Recipe of the Week: Cookie Quest
Alexandra Blagdon, seasonal chef for Morgan Jupe, shares some of her top recipes from the chalet kitchen so you can recreate the mountain magic.
This week Alex is sharing one of her most prized recipes… One that has consumed countless hours of research; much taste testing; many trials and tribulations and now gives her so much satisfaction.
In November 2016 Alex spent some time in New York City and, in her own words, “basically spent a full month eating cookies”. Arguing now that it was in the name of research! … Trying to source that perfect consistency of chewy and crunchy. Chocolate chunks? Or chips? Or both? Is it cakey? Or chewy? Or crunchy? Warm or cold?
With so many questions to answer New York was surely the place to be? From the East Village to Wall Street, Alex scoured the city tasting anywhere and everywhere, even stumbling across a midnight cookie delivery shop called Insomnia!
Finally, Alex found the cookie that had all the answers and was able to leave New York armed with the research required to achieve perfection. Her conclusion now: that the ideal cookie will have a crunchy exterior and a soft centre; half chocolate chunks and half melted chocolate shavings; a toasty flavour and a sprinkle of flaked salt.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup butter (unsalted)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt plus flaked salt to finish
- 12 oz chocolate (60% or higher)
- *1/2 cup non-fat milk solids if available (if using this then also use an extra 1/4 cup butter)
Melt the butter in a saucepan on a medium/high heat until it bubbles hard and and then goes silent. This is the most important part so pay close attention! Once it goes silent swirl the pan, scraping the bottom until the butter browns and smells like roasted chestnuts (you can add the milk solids at this point but make sure you constantly stir so they brown and don’t burn). Next, add all the brown sugar and remove from the heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and you’re left with a caramel sauce, allow to cool slightly.
In a medium sized mixing bowl beat the egg, vanilla and white sugar until creamy. Add the butter-caramel mix and combine well. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Chop the chocolate so you have a mix of small shavings and larger chunks. Add the flour to the butter, sugar and egg mixture and stir until almost combined, now add the chocolate. Continue to mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.
The next important step: chill overnight. Cover the dough with cling film and store in the fridge for at least twenty-four hours. This makes an enormous difference to the texture; all good things take time remember.
Now for the baking. Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to warm to room temperature. Pre-heat your oven to 180º, line the baking tray with parchment and prepare for greatness.
Weigh the dough into 40g balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place two inches apart from each other, on the tray. Bake for six minutes, sprinkle with flaked salt and then return to the oven for three-four minutes, until the edges look perfectly cooked but the middle still looks slightly gooey. The cookies will finish cooking as they cool and that’s how you’ll achieve a soft centre with a crunchy exterior.
One final note: be sure to eat at least three in one go the first time you bake them. You’ve earned it.