The Dough Nuts Rainbow Gnocchi mayhem

It's been a hundred years since the last recipe post, sort of because winter, sort of because cakes... and much bigger children whose days are spent at school and whose evenings are mostly for sluggishly dragging themselves about looking exhausted and shovelling snacks into their mouths before passing out. No more golden mid-morning hours spent recipe testing with bright eyed assistants. But I miss it and it's important and once they get going they love it, so I'm taking a stand and bringing it back. My stand has been encouraged by magical Hattie Garlick, equally keen to come up with recipes and ways to engage children with food and meals, and encourage some genuine healthy meal enjoyment without being a total pain in the ass, resorting to bribery, ending up in tears etc. We don't want to buy expensive, aggressively marketed soulless snacks. We don't want to spend our evenings silently weeping as we scrape uneaten dishes into the compost. Back in the day children were a valuable extra pair of hands in the kitchen, and food preparation would be something they inevitably helped with and earned respect for. It encourages a connection to what's on the plate, an understanding of what ingredients do and why they're involved, and gives children the power to experiment and exert some control over their own supper. Glistening with all these grand ideas, we decided to drag five slightly-tired children together on a rainy afternoon in the midst of dry January and order them to whip us up some supper. On the menu...

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Rainbow Gnocchi

this amount makes enough for 4 small servings of the red (beetroot), yellow (saffron) and green (spinach) gnocchi. You can either multiply the amounts to make different colours/flavours (it freezes well and cooks easily from frozen, so making lots is a good idea) or divide your dough before adding the flavours/colours. Recipe for the orange (sweet potato) gnocchi is below.

150g ricotta
85g organic pasta flour
2 eggs
100g parmesan
for the flavours:
powdered beetroot
garlic paste
100g spinach (per 150 ricotta)
saffron
butter and parmesan to serve

for the sweet potato gnocchi (serves 4):
500g sweet potato - baked, skin on, in the oven until soft. Scrape out flesh and discard skins.
50g ricotta cheese
80g pasta flour
dash of cinnamon

For both the regular and sweet potato gnocchi, mix your ingredients together in a big bowl to make a dough. This is why gnocchi is so great for kids - it couldn't be much simpler. Bigger kids can flex their maths muscles and help with weighing out the ingredients, and smaller ones can add and mix and mash. Kids are great at breaking eggs (accurately, for the most part...kind of) and love to measure things. Once you have your dough vaguely mixed, split it into portions for adding flavour (set the sweet potato dough aside - it's done for now). We gave each child a bowl of dough, with the smallest two on a team, and a dough colour each. Pre-wilt the spinach by placing it in a colander and pouring over boiling water, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible and chop - or have a small person chop. Add to one portion of dough with a little squeezy garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well and form into a ball. For the beetroot powder we added approx a tablespoon (kids in charge!) and for the saffron we dissolved a pinch in a little warm water and mixed it in. 

The dough should be not too sticky, and lovely to squash. Add more flour a bit at a time until it feels right. You need a liberal dusting of flour (and tolerance for some fairly epic mess) before asking the kids to roll their balls of dough into long dough snakes. Then dole out some lovely sharp knives for them to cut thumb-sized dough nuggets. With supervision and appropriate sizes, knife wielding children needn't be an issue, and they love being given the responsibility. 

Actual real life ragamuffins

Actual real life ragamuffins

Place your gnocchi nuggets on a plate and keep them in the fridge until ready to cook. I found it helpful to dust them in a little polenta flour to help prevent sticking, as there were so many! With kids in charge they do look a bit bonkers and are not uniform, but this only adds to their charm. Probably. When you are ready to cook, boil a big pot of salted water and pop the gnocchi in ten-ish at a time - don't overcrowd. They are ready when they float to the top, and must be removed with a slotted spoon and placed on a muslin/paper towel for the liquid to drain off. They only take about 2 minutes to cook so you do have to stay close by. As mentioned they cook well straight from the freezer too. To serve melt some butter in a frying pan - for extra yum add some sage leaves or torn pieces of cavolo nero (or both) and fry them briefly. Then add the gnocchi, shake it all about and place in bowls. Top with grated parmesan or pecorino. This was a hit with all our ages, with the absolute top fave flavour being...SPINACH! It is still discussed for its deliciousness. 

