I'm pretty sure this is the longest title I've ever used for a recipe! I found this amazing recipe on Top With Cinnamon blog and I made a double batch of the cookies on Saturday. They went down a storm at my friends' barbecue party and I have enough left at home to keep me going for the rest of the week! :)
Top With Cinnamon is a beautiful baking blog by 18 year old Londoner Izy. I started following this food blogger on Instagram a year ago, but only recently I discovered how young she was. I couldn't believe it at first, and I mean this as a compliment, because her baking and photography skills are so advanced that I just assumed she had many years of experience behind her!
Unsurprisingly, Izy won the Best Baking & Desserts Blog award at the Saveur Food Blog Awards 2014, an incredible achievement for a UK blogger and one she truly deserved one hundred percent!
Let's talk about these cookies! The original recipe developed by Izy is made with fresh basil and verbena leaves, but she also suggests substituting the latter with lemon zest, as I did.
I adjusted the plain/wholemeal flour and white/brown sugar ratios based on what I had available at home and I doubled the doses as I wanted to make A LOT of cookies (so glad I did)! After I finished mixing all the ingredients I found the cookie dough to be a bit too crumbly, so I added an extra egg (that's 3 eggs for a double batch).
I used dark bitter chocolate with no sugar that my mum bought in Mexico. Because of this strong bitter taste, I decided to bake the second cookie batch without sea salt and I preferred that version. However if you are using sweet or semi-sweet chocolate chunks, then the sea salt creates a nice flavour contrast.
As with any recipe, experiment with ingredients, doses and baking times to find the perfect combination that is right FOR YOU.
(for about 20-24 cookies)
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the roughly chopped basil and lemon zest. Heat continuously it on medium heat until it foams up and smells nutty, then stir in the vanilla extract. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then strain it through a sieve to remove the basil and zest.
In a stand mixer or a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Pour in the cooled butter and beat until the dry ingredients are completely mixed. Add the egg and mix in for a few seconds.
Chop the chocolate and add it to the cookie dough. Gently mix with a spoon until the chocolate chunks are well distributed.
Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, take out some of the dough and roll it in your hands to create a round ball. Place it onto a cookie tray lined with baking paper, spacing them 3cm apart. Repeat with all of the cookie dough. Put in the fridge for at least one hour before baking.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Take the cookies out of the fridge and sprinkle them with a pinch of sea salt flakes. Bake for 8 minutes or until the cookies have set edges and a soft centre.
Leave to cool on the baking tray until the chocolate is set, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool down completely. Store in an airtight container.