Happy New Year! Seems a bit daft saying it now, feels like ages ago! Well I've started the year with the best of intentions and (as always!) my New Year's resolution is to be more organised and hopefully free up some time to blog more. Feeling really inspired by the great foodie programs on telly at the moment and by the wonderful cookbooks I got from Santa for Christmas : ) These cookies come from the fabulously pink baking encyclopedia 'Baking Style' by Lisa Yockelson. If you're still sticking to your New Year diet... Well done you! (And look away now!) And if you've given up or didn't start one then whip up a batch, they're delicious ; )
Larger-Than-Life, Chunky-Bulky Bittersweet Chocolate Praline Cookies
Makes approx 20 large cookies (The amount in this recipe is half of that in the book, don't get me wrong I LOVE cookies but I couldn't eat 3 1/2 dozen in one go!)
2 cups unsifted plain flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
(I added an egg to the batter before mixing in the flour as the dough seemed a bit too dry but I'll leave it up to you to decide whether to add one or not)
12 ounces bittersweet (dark) chocolate, cut into rough chunks
1 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180c). Line several baking sheets with baking paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of baking paper or into a bowl.
Cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, add the light brown sugar and beat for 1 minute and finally add the granulated sugar and beat for 1 minute longer. Stir in the vanilla extract.
On low speed, mix in the sifted ingredients in 2 additions, beating just until the flour particles are absorbed. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl frequently with a rubber spatula to keep the dough even-textured. Work in the chocolate chunks and pecans.
Use an ice-cream scoop or a 1/3 cup measure to mound the dough onto your baking sheet. Space the mounds about 3 inches apart. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 16 to 18 minutes until set and lightly golden. Let them stand for a minute before transferring to cooling racks. Let cool completely and store in an airtight tin.