Cake is fantastic, and biscuits are great, but sometimes choosing between the two is just too tricky and all you want is a glorious mix of the two. Many moons ago when I worked one day a week in retail for cake money I had a favourite treat. A pick me up if you will, a reward for dealing with angry customers and motivational tactic for my team; Ben’s Cookies. If you’re lucky enough to have enjoyed these, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t then you’re missing out, but luckily they deliver online. Larger dollops of cookie dough are piled high before being cooked for a relatively short period of time on a higher temperature than normal. Large chocolate chips are stirred into the dough, and extra ones are pushed into the dollops for good measure, after all, you can never have too many chocolate chips. Solid on the outside, but fantastically gooey and cakey on the inside. The thinner chewy cookie has it’s place, but these are top of the cookie chain in my eyes. They’re also guaranteed to turn me into the cookie monster, so large batches are required if anyone ever wants to try one.
They’re not quite there yet, a little crumbly for my liking but they’re not far off. I was all out of plain gluten free flour when I started this little experiment, and I never have been a fan of pre-mixed self raising. The difference between the two is that one has had Xanthan Gum added, and the other doesn’t. The reason I prefer to work with plain is that I can retain full control over how much Xathan I add – too much and you have a batter and not a cake mix, too little and you have more of a baked pancake. Next time I try and refine this recipe I’ll make sure I have plenty of plain flour in the house.
150G unsalted butter, softened
100g light brown muscovado sugar
60g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp milk (or as much as you need)
1 large egg
225g Doves Farm self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
100g plain chocolate chips (or however many you fancy)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C Fan and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Whilst the sugar and butter are creaming, sieve the flour and salt two or three times in a large bowl and put to one side.
4. Once the sugar and butter are done, gently add in the egg, vanilla and maple syrup. If the mixture looks like its starting to separate, add a spoonful of flour.
5. Gently fold in the flour once the egg is fully combined. Fold in one third at a time, and add in a little milk between each addition. Gluten free flour needs more moisture than normal flour, so add as much or as little milk as your mix needs, but remember that you’re aiming for a dough and not a cake batter.
6. Fold in most of the chocolate chips before spooning out thick dollops onto your pre-prepared baking trays. The cookies will spread in the oven so make sure there’s plenty of space between the dollops for spreading.
7. Push your left over chocolate chips into the cookie mix before popping in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
8. Leave the cookies to cool on the trays before transferring to a wire cooling rack – or alternatively straight to your waiting “taste testers”. If they’re still around once cooled, kick it old school and serve with milk (and in my case coffee).