As you may (or may not!) have noticed, I've been busy baking during lockdown and have been trying out a couple of recipes.
I absolutely love to bake and whenever I've been bored in the past, you could more often than not find me in the kitchen whipping up a Victoria Sponge or a batch of cupcakes.
Since going vegan last year, I've found it a bit more difficult to just get into the kitchen and create the same bakes I was used to. But recently during this enforced lockdown, I've had more time to get to grips with it and try out something new.
I've become rather good at whipping up a batch of cookies and am having fun adding in different fillings to them each time.
I started with good old chocolate chips then thought (whilst eating one!) how good it would be with nuts in, so next time I added in almonds and apricots. Both of which were an epic addition and are my favourite so far!
I've since made another two batches of these cookies and added in Bourneville buttons, raisins, dates, some chocolate flapjack pieces and more apricots. That's the great thing about cookies, the base recipe is exactly the same each time and then the fun comes in adding in whatever you fancy afterwards!
I've also been whipping up a batch, shaping them and then freezing them so whenever the cookie munchies hit, you can be guaranteed super tasty cookies in 20 minutes or less!
I've learnt a few tricks along the way too, which I'll share with you as we go along if you decide to create a batch yourself!
OK so onto the fun part, the recipe itself! I believe this is actually a BBC Good Food recipe originally, but I feel like I've made it mine since I baked my first batch of cookies.
200g Margarine (I use Stork as it's now completely vegan)
125g soft light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g plain flour
0.5 teaspoon bicarb of soda
0.5 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
200g chocolate chips *or alternative fillings*
1 tablespoon soya milk
* I don't always use both sugars, in my latest batch I only used 100g caster sugar and supplemented with fruit. You obviously can use whichever you want or miss it out completely if you're wanting to cut down *
First up, preheat oven to 160 Fan/180/GM 4
Line two baking trays with grease-proof paper
Cream the margarine and sugar together adding in the vanilla extract
Sift flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda and salt
Add dry ingredients into butter and sugar
Mix together until thoroughly blended
Add in chocolate chips *if using* or alternative fillings
Spoon out to preferred size - I use an ice cream scoop!
Space out on baking trays - I usually put 5 on each tray
Bake for 15-20 minutes - I find they firm up on cooling so don't worry if they still appear to be quite uncooked when you first take them out!
You can turn off your oven and leave them in there if you want to as the residual heat will still slightly cook them without burning.
Take them out and place on a baking tray or plate to cool completely and if you can, wait for them to cool down then enjoy!
My Tips For Perfect Cookies!
Having made a few batches of cookies now, I have a few tips which I hope will made yours perfect!
If you can, after making your dough, chill it in the fridge for a while. This will help the cookies to form better when you shape them. I have found that the ones from the freezer always bake better than the fresh batch!
When baking your cookies, you need to press them down a bit to ensure they don't spread too much when cooking. To do this you can either use the back of your *clean* hand or a fork dipped in flour to prevent it from sticking to the cookie!
Always space out your cookies on the baking trays! Otherwise, you may well end up with one big cookie! *not that we have a problem with that!*
When storing them, to prevent them from going too soggy, stick a slice of bread in the tub/box with them. The bread will absorb all the air leaving your cookies as soft as they were out of the oven!
To get them all the same size, I use an ice cream scoop and ensure its level before placing on the baking tray. They may spread differently once pressed down and in the oven, but at least it's an even scoop of mixture!
So, there we have it! I hope your mouth is watering and you're already halfway to the kitchen to start making these delicious cookies! Please tag me in your photos on Instagram I'd love to see them!