cookies like muffins

There is something about early nights that feels like magic.

It can be the glimmer of cheap ikea candles that smell of vanilla. Or the warmth of a pair of chunky mittens.

Or perhaps for you, it’s the cosiness of the blanket you’re wrapped in, while reading a book to your favourite animal; mine currently being a Portuguese-speaking guinea pig called Joseph – which I would have never thought as plausible, the liking a guinea pig that is, not the whole language compatibility issue.

joseph

I love early nights because they ooze comfort, and at times, if I’m in the mood for baking, they ooze chocolate as well.

Tonight, the house is empty and quiet. I can hear the rain hit the roof and the heater roar.

The sunset happened just three short hours after I woke up, but it feels like the day has just begun.
In short, the perfect background for the slow-motion day I have been dreaming of.

With no plan, but an empty stomach, I put some music on, preferably something by girls in Hawaii. I light up our gas oven, and mix butter with muscovado sugar, add flour and a touch of baking powder. I chop some valrhona chocolate into chunks.
Getting my hands dirty, I form little pats, put them into a muffin pan and bake.

chopped chocolate

Yes, there is something magic about early nights. It can be anything you want; wherever and whenever, as long as it’s after the dusk.

For me, it was as easy as soaking a thick and chewy cookie into a cup of hot matcha latte. The photographing part was obviously slightly more difficult, but well, no apologies needed, it’s dark outside.

cookies pola dirty

Chocolate chip cookies
I think I already have more recipes for chocolate chip cookies than needed. I went through different phases, each more successful than the previous one.

And no matter how much I digressed, I always find myself going back to this one recipe that has been sitting in my notebook for years and that somehow never appeared here.

It’s basically a one-bowl recipe that can provide perfect cookies in a matter of minutes.

You can bake them as soon as the dough is made in a muffin pan like I did here for instant gratification. But if you choose to roll them into a log, you’ll be able to freeze them for a later slice-and-bake kind of thing.

Rather evidently, you could use a little whole-wheat flour and I cannot recommend it enough. It gives the cookies a lovely earthy flavour that matches the chocolate and sea salt perfectly.

Chocolate chip cookies

180g butter, soft
80g caster sugar
260g muscovado sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
200g plain flour
200g strong flour
4g baking powder
6g Maldon sea salt
150g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
Maldon sea salt, extra

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Mix in the flours, baking powder and salt until just combined. Add the chocolate chunks and knead with your hand until there is no more floury patches.
If you’re going to bake them in a muffin pan, preheat the oven to 180°C and form dough balls roughly the size of a Clementine, which you then press into the holes of your pan and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Bake for 12 minutes.
You can shape the rest into 5cm-wide logs which can be frozen for up to 3 months.
When you crave some cookies, simply cut the log into 2cm slices. Arrange on a lined baking tray and bake at 180°C for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on how you like your cookies.