Get a basic cookie recipe, either use one you already love (and skip the rest of this step) or give my one a try:
Chocolate Chip Cookies:
(Makes approximately 20-24 cookies)
150g Soft Brown Sugar
65g Caster Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Essence *
1 Large Egg (or 1 & a half smaller eggs)
100g Plain Flour
100g Self Raising Flour
200g Chocolate Chips or Chunks *
- Cream together butter, brown sugar & caster sugar.
- Add in vanilla essence, egg & beat together.
- Add & beat in plain flour then add & beat in self-raising flour.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Using a heaped tablespoon, place dollops of mix (make sure you leave enough space in-between as they will spread in the oven) onto either a silicone sheet or a baking tray lined with greaseproof parchment or a greased baking tray.
- Bake at 180°c (160°c fan assisted) for approx. 10 minutes. I usually keep an eye on them from the 8 minute mark, once they are “dry” on top & starting to golden they are ready.
- Remove from oven & leave on tray for a few minutes to cool/firm. After a few minutes, test lifting one with a palette knife or spatula and if it lifts easily they are ready to be moved to a cooling rack.
* Do not add vanilla essence or chocolate chips when making a plain batch! You will add whatever flavour(s) you want last.
Test run the cookie recipe making a small batch (just half or quarter all the ingredients). Taste the test run and alter the recipe accordingly:
- If too sweet, reduce sugar.
- If not sweet enough, add more sugar.
- If too dry, reduce flour or add & teaspoon of water.
- If undercooked, increase baking time – even 1 minute longer could make a big difference!
- If burnt all over, reduce baking time by a few minutes. I know it’s a pain in the arse but for the 10 minutes they are in the oven watch them for the last 3 minutes and you will find the optimum time – they should look dry all over and start to golden slightly.
- If outer edges burnt but inside undercooked/gooey, reduce oven temperature by 10-20 degrees and keep an eye on cookies to find optimum baking time.
- If you want softer cookies, increase ratio of brown sugar (for example current recipe states 150g brown and 65g caster then can change to 180g brown & 35g caster) or remove from the oven 1 minute earlier.
- If you want crispier cookies, increase ratio of caster sugar or keep in oven for 1 minute longer.
- If you want bigger cookies, use more dough (e.g. tablespoon). For smaller cookies, use less.
Once you have “perfected” your basic cookie recipe to suit your specific tastes move on to Step 2. Make sure you take a note of this altered recipe as this will now be the only one you’ll need!
Now, this is the fun part, picking what flavour (or flavours) of cookies you want to make! My standard batch makes approximately 20-24 cookies and as such I can comfortable make up to 6 different flavours out of the one batch.
The flavour combinations you can make are only limited by your imagination!
Here’s some tips to keep in mind when creating a new flavour:
- Remember when making different flavoured cookies omit the chocolate chips/chunks and vanilla essence!
- Think of what your favourite flavours or sweets are and try using them.
- There are 2 ways to fill a cookie:
- Take a heaped teaspoon of cookie dough into your hand, roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball into a round shape. Place a dollop (I use half a teaspoon) of filling (jam/spread) into the centre. Fold the edges in over the filling, so no filling is showing and roll lightly (so it’s a ball again). Bake with the folds at the bottom.
- Take half of the cookie dough you normally use, flatten into a round and place on baking tray. Place a dollop (I use half a teaspoon) of filling (jam/spread) into the centre. Then take remaining half and flatten into another round, place this round on top and gently press down on the edges so no filling leaks out.
- Where possible use dry fruit instead of fresh fruit.
- Using dry ingredients means the structure of the cookies won’t be compromised.
- You can use wet ingredients, i.e. almond extract, fresh banana etc but please note this will give you softer cookies. You can counter this by adding extra plain flour or oats.
- To make pie flavoured cookies then add vanilla essence and oats.
- IF after adding your flavour combo the mix is
- Too dry (it doesn’t stick together) then add a teaspoon of water until desired consistency is achieved
- Too wet then add tablespoon of plain flour until desired consistency is achieved
- Finally, go wild! There’s no such thing as a wrong combination – if you like the sound of it, give it a try!
Here’s some examples:
- Apple Pie – vanilla essence, cinnamon, fresh apple cut into small chunks and oats (plain or golden syrup).
- Apple & Cinnamon – cinnamon and dried apple/fresh apple cut into chunks.
- Banana & Oat – fresh banana cut into chunks and oats (plain or golden syrup).
- Caramac – Caramac broken into small pieces and caramel flavouring/syrup.
- Carrot Cake – grated carrot, chopped walnut, ground almonds, mixed spice and oats.
- Cherry & Almond – almond extract flavouring, glazed cherries quartered and almond flakes.
- Chocolate orange – cocoa powder, orange zest, orange flavouring, Terry’s chocolate orange cut into small chunks.
- Date & Walnut – pitted dates chopped into small bits and chopped walnuts.
- Gingerbread – ginger powder, mixed spice powder and treacle/golden syrup.
- Lemon – lemon juice, lemon zest and filled with lemon curd.
- Marshmallow – vanilla essence, mini marshmallows and filled with marshmallow fluff.
- Mince Pie – vanilla essence, dried mixed fruit, mixed spice powder, oats and treacle.
- Nutella – vanilla essence, chocolate chunks and filled with Nutella.
- Red Velvet – red food colouring, cocoa powder, vanilla essence, white chocolate chips/chunks and filled with a blob of white chocolate spread.
- Reese’s – Reese’s cups cut into chunks, chocolate chips/chunks and peanut butter.
- Rocky Road – cocoa powder, mini marshmallows, milk chocolate chips and shortbread/digestive biscuits cut into bits.
- Salted Caramel – vanilla essence, salt, fudge pieces and filled with caramel filling.
- Strawberry & white chocolate – fresh/dried strawberry pieces, white chocolate chips and filled with white chocolate spread.
- Triple chocolate chip/chunk – vanilla essence, white chocolate chips/chunks, milk chocolate chips/chunks and dark chocolate chips/chunks.
- Ultimate chocolate – cocoa powder, white chocolate chips/chunks, milk chocolate chips/chunks, dark chocolate chips/chunks and filled with chocolate spread.