Sometimes I just absolutely have to bake cookies. There's no negotiation. Luckily 9 times out of 10 I have all the ingredients in ready to whip of a bowl of dough. After reading Michelle's post last week about slice and bake chocolate chip cookies I had to give them a go. So Friday afternoon Matilda and I played in the kitchen and made cookies. I didn't freeze them but just left them in the fridge overnight. The recipe is from Tara O'Brady at Seven Spoon's book and is my new favourite cookie recipe. So so easy and tastes amazing.
It's been a while since I revisited caramelised white chocolate and I forgot that it's actually a doddle to make. I had a couple of bars of Lindt white chocolate lying around from Christmas - how these didn't get eaten I don't know, White chocolate is like crack to me. I heated my oven to the lowest heat - 130 C/266 F - and spread chopped white chocolate over a clean oven tray. At ten minute intervals I stirred the chocolate around the tray with a spatula until it was smooth and golden. I transferred the melted chocolate to a small tray and let it re-set in the fridge before I chopped it into caramelised white chocolate chips. Just try not to eat them all before they go into the dough. It's basically a homemade Caramac bar.
I had Matilda's wonderful assistance the second time as well and whilst I was taking the photos she brazenly walked up and helped herself to a cookie. I said if she was going to pinch the cookies she could at least be cute and hold a plate of them as well >.<
These cookies are crisp and buttery on the edges and soft in the middle. The caramelised white chocolate works perfectly with the pecans and a hint of sea salt on top balances everything out. Just as in Michelle's post you can of course freeze the dough in balls if you only want a few at a time. If you want to make a full batch then leave them in the fridge overnight. Letting the dough rest is like magic and the difference between baking sraight away and waiting overnight is very noticeable. They are definitely worth the wait.
Caramelised White Chocolate and Pecan Cookies
250g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chopped into 1-inch squares
420g (3 1/4 cups) plain flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
320g (1 1/2 cups) light brown sugar
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g (7oz) good quality white chocolate
100g (3.5oz) pecans, roughly chopped
flaky sea salt
makes 20-25 cookies
- Start by preparing the chocolate. To caramelise the the white chocolate, see above or use the great David Lebovitz' method which is essentially what I used
- In a medium pan over the lowest heat, melt the butter very slowly. Make it sure it doesn't start to simmer. As Michelle says, you don't want to lose any water from the butter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring until just combined then quickly stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until there are just a few streaks of flour visible. At this point, add the chopped caramelised white chocolate and pecans. Combine quickly - the chocolate melts incredibly fast so you need to be quick.
- Put the bowl of dough in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool.
- Line a tray with greaseproof paper, scoop heaped tablespoon amounts from the bowl and roll into balls. Place on the tray and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Refridgerate overnight or freeze if not baking any time soon.
- To bake, pre-heat your oven to 180 C/350 F/gas mark 4. Put 4-5 balls of dough onto a lined baking sheet, evenly spaced apart and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Leave to cool completely before removing from the tray.
- If freezing you will need to cover the dough balls with greaseproof paper and keep the tray in a ziploc bag. Bake for 18-20 minutes when ready to use.