At the risk of sounding rather sheltered, the first time I tried the very concept of chocolate chip was when I was about ten years old. And no I didn't grow up in a cave or under the tutelege of extreme eaters or the Amish. We just had fruit as dessert and potato chips were relegated to birthday parties in an effort to wean us off sweets.
It didn't work so well. See...well this blog.
My first experience with choc chip was actually chocolate chip ice cream and it was a seminal moment in my food life. My much older cousin was visiting us and so we took her out to Kings Cross. We spent the entire time with my parents' hands over our ears walking the main drag of Kings Cross. My cousin bought my father a girly magazine much to my mother's disapproval (and later on, I can see that it was weird to be bought one by your niece). It felt like the naughtiest night in my inexperienced life and it ended on a high note just near El Alamein Fountain at Norgen Vaaz (remember them?).
I grew up eating odd ice cream flavours like sweetcorn when we were on holidays in my mother's native Singapore so chocolate chip sounded awfully exotic. Truth be told, it wasn't really the best choc chip that I had but it was awesome in that eye widening way and I ate it so slowly that it lasted the whole drive home too. I had to make sure that I didn't get any ice cream on the car seats.
After that, choc chip became one of my favourite flavours. And as far as cookies goes, there's no bigger crowd pleaser than the chocolate chip cookie. And as far as Christmas edible gifting goes, this is the present that I'm giving to most of my friends because like me, my friends sway between trying to be healthy and indulging. It's all about balance no matter how crazy it might look to the outsider.
With this cookie box, there is a "Naughty" chocolate chip cookie, all buttery shortbread studded with the very best chocolate. Then on the other side there's the "Nice" cookie, a paleo gluten free number made with almond meal, honey and coconut oil as well as dark 80% chocolate. The two cookies couldn't be more different yet each cookie finds its own fans. The whole fun is in the sampling of course ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, was there always dessert on your table growing up? And what is your favourite type of cookie?
"Naughty" Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 125g/4ozs butter, softened
- 1/2 cup caster or superfine sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1.5 cups plain all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bi carb soda
- /2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 150g/5ozs best quality chocolate, chopped
Step 1 - Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until combined well.
Step 2 - In a bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, bicard and salt together. Add to the butter mix and mix together along with the vanilla and chocolate. Tear off two lengths of parchment and make two logs. Place in fridge or freezer until firm.
Step 3 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line two baking trays with parchment and remove the logs from the fridge or freezer. If it is frozen, I like to let it defrost to make it easier to cut but you don't want it soft. Out of the fridge is the best consistency. Cut into half inch piece and place on baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool completely on tray.
"Nice" Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from The Healthy Chef
- 150g/5.5 ozs almond meal
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 50g/1.7 ozs 80% dark chocolate, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons water
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 140C/284F. Line a tray with parchment. Mix the almond meal, coconut oil, honey, vanilla and dark chocolate in a bowl. Add a little water to form a dough.
Step 2 - Shape into balls (this will be the hardest part and they will want to separate a little but squeeze them together firmly) and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the tray as they will be too delicate to move when warm.