During the ensuing dinner party we asked the kids what they would like to call their new little cooking club. Although there was huge support for "Wee Wee Bum Bum Poo Poo" they settled on the Dough Nuts, probably hoping that this meant they would get to eat some. And maybe they will... We will be back hopefully fairly regularly with more yummy kid-cook friendly recipes they will actually want to eat, and you will want them to eat. Now I'm off to try and scrape dried gnocchi dough from my table...

Purple hail

purplegnocchi

The days seem suddenly longer and lighter, and we had already taken for granted that after school would once more mean lolling in the park, skateboarding down hills and demanding ice creams that we would never EVER finish (ahem...), working on our chasing and catching skills, and casually topping up our suntans. But today there was hail. HAIL. In late April. So we had a little family cooking & music session... 

In light of Prince sadly popping up to the stars on Friday/because it was a rad excuse to dig out my Purple Rain vinyl & inflict it on the kids/because our Abel & Cole veggie box delivered us a big bag of them that urgently needed eating, we settled on using our purple potatoes. My kids are strange, in that they will happily devour mountains of raw greens or pull apart big scary prawns, but aren't very happy about eating potatoes in any form other than deep fried. Blue chips seemed like a cop out, so we thought we would experiment with a purple gnocchi supper. 

Gluten Free Purple Gnocchi

700g purple potatoes
1/3 cup flour (we used Doves Farm plain gluten free flour blend)
1 small egg

In an ideal world, your first step would be to bake your purple potatoes for 45ish mins, then scoop out the flesh into a bowl. This retains maximum purpleness and keeps everything nice and dry. We were nowhere near as organised, and only had 30 mins before tummies were going to start demanding to be filled, so we peeled, boiled and drained ours extremely well. Both kids are very into peeling veg at the moment, because they are mad, so loved labouring over each potato whilst I silently panicked over how long it was taking them. Once your potato is skin free, cooked and in a bowl, whatever the method, mash well and add 1/3 cup of flour - we went gluten free with Doves Farm's plain gf blend, but I reckon rice flour would work well or you can use regular plain flour if you're not fussed about gluten content. Also add one small egg - cracking the eggs is easy and fun for kids so I always let them do this bit and they rarely get egg everywhere or any shell in the bowl. Add a couple of pinches of salt (& pepper if you like). 

Indy peeling spuds... 

Indy peeling spuds... 

The mashing of the ingredients is another bit the kids can totally take over on. Basically with this meal they are doing the lot, so you can sit back and relax (unless you are too busy taking pictures, like me....) The mixture quickly comes together into a lovely satisfying dough which Indy very accurately compared to play doh. Separate into 4 separate pieces and roll each one out into a long snake - another job for the kids - then cut each snake into bite size nuggets. The texture makes this a really easy job for the kids to practice using a proper knife, and much was their glee at being trusted with something sharp and grown-up. 

gnocchisnakes

Once the nuggets are chopped, roll a fork over them to make them look lovely and authentic and gnocchiesque. Or, if you are doing this with kids, give up on that and accept that they will all be totally different shapes and sizes and degrees of squashedness, but will nevertheless taste the same. 

gnocchicut

Add your beautiful misshapen purple nuggets to boiling salted water and wait for them to float to the surface and tell you they're done, which takes approximately a minute, so don't wander off. Drain immediately and serve with something buttery, or we made a quick pesto from fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, olive oil & some goat's cheese. Devoured. Prince would totally not approve, because he was a vegan, but I'm sure there's an easy vegan version of this... 

 

 

GONE BANANAS

baby, it's extremely cold outside...

baby, it's extremely cold outside...

I actually have gone bananas, because *still* rarely a night passes without Indy padding down the hall and squirrelling in next to me, using me as a pillow and wrapping herself around me like a little butterscotchy octopus. Then I can't get back to sleep. And she wriggles the covers off. And in the morning I feel like lying on the floor with a funnel in my mouth whilst someone fills me to the brim with coffee. Or waves a one way ticket to a Mexico in front of my face. It's January, so even the brightest days are mostly dark and frosty and I'm not a fan of long spells of hibernation, I need some sun and air and adventure. So we have been baking a lot to make the house smell of cinnamon and warmth, and keep away from watching too much tv or feeling too blue. 

