‘Instant’ Chocolate Chip Cookies

When you have a reputation for baking, your visitors will often expect you to have some fabulous cake ready when they stop by. On more than one occasion I’ve had to watch someone’s face fall when I explain that there’s nothing special in the house. Not that I would mind having cake all the time, but with the onset of middle-aged spread, it’s really not a good idea!

Luckily, I do have one trick up my sleeve for surprise visitors (and for myself late at night when everybody else has gone to bed), at that’s my ‘instant’ chocolate chip cookies.

Ok, so let’s temper expectations immediately – when I say ‘instant’, obviously they are not instantaneous to make. If you need that level of efficiency, I would recommend you simply buy your chocolate chips cookies from a shop! What I’m talking about are prepared cookies, that are ready to bake straight from the freezer; no mess, no fuss, and in your mouth within 30 minutes.

This recipe makes about 25-30 good sized cookies, so it’s probably a very good job that you don’t need to make them all at once! It’s also the perfect excuse to make up a batch without any good reason at all… 🙂

As with most other biscuits, you need to cream together the sugar and fat, and then add the dry ingredients to form the base cookie dough.

Then, you will need an ungodly amount of chocolate chips. The first time I made these cookies I had a hard time getting over how much the chocolate was costing me, but I assure you that the end product is well worth it. The most cost effective way to buy these, is to get a big bag of chocolate callets