sugar is dyed green.

Use an ice cream scoop to spoon generous mounds onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. This amount makes about 12 cookies. Sprinkle some of the green sugar on top and then bake them for about 18 minutes. They’re done when the point of a knife comes out fairly clean rather than wet with cake mix, I struggled to find a bit without a big lump of melted chocolate in to test this theory however. This is no bad thing.

Let them cool on the tray for five minutes then move them to a wire rack to finish.

Eat them on their own or with a big scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

P.S. I took Nigella’s advice and only baked six, I put the rest in scoops on a little tray and froze them, once they’re solid I’ll stick them in a sandwich bag and have frozen cookies ready to bake whenever I fancy which is pretty cool.

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Brioche for breakfast

I’ve been trying to lose a bit of weight since the baby arrived so usually breakfast is a bowl of muesli, something healthy to keep me full and fend off snacking. Then I woke up one morning last week with a craving for brioche and strawberry jam. I briefly considered making my own brioche and found this recipe by Dan Lepard which uses an entire packet of butter, which has a certain gluttonous appeal. I’m not much of a breadmaker though so cheap, processed supermarket brioche would do me fine. They taste exactly like the ones I used to eat on summer camping holidays in France when I was a kid. I’ll be hungry again in half an hour but it is Saturday after all.