Thursday, 9 February 2012

Cookies, Cakes and Cards

The other day my friend Katie e-mailed me with the recipe for Lorraine Pascale's Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. "They're really, really good" she told me, so I made a batch of them. After all, who needs convincing when it comes to cookies?*
I have a tendency when it comes to cookie recipes to leave them in the oven a little bit too long. I’m always sure they’re not done enough as they look so soft, which of course means that they generally come out and harden up far too much. With this recipe I followed the timings exactly and the end result was a plate of delicious chocolate chip cookies which disappeared way too quickly! They were quite chocolate brownie like, soft and chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The kids loved them and I'm not saying that I didn't polish off, ahem, one or two either!
Whilst we're on the subject of baking, this is the birthday cake I made for my youngest son not long ago. Doctor Who fans amongst you will recognise it as the Time Lords' Tardis, the 1960s-style London police box craft which transports its occupants to any point in time and any place in the universe. Youngest son is a huge Doctor Who fan and was thrilled with the cake, even if it was far from being one of my best efforts. I stuck nine candles in to it after the photo was taken.
Back to the cards. This design was the result of a request for a card for a 20 year old niece. Along with the big silver 20 on the card I decided that a glass of red wine, lipstick and nail polish were just about the essential items for a woman of that age. A few flowers and a pink heart finished it off nicely.
It was fun creating a card with the colour scheme I chose here. The oranges, yellows, pinks and purples were bright and cheerful, resulting in, what I hope was a pretty, 'happy' card.
A recent trip into Jerusalem saw me popping into a bigger-than-what-I-am-used-to craft store for a quick look around. Actually it was a very quick look around since the rather tolerant husband but more impatient sons were left standing outside the store!  Inside the store I was in paper heaven and was happy to discover several packs of some glorious patterned paper, some of which I have used in the birthday card, above, that I made for my nephew. The nephew is an Arsenal supporter but I have made football-themed cards for him many, many times. The balloons came to the rescue once again and I was pretty happy with the result. I'm guessing that my nephew was more concerned with the Amazon vouchers inside the envelope than the card itself though...

* Lorraine Pascale's Big Yummy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 8 large American-style cookies

110g (4oz) butter, softened
200g (7oz) soft light brown sugar
1 egg
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 drops of vanilla extract
165g (5½oz) plain flour
Pinch of salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
30g (1¼oz) cocoa powder
100g (3¼oz) milk chocolate chips
100g (3¼oz) dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F), Gas Mark 5. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together until combined. It does not need to be light and fluffy. I do this with my mixer but a hand whisk will do the job too. Stir in the egg and vanilla and mix well. It may look like it has curdled at this stage but not to worry. Give it a good whisk and it will come good. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder and mix until the dough looks uniform. The dough will be very stiff. Add the chocolate chips and mash everything in with a wooden spoon.
Divide the mixture into 8 balls and space about 10cm (4in) apart on the prepared baking tray. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will have a cracked top and will be very soft. Remove the cookies from the oven and leave to cool on the baking trays. They will quickly harden up as they cool.
Serve with the obligatory glass of ice-cold milk.


Annie said...

I think (I KNOW) I will be trying these cookies! The cake is amazing (I admit I don't really know who Dr Who is, but he showed up in a crossword puzzle the other day). And the cards as ever are charming!

Dough, Dirt & Dye

SuZeFashion said...

Yum! Double Chocolate cookies! That cake looks marvelous, yes it does remind me of many episodes of Dr Who. You cards are amazing as always!

Additionsstyle said...

The cookies sound like they were really tasty. You can't go wrong with double chocolate. Your sons birthday cake was very cool, and your new card designs are a lot of fun.
Everyday Inspired

KingdomKards said...

Yum all around! The goodies look delicious, and so do your cards! Great Cards!

Miss Val's Creations said...

These cookies look absolutely delicious! Love the Dr. Who cake. I used to love watching the original series as a little girl with my dad but I have yet to watch to the new version. The age cards are so fun!

Thank you for the tip on the dinosaur fossil searching book. That sounds like one I would really enjoy reading!