Sunday, 12 February 2012

Let it snow!

Last weekend we had our first significant snow fall of the Winter. We had thought we were going to miss out on some snowy days this Winter as up until recently it has been fairly mild in the back of beyond. The snow arrived in the lull between lambings on the farm which meant young master Vander-cave and the farm boys were able to spend all their free time finding the best sledge run amongst all the hills around the quarry. Some of the hills the boys throw themselves down are not for the faint hearted and I find it is best not to watch when they fling themselves head first down an almost vertical slope.

 The best sledge we have found is a huge compost bag that is stuffed full of hay and tied up with string. This can carry two or three children or a couple of adults.  Most of the family and some friends have had a go on the bag sleigh.

The boys had to be retrieved from the quarry as darkness fell and temperatures fell even further. Whilst they had been having fun, getting wet and cold, I had made up a batch of double chocolate chunk cookies so that when the  wet and bedraggled gang came trudging back home they were quickly warmed up with fresh baked cookies and hot chocolate. The boys verdict was that the cookies were "awesome!"

This cookie recipe has a yield of about 30 cookies. If this is too many to bake in one go, I have found that the mixture will sit quite happily in a sealed container in the fridge for a 2 or 3  days so you can have a fresh batch whenever you need it.

Double chocolate chunk cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups of plain cooking chocolate 70% cocoa solids or a mixture of plain and milk chocolate chopped up until resembling gravel.

Preheat the oven to  190 degrees C. Grease baking sheets.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar until smooth.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.

Sift in the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder; mix well.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place them one inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. They should be slightly gooey in the middle.  Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.


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