This banana bread is our latest invented recipe and we are all now total addicts. It's delicious straight from the oven or cold or toasted with butter or slathered in almond butter and raspberries for breakfast. We're on a loaf a week at the moment and show no signs of slowing down. But it's totally sugar/gluten/dairy free so we can smugly devour as much as we fancy & get ourselves strong for treeclimbing season at the same time... 

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Wintertime Banana Bread

75g Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour (I imagine you could substitute buckwheat or rice flour)
50g coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
50g melted butter or coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 tbsp almond or rice milk (make sure it's unsweetened)
80g egg white (approx 3 large egg whites, but I buy it by the carton)
3 mega ripe bananas
1 tbsp coconut nectar, raw honey, maple syrup or agave
more agave or maple syrup (for serving)

This one is lovely and easy for kids to help with. Pablo's just getting into maths so loves to measure the ingredients, and Indy is always keen to sneak licks of spoons when my back is turned. Line a loaf tin with parchment in the bottom, and butter/coconut oil the sides (indy does this by painting with a pastry brush). Mash the bananas in a bowl, then add all other wet ingredients *except the egg whites*.  Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the two. Whip the egg whites into soft peaks and very carefully fold into the mixture. 

indy mixing

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 30 minutes. It should come out lovely and golden. Leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Warm your additional agave or maple syrup (about 1-2 tbsp) until super runny. Poke the bread with a toothpick all over - not all the way through. Brush with the runny syrup. It makes the bread super glossy and extra delicious. 

The bread is really light and I imagine you could easily jazz it up with some nuts, raisins, coconut, maca....maybe we will try and make a carrot version if any carrots survive in our house long enough not to be juiced. Or a beetroot and chocolate! Ok I'm getting carried away...but make this and eat it and feel better and know that spring is around the corner. I hope. 

cookie monster

Nom

Nom

I've been being all January and taking a long, hard look at our eating habits. It's so easy with kids to slip into a routine where every meal is based around wheat and cow's milk, the two things we are supposed to try and have less of. Not to mention the horrible hidden sugar in everything from bread to baked beans. So it's been a month of learning new, quick recipes and making things from scratch, and actually it's been really fun. I got this fab Gwyneth Paltrow cook book, which is full of super fast, mega tasty family friendly meals and snacks. I must have made about 15 of the recipes so far and have yet to be disappointed. I know, I know, everyone loves to roll their eyes at Gwyneth - and she invites it, to a degree, with the inclusion of phrases such as "Like a prize, a perfectly ripe avocado emerged from Gwyneth's carry-on" errrm - but I bloody love her, especially for this book. Seriously. Try it. 

I've been loving the soups, the endless avocado and quinoa feasts, but sometimes you need a cookie. Especially if you are a hyperactive smalley. Or a little boy with a lunchbox. So today Indy and I baked up a batch of invented biscuits, and they were so completely delicious that I had to share… 

Raring to go...

Raring to go...

Monster biscuits

110g gluten-free plain or self raising flour (we use Dove's Farm)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
75ml coconut oil
3 tbsp raw honey
75ml maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
grated zest of half an orange 
50g oats
50g grated carrots
50g raisins
1 mashed banana

Mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl, and set aside. In a big bowl, mix the coconut oil, honey, maple syrup and vanilla. Try not to let your toddler eat it all at this stage - this is the most challenging bit of this recipe. Add the egg, the orange zest & mashed banana and give it a good mix.

Next add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until well incorporated. Then mix in the oats, raisins and grated carrot. Indy was pretty into pinching these out of the bowl too… Once all is mixed, add dollops (approx 1 tbsp) to a cookie sheet - ours is nonstick (but a bit haggard) and we didn't bother greasing it, which worked out fine.  Bake at 170C for 12 minutes, then place on a rack to cool. 

