As it’s the summer holidays, I’m doing a bit more baking than usual as an opportunity to entertain the children and as an excuse to just eat more cake. As a break from cupcakes, this week we made some chocolate chip cookies, taken to the next level with some chopped up Canesmith caramels. I read lots of recipes and ended up basing mine on The Smitten Kitchen’s Consummate Chocolate Chip Cookie with a few tweaks here and there. The addition of dark brown sugar gives a lovely caramelly base to the dough, the vanilla paste gives depth of flavour and there are a ridiculous amount of chocolate chips in them. They are massively chocolatey, and that’s the way I like them. Hope you do too!
Makes approximately 22 large cookies.
280g unsalted butter, softened
100g dark brown sugar
465g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 - 1 1/2 tsp flaked sea salt (Maldon)
445g plain flour
500g chocolate chips (dark chocolate, 70% cocoa)
100g caramels - chopped into small pieces
To turn into an ice cream sandwich
Vanilla ice cream - or an flavour of your choice
Caramels (optional) chopped into small (or large!) pieces - the ratio here is really up to you
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. In a stand mixer, cream the sugars and softened butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one until fully combined. Add the vanilla paste, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into the dough and mix again until everything is well mixed together. Add in the flour, and mix (slowly or you’ll risk covering everything in flour) - once the flour has disappeared (don’t overmix), add the chopped up caramels and chocolate chips and mix through till evenly distributed. The Smitten Kitchen recipe recommends refrigerating the mix for 24 hours before using - I’ve done it both ways and to be honest there’s minimal difference (perhaps 1 or 2 minutes on the cooking time).
Line your baking sheets with baking parchment, and place balls of cookie dough onto the sheets. I used an ice-cream scoop for consistency and the size worked well (they’re big but so’s my appetite). Place the balls wide apart on the sheets - the cookies spread considerably.
Pop in the oven for between 12 and 17 minutes, depending on whether they’re going in from the fridge or not - but you’re looking for them to be nice and golden all over with in all likelihood some pools of chocolate visible on top.
Remove from the one and leave to cool on the trays for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
If you choose you can then turn a couple of cookies into an ice cream sandwich, either with a ready made ice-cream or one you pimp up slightly with a few chopped up caramels stirred through the ice-cream. Completely up to you - chocolate, vanilla or even this amazing peanut butter cup ice cream would all work brilliantly.
If you do choose to refrigerate the mix the process is the same, but you can also keep the mix for up to 5 days - which means freshly baked, warm homemade cookies will only ever be 15 minutes away for a whole week…