Wednesday, 16 November 2011


(Sigh...) in fact this week’s been a bit of a (double sigh...)!  The exodus out to the mountains started early this year,  dumping me into daydreams of the chalet goodlife I’m missing out on once again.  Five months of snowboarding and cooking... (big, fat, stinky, miserable sighhhhhhhhh!!!!)

Two friends left from mine on Sunday afternoon.  They were full of excitement, a newly broken wrist and more luggage than should realistically have a) been owned by two boys and b) fitted in the car. I (on the other hand) was just full of envy.  

I’m not quite sure how I mustered the willpower not to jump on the bonnet of the departing car with a melodramatic “taaaaake meeeee with youuu...” I’m assuming the birthday hangover must have had something to do with it.

The silver lining in my mid-November grot is the unbearably cute Fraser.  If I was in France for the next five months I’d miss out on a whole heap of quality Fraser-time! 

I can always run off to do more seasons once he’s grown out of the cute stage... although I could be waiting a while!  :o)
I made myself these little beauties last week in an attempt to bribe my workmates out of “zombie attacking” me on my birthday.  It's the usual office affair involving silently looming up behind the birthday victim in search of embarrassment...  Cookies were the perfect distraction!

Be warned, they don’t ever seem to become sickly – even after you eat an entire plateful...  

Brown the butter slowly over a medium heat.  It is sufficiently browned as soon as it starts to smell nutty and turns golden brown.  To prevent it from browning further and tasting burnt decant into a mixing bowl as soon as it’s ready.  Allow to cool for at least half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 175˚C.  Beat together the sugars, egg and yolk until light and creamy (most of the sugar should have dissolved).  Add the cooled butter, and beat for a further two minutes.

Sieve the dry ingredients in and mix until just incorporated.  Stir through the chocolate.

Roll large tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls, space well apart on lined baking sheets and sprinkle with a small amount of Maldon salt.
Bake 12-14 minutes until the edges turn golden brown.  Rest the cookies for three minutes on the baking sheets then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
My birthday cookies were not quite as pretty as the photography from the originals (to be expected...) but aesthetics aside they made a darned good bribe! 

150g butter
150g dark chocolate, cut into large chunks
150g dark Muscovado sugar
50g white sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
225g strong white flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp fine salt
Maldon sea salt for sprinkling over the top

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