YouTube video on making the bikkieOriginally printed in May 2020
So…what have you been up to for the last several weeks? Huh, me too.
Being housebound for weeks on end makes you do funny things. Sometimes they are the harmless ‘ha ha’ type of funny while other times you’re glad no one can see you. Or is that just me? The other day I found myself having far too long a conversation with a hebe that I was weeding around in the garden (the fact that I think there is a reasonable length of time to converse with shrubbery is probably something else I should worry about). But anyway, moving on.
Despite the enormity and severity of the ‘situation’, there have been many things that have made me smile through all of this. That a show like Tiger King gets such a following is bizarre enough to make me crack a smirk. The story of a dachshund being so happy that everyone was home all the time he had to get taken to the vet with a sprained tail from all the wagging, definitely got a grinning ‘aawwww’ to escape my mouth. Not to mention the flood of jokes, quips and witticisms that pour into my feed and inbox – there really are some cleverly funny people out there.
It has to be said though that, even with the sources of smirks and sniggers, there are times when the only thing to properly pick up my day, is a trip to the biscuit jar. The problem is that with the freedom to hunt and gather packets of biscuits not being as enjoyable or free-range as it was, I’ve been needing to make more at home.
There are two recipes that I gravitate towards – one is actually based on a shortcrust pastry, llends itself to being topped or filled with all manner of goodies, and is a recipe for another day, the other is a rich, exquisitely chocolatey and soft biscuit that fills your mouth with a deeply chocolate flavour.
Super-duper chocolate cookie
This is my take on one of a famous New York bakery’s iconic cookie but I reckon the original version from Levain Bakery in Manhattan is too sweet and bordering on obscenely huge at 180g of cookie (even NZ’s own Cookie Time only comes in at 85g). So, I fiddled with it a little and made my own version.
285g (1¼ C) Butter
150g (¾ C) Sugar
150g (¾ C) Brown sugar
100g (2) Eggs
35g (1/3 C) Cocoa powder
320g (2 ½ C) Flour
1t Baking powder
1t Baking soda
600g (3 ½ C) Chocolate chunks/drops
- Beat the butter and sugars together for about 1 minute
- Add in the eggs 1 by 1 and beat together
- Add the cocoa and beat until mixed in
- Mix together with everything else except the chocolate
- Finally, once the dough is homogenous, mix the chocolate through slowly so that you don’t shatter or crush it.
- Ideally, chill the mix for 20 minutes before portioning and baking
- Portion the mix into 80g pieces and place on baking sheets with plenty of room between each one. They spread
- Bake at 2000C (yes, that’s hot for biscuits but trust me) for about 8 minutes until the biscuit starts to look dry, firm up a little in the middle and before they burn on the bottom.
- Let them cool on the tray for half an hour to set and harden.
- You can make whatever size you like, just remember to adjust the baking time accordingly.
- Try mixing the types of chocolate. A mix of dark and white chocolates will taste great and look amazing
- If you want to reduce the amount of chocolate in the recipe, no worries, just don’t increase it. If you put more chocolate in there won’t be enough biscuit to hold it all together.
- I’m using 2 types of sugar here as they both bring different things to the cookie. You can use only one if that’s all you have, however the result won’t be quite the same.
- If you can, use Dutched cocoa as this will make the biscuits taste even more chocolatey
- Try and use chocolate bits that are larger than chips as these will get lost in the biscuit. A chocolate drop, button or even shattered from a large slab will be awesome
I have also used the time to start teaching myself how to make videos. I have put a few online already and will endeavour, wherever possible, to make a video to go with each article that appears in The Star.
If you would like to see a video for this or other recipes, pop to YouTube and find the Gilbert’s Fine Food channel or take a look at the recipe section on our website.