Having made this kind of "healthy" biscuit before, with varying degrees of success, I wasn't expecting them to be so incredibly tasty. They were soft and sweet and tasted like the best home made oatmeal raisin cookies I've had. And they were quick to make, and a fun activity with a crazy toddler. Hopefully Gwyneth would approve, too… 





Goldenballs

And so, with back to school comes a return of the dreaded lunchbox. Another chore to add to the evening - or worse yet, morning - routine. In order to make the experience more of a challenge I tend towards obsessive health freakishness and insist on making life a thousand times more difficult by ensuring all snacks are home baked, no sugar allowed...and so on, until my head explodes. I so resent the overpriced, palm-oil filled, totally un-nutritious snacks so aggressively marketed to us mas, pas and kiddos, (and yes, this includes all the attractive organic carrot puffs and rice cakes) that I mostly refuse to buy them. The inevitable outcome is that I'm constantly caught short on the snack front, and there's only so many grapes, raisins and satsumas you can shovel down them. SO, on the off-chance I'm not alone in my predicament, I thought I'd have a stab at some easy, nutritious and lunchbox-friendly recipes. 

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Arancini

leftover risotto (of any flavour, though I used Beetroot - and the best beetroot risotto recipe in town is this one) 
an egg
breadcrumbs (you can buy these or stick some vaguely stale bread in the food processor)
Rapeseed oil, 500ml - 1 litre

 

So you've made a delicious risotto, yippee! But if you're anything like me you have made a bit too much to be eaten at one sitting, but too little to feed the whole family another meal. We always end up with one small tupperware full, languishing in the fridge. Not any more... 

Arancini, which means "little oranges" in Italian, have got to be one of the least time consuming, most enjoyable ways to use up leftovers. Proper, traditional arancini back on their home shores tend to be stuffed with ragu or mozzarella, and you are very welcome to do so too, but regular old balls of any kind of risotto are just fab. The risotto is best if it's been left in the fridge overnight to get really stodgy. Heat oil to 170-190 degrees (best if you have a thermometer to check, but if not then give it about 5 mins and then chuck a breadcrumb in and make sure it sizzles instantly.) Then you simply roll the risotto into little balls, dip them to coat with beaten egg, roll them in breadcrumbs and deep fry. The whole process takes no longer than ten minutes, and is nice and quick to tidy up. 

Considering they are filled with parmesan-smothered rice, these are understandably bloody delicious hot, but they are fantastic cold in a lunchbox too. Nice and filling, nutritious and reliably devoured. Even Indiana polished them off, and she likes to attempt survival on milk and bananas alone. And apart from the bit in direct contact with sizzling hot oil, they are a great one to make with kids, who love smooshing the rice into balls...or any shape they like! 

 

The nuggets make nuggets

We have settled into the school holidays now, but for a while there I was going a tiny bit bananas trying to come up with *things to do*. Possibly because there was a rainy week or so, which is always a killer, but beyond plodding from park to picnic to garden London isn't heaving with FUN! for me + two smallies and a wallet on the thinner side. So to the kitchen... we made gnocchi! It was extremely messy but simple, fun, and great for kids to get involved in. Even Indiana got stuck in. Literally.

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Sweet Potato Spelt Gnocchi

600g sweet potatoes
200g white spelt flour + more for dusting
1 egg
 

Chop the potatoes in half and then boil in their skins for 20 mins. Drain and leave to cool, then peel the skins off and mash. This was Pablo's mashing outfit...  

he insisted on slippers, in the middle of summer... but god forbid he wear trousers

he insisted on slippers, in the middle of summer... but god forbid he wear trousers

Mix the mashed potato with the egg and flour. Ours was incredibly sticky, and we just kept adding a little more flour until it became doughy. Make sure your work surface is very floury, split the dough into three and roll out into sausage shapes.  Cut into pieces approximately 3cm long and roll them in your hand to make a little gnocchi nugget. Pablo was in charge of all this so ours were....varied in shape and size a bit. He especially enjoyed squishing them with a fork, which is supposed to make them look even more gnocchi-esque, but in our case made them look completely bonkers.

Drop the gnocchi into boiling, salted water in batches and boil until they float to the surface - a few minutes. Drain and then dust flour (we went for a flour/semolina mix for that bit). We then pan fried the gnocchi in a little oil until it was golden, and served it with some pan fried cabbage, cream, lemon and a bit of white wine. It was scrumdiddliumptious. Worth having to clean up gnocchi-dough monster hands for an afternoon....

buns!

