100 grams of butter
50 grams of caster sugar
60 grams of brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract
125 grams of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
A huge bar of chocolate (at least 200 grams) go on make it two bars!
A couple of handfuls of coarsely chopped walnuts (if you've got baby hands, add an extra handful just for luck)
Turn your oven on to preheat at 180 degrees Celsius (about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, gas mark 4). Remember to take your grill pan out first. Now get some baking trays ready (if they're not non-stick then you better line them or grease them).
In a big bowl add the butter and both sugars, and then beat them until they are light and fluffy. We like our mixing the old fashioned way so we'd probably use a wooden spoon; but a whisk would work too. If you're really posh and have a fancy food processor you could always use that, but remember: it's yourself you're cheating at the end of the day. You'll know you're pretty much there when the colour starts to lighten, and the sugar starts to look less granular.
Add your egg and vanilla essence and mix them all together well. Try and use vanilla extract rather than vanilla essence - it's much closer to the real thing.
To give your arm a bit of a rest from all that mixing, in a separate bowl measure out the flour, salt, and bicarbonate of soda. Best to pass them through a sieve if you have one. (Handy kitchen tip: tennis rackets, while ideal for draining pasta, are not of much use when sieving flour, so don't bother.)
Now add the dry ingredients to the sugary egg-butter mix and use a wooden spoon to mix them all together well.
Time to prepare the chocolate chips and walnuts. For the walnuts we'd probably start with some walnut halves and then chop them up into bite-size pieces.
The choice of which chocolate to use is entirely up to you. Frankly, we're suckers for a big bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk, but just about anything will do. If you're trying to impress someone, why not try some Green & Blacks? It's pretty darn tasty.*
Now, the size of chunk is a subject of much discussion around the Willow Madison showroom. Some people prefer a dainty chip. But I say you should never be too scared to go large - a centimetre square would work just fine. The cooking process makes the chocolate go soft in the middle, meaning it's not hard when you bite in - so sometimes the bigger the better. But don't be afraid to experiment.
Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Try and resist the temptation at this stage just to sit down with a spoon and eat it out of the bowl. Instead, drop the mix in tablespoon-sized scoops onto the baking trays. Remember to leave plenty of space between scoops - these boys need space to spread out. If you're being economical you'll get about 10 to 12 cookies.
Pop them in the oven and bake until they go golden brown, and the centres are still slightly soft to the touch. It's going to take about 12 to 15 minutes. Take them out, leave them to sit for 5 minutes then pop them on a cooling rack.
Hey Presto! The world's finest cookies, in the comfort of your own home.
Cup of tea time!
* Please note: Willow Madison is not affiliated with any chocolate companies, and we're sure that any chocolate will be just as good with this recipe. In particular we're not endorsing any particular chocolate manufacturers. However, if any chocolate manufacturers want to send us some crates of their stuff, we'd be quite happy to give them a go, and tell them what we think.
Willow Madison Showroom & Workshops
Unit 3 No1 School Lane
Phone: 02380 274 929