Matcha & White Chocolate Cookies

I’ve been a bit obsessed with cookies after visiting the iconic Levain Bakery in New York City. If you haven’t yet visited, they make the most wonderful cookies which are slightly crisp on the outside and melty and gooey on the inside. They’re glorious American-sized desserts, rather than an eat-on-the-go snack, but I’m not complaining!

Back at home, I’ve been trying to recreate smaller versions of their famous chocolate chip and walnut cookie, which have turned out deliciously (with thanks to Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s recipe from Sweet). But from the title of this post, you can tell I’ve strayed and started to experiment with other flavours!

I love the combination of matcha and white chocolate, so this was a no brainer – I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do! It’s important not to overbake these cookies as they’ll end up too crisp all the way through (unless you like your cookies that way!). You might have to make a test batch as different ovens may need a slightly shorter/longer bake time. You can easily double the recipe to freeze more of the cookie dough and bake at a later date.

Ingredients (makes 18 cookies)

  • 125 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 280 g self-raising flour
  • 10 g matcha powder
  • 130 g white chocolate, either in chips or chopped into even 0.5 cm chunks

Directions

  1. Beat together (using an electric mixer or whisk) the melted butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and egg, and continue whisking until the mixture is paler in colour and smoother in consistency (another 2-3 minutes).
  3. Sift the flour and matcha powder into the mixture and fold everything together with a spatula.
  4. Add in the white chocolate chips and mix so they are well distributed in the dough. The dough may be difficult to mix with a spatula at this point, so use your hands if that is easier.
  5. Form the dough into the size of golf balls (approx. 45g each) and place onto a lined baking tray / cookie sheet.
  6. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. You can transfer the balls into the freezer at this point, to keep up to 3 months.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / 390°F. Spread the dough balls 3cm apart.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes from chilled, or 14 minutes from frozen.
  9. The cookies may still feel soft once out of the oven, but let them cool for 15-30 minutes before enjoying!

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Christmas Florentine Biscuits

At last!! I may have just found my favourite Christmas cookie recipe. It’s buttery, spiced with cinnamon, topped with a nutty caramel and dipped in dark chocolate – you really can’t go wrong 🙂

This recipe is an adaptation of the traditional Florentine biscuit (originating from Italy, although some dispute this…) but combines nuts (hazelnuts or almonds), candied fruit, honey and chocolate. Adding a sweet biscuit layer gives the cookie a bit more substance and bite. Since it has two components, it was a bit more fiddly to make, but was definitely a fun project on a Friday night!

Ingredients (makes 18)

For the biscuit layer

  • 115 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 55 g golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Florentine topping

  • 33 g unsalted butter
  • 33 g light brown sugar
  • 33 g maple syrup
  • 33 g plain flour
  • 50 g dried cranberries (or glacé cherries, if you prefer)
  • 50 g flaked almonds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 g dark chocolate

Directions

  1. Make the biscuit dough. Start by creaming together the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric whisk.
  2. Sift in the flour and cinnamon, then fold together.
  3. Use your hands or a spatula to form the dough into a sphere, wrap in cling film then chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Make the Florentine topping. Melt the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Take off the heat, si°ft in the flour and add the almonds, cranberries and a pinch of salt. Gently fold through.
  5. Leave the Florentine mixture to cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F.
  7. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Take the biscuit dough out from the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll to the thickness of a £1 coin.
  9. Use a cookie cutter/mug/glass (approx. 6 cm in diameter) to cut out the biscuits and place onto a baking sheet.
  10. Combine any scraps and roll out again, cutting out more biscuits until the dough is used up.
  11. Evenly spread about 2 tsp of Florentine topping onto each biscuit.
  12. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the biscuits are golden. Leave to cool for at least 15 mins.
  13. Melt the dark chocolate – either on a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave.
  14. Decorate the biscuits as you wish with the chocolate. I did a generous chocolate drizzle for half of the batch, and dipped the other half in the remaining chocolate.
  15. Let the chocolate set in the fridge.
  16. Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from bbcgoodfood.com)

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White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies

Work has unfortunately been busy and I haven’t had as much motivation to bake as I would’ve liked in this festive season, so this super simple cookie recipe was just what I needed to get back into it! White chocolate and cranberry is a timeless combination that I like all year round, but I’ve never really had a good excuse to bake them until now.

I’ve adapted Nigella’s chocolate chip cookie recipe – it’s my favourite and I think it makes the best big, chewy cookies which are just going crisp on the edges. This recipe also easily adjust for double and half quantities.

Ingredients

Makes 14 large cookies

  • 150 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 90 g soft light brown sugar
  • 90 g white caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 300 g flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 g white chocolate, chopped
  • 90 g dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C / 150°C fan / 325°F.
  2. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Melt the butter, and cream together with the brown and white sugars.
  4. Add in the vanilla extract and the eggs and mix until the mixture is light and creamy.
  5. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, and fold the wet and dry ingredients together.
  6. Gently stir through the chocolate chunks and dried cranberries.
  7. It is ideal to chill the cookie dough in the fridge for at least an hour before baking, but if you’re short of time, it should be fine to use the dough straightaway.
  8. Using an ice-cream scoop or two tablespoons, scoop the cookie dough into ping-pong sized balls and drop them on the baking sheet. Keep them at least 8 cm apart, as these will grow when baked in the oven.
  9. Bake for 15-17 minutes until the edges are golden. The centres will still be soft but will firm up when cooled. Leave to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet.
  10. Enjoy!

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