Mmm SUMMER. It has actually finished now, apparently, but there is still the odd hero sending bbq smoke out into the late afternoon air to help you remember a time when the weather was reliably not going to flash-hailstorm (in July) and lying in the grass drinking beer seemed like a reasonable plan for an evening out. Anyway, just in case it decides to pay us another visit between now and next June, here's a rad recipe for burger buns. Or hot dog buns. Or whatever kind of bun you need. It is mindbendingly easy, and so delicious that you will never (seriously, never) buy buns again. Ever. The recipe below is a cheat's version of this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, so if you're not in a mad hurry all the time like me, or don't have a Kitchenaid/stand mixer, it's worth checking the original recipe out.

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Brioche burger buns

3 tbsp warm milk
2 tsp dry active yeast
2.5 tbsp sugar (have made this with both caster and soft brown, both awesome)
2 large eggs
330g strong bread flour (plus more for dusting)
40g plain flour
1.5 tsp salt
36g butter, cool and in cubes (not room temp, but not straight from the fridge)
 

In a large jug, mix 235ml warm water with the warm milk, sugar and yeast. Leave it to stand for 5-10 mins. Beat ONE of the eggs in a cup. (I totally added both eggs the first time I made this, and actually it was fine, but adding just ONE is a much better idea...) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flours and salt on low speed. Add tiny cubes or shavings of butter about 10 seconds apart until it is all incorporated and the flour mixture has a texture like breadcrumbs. Switch to a dough hook and add in the yeast/milk mix and the beaten egg. Knead with the dough hook for approximately 8 minutes medium speed, until a dough forms. It is extremely sticky so add a bit more bread flour as you go - as little as you can comfortably get away with, maybe another 100g max - as you would do if you were kneading by hand. Once you have a ball of dough, pop it in a large floured bowl and cover with cling film or a damp tea towel for about an hour (if it's summer - probably closer to two in winter) or until doubled in size. 

 

Once the dough has risen, tip it out onto a very floured work surface, give it a bit of a punch, and use a big ol' knife (or a dough scraper, if you have one) to chop it into as many pieces as you'd like buns. This recipe makes about 8 very large buns, or 15 small buns, but you can also make long hot dog buns - really, it's up to you, just be aware that obviously the smaller the bun the shorter the cooking time. For burger buns roll and fold the dough into small rounds, then pop onto a baking tray lined with parchment. Cover again with oiled cling film or a damp tea towel for another hour whilst they rise to about double in size. They really do rise a lot - I made hot dog buns that ended up the size of small baguettes. 

Heat the oven to 200C. Beat the remaining egg with one tbsp water and brush your buns with this wash. Pablo did this bit and loved it. You can sprinkle with sesame seeds too at this point (please do, it's ultra delicious). Pop a large tray of shallow water in the bottom of the oven and then put the bun tray in the middle (I did middle and top, and they came out just fine). Bake for approx 10-15 mins depending on bun size (don't open the oven too early or you will cry, but you should be able to see they are done when they are a beautiful golden colour.) Allow to cool on a rack and then devour with home made burgers YUM!

We had a few left over and they kept really well, very moist, for sandwiches the next day, which is another reason they are better than store bought buns. Store in an airtight container.

pink fluffy clouds

I was making a LOVE cake for my lovely friend Lisa's Love-themed birthday party and decided I wanted to put some pink marshmallow hearts on top. You can probably buy these somewhere but it turns out that marshmallows are very easy (and sticky) to make, and quite fun to make with kids. We made pink vanilla hearts but you could go for any flavour or colour or shape, they are super simple. Check out the awesome Marshmallowists for some flavour inspiration... 

the love affair with all things sugary continues...

the love affair with all things sugary continues...

Marshmallows

125g icing sugar (or corn flour) for dusting
400g caster sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup (you can use corn syrup in the US if you wish)
300ml water
2 tablespoons unflavoured, powdered gelatine (we used Dr Oeteker)
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract

Dust a dish with icing sugar or corn flour. We used two 8in round tins, because we were making thinner marshmallows, but a 9in square tin would be best. Really dust with loads of icing sugar/corn flour - you may want to line it with parchment first as well, as these things are insanely sticky.  

Heat the caster sugar, golden syrup and 175ml of the water in a saucepan. Ideally use a jam/confectioners thermometer to check the temperature - you want the syrup at 120-130 degrees C. If you don't have a thermometer you can test whether it's ready by whether a small drop of syrup forms a hard ball when dropped into cold water. 

