These chocolate chip cookies have a secret ingredient: cornflakes which adds a gorgeous crunch much like feuilletine does in pastries. These are simple cookies but they come with a warning: do not be tempted to make a batch if you are by yourself. I ate three in a row and only stopped because I was going for a workout. These are best shared with friends, family or colleagues! Don't say you weren't warned ;)
I was recently asked what types of recipes I prefer to make and I thought about it for a while. I like everything from simple to complicated to every day to special occasion recipes. I do however have a soft spot for "best" and "family" recipes. There's something so precious and special about a recipe that has stood the test of time and that outshines all other recipes that come across your path. There's a reason why some recipes are considered "best" ones or favourites. Some people don't even remember the course from which they procured it, others take copious notes as to who gave them written in beautiful, faded cursive, the ink staining deep into the pages.
On a recent trip to The Yukon this year I travelled with Cailin O'Neil, a travel video blogger who is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We stayed in touch and I see what she is up to on Snapchat. One day she made a chocolate pumpkin pie and I asked her for a recipe. I made it and it was absolutely delicious.
Cailin on the front left and me in the back
Then she mentioned a family recipe of hers for cookies, specifically Christmas cookies that they make every year a couple of weeks before Christmas. Cailin's mom (not mum ;)) got the recipe 20 years ago from a friend of hers called Pat who was a rug hooker. Cailin got her love of baking from her mum.
"Growing up I was always so excited every year and I got to make them with her, but these days I make them for her! Just because I'm obsessed with baking and cooking, which I got from her. Growing up she did crazy hours and shift work working at the airport for one of the Canadian airlines and she is where I got my love for travel from as well." She doesn't quite know why they only bake them at Christmas but she shared the recipe with me.
These are really delicious cookies. I did adapt them to make them even more crunchy because I am obsessed with crunchy things so they were slightly drier than a wet cookie dough but one bite into them and I can see why they are a family favourite. I have also solved Cailin's question about why they are only baked at Christmas. They are so ridiculously moreish that if you baked them all year round you would grow ten sizes quickly. So a little warning: make these and share them with friends, family or your office because they are very tempting to have around!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have a preference for a particular type of recipe? Simple? Challenging? Family? Historical?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Santa's Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from the O'Neil family
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Makes: approximately 30 cookies
- 1 3/4 cups plain all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup caster or superfine sugar
- 1.5 teaspoon bi carb of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 113g/1 stick butter, melted
- 1/2 cup mild flavoured oil (canola)
- 4 tablespoons milk (maybe 2 tablespoons more if mixture doesn't come together)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips (I used a mix of milk, dark and cinnamon chips)
- 1 cup cornflakes
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line three baking trays with parchment or silpats. In a large bowl whisk the flour, sugar (to break up lumps in brown sugar), bicarb and salt.
Step 2 - In a jug melt the butter and whisk with the oil, milk, egg and vanilla until combined. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the liquid in and mix with a spatula to combine. Add the cornflakes and chocolate chips and mix together with your hands adding a bit more milk if needed.
Step 3 - I used an ice cream scoop to keep the sizes even and rolled them into a ball and flattened them out slightly. They do spread a bit but aren't overly runny so an inch and a half apart is fine. Bake for 18-20 minutes until dark golden and crispy. Your nose will probably alert you to wonderful goodies in your oven!