The heating takes 5-10 minutes, so in the meantime prep the gelatine. Place the remaining 125ml water into a heatproof bowl and sprinkle with the gelatine. Heat the bowl over simmering water until the gelatine has completely dissolved. When the syrup is ready, remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatine mixture. Set aside.  

This next bit is super sticky, so try and have some peace to get on with it. I got interrupted by Indy somehow climbing the kitchen stepladder and half falling off again, and little globules of marshmallow flew across my kitchen like ghosts. Fun to clean up...  Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks in a large bowl, then pour in the syrup mixture in a steady, slow stream whilst continuing to whisk, until the whites become stiff. Stir in vanilla (or any other flavours or colours of your choosing). Spread into your prepared tin and refrigerate for about 8 hours. 

Have a bowl of cornflour ready for dusting your hands and the marshmallows as you remove them from the tin. Use cookie cutters or a knife to cut them. We then dipped some of ours in melted dark chocolate and sprinkles for extra yum, and a few got brushed with glitter and made it onto the LOVE cake. My husband is still working his way through the tin of offcuts. They are really delicious and if it wasn't finally summer I wouldn't hesitate to drown some in hot chocolate.  

 

The finished LOVE cake and the exhausted sleeping suntanned Pablo...

an apple a day

Pablo's much loved childminder, Lucinda, moved away a year ago and we were very excited when she asked if she could pop down for a visit. Obviously we had to make a cake, but with a miserably poorly baby a trip to the shops was not going to happen. I scoured the cupboards and we had just the right amount of this and that to make this delicious apple cake. It was extremely easy and Pablo helped me lots. Indy did the opposite by tugging on my leg and looking pathetic throughout, but we got there in the end...

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Caramelised Cinnamon Apple Cake

100g butter + 1 tbsp
175g brown muscovado sugar + 1 tbsp
2-3 dessert apples
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
100ml milk
TOPPING:
25g flour
85g demerara sugar + 1 tbsp
0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
50g butter
3 tbsp toasted sliced almonds

recipe adapted from BBC Good Food 

Heat oven to 160C. Mix the topping first - flour, demerara sugar, cinnamon butter with your fingertips to make sticky breadcrumbs. Pablo did half of this, but once he began threatening to eat hunks of sugary butter from his fingertips I chucked it all in a food processor. Stir in 2 tbsp of the almonds and set aside. 

Cut the apples into 1.5cm-ish squares. Melt the 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp sugar in a non stick frying pan and then add the apples and cook for about 5 minutes until everything is brown and gooey and yummy smelling.

Make the cake by creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well, then add the vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients and alternate adding them and the milk until all is well combined. Grease a springform 8in/20cm tin and line with a circle of parchment on the bottom. Spoon in your cake mix and then sprinkle with the topping. Mix your remaining 1 tbsp demerara and almonds together and sprinkle these on top. Bake for 45ish minutes. Cool ten minutes in the tin before removing, then cool on a wire rack until it's time to indulge.

Actual best cookies ever

In my hand-scrawled recipe book (started circa 2001) I have this recipe down as "Best Choc Chip Cookies (Actual Best!)" and as far as I've experimented over the decades they really are. I have absolutely no idea where they came from, but what a find! On Sunday Konch's oldest pal Mark popped over to see his little god-daughter and I realised at the very last minute that we barely had a withered carrot in the house to offer him. These took about 15 minutes to whip up and were gone again almost as quickly. One batch makes a LOT o' cookies but the dough refrigerates like a dream and freezes great too.  They are crunchy *and* chewy and everything they should be. I've made it so many times, often with way less chocolate than the recipe calls for and they still turn out scrummy, so they are great for just making at the last minute with whatever chocolate...nuts...etc... you've got. On Sunday I used choc chips, raisins and chopped pistachios in place of just chocolate and it was a magical combo...

eeeeeeat meeeeeee

eeeeeeat meeeeeee

225g butter, room temp (soft)
200g caster sugar
220g packed brown sugar
2 eggs
10ml vanilla extract
375g flour
5g bicarb of soda + 10ml hot water
3g salt
335g chocolate chips (I find chopped up good quality dark choc works better)

Heat the oven to 175C. Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla. Dissolve the bicarb in hot water and add along with the salt. Stir in the flour and chocolate/nuts/raisins/whatever you fancy. Bake for 8-10 mins, then leave to cool a bit before trying not to eat all in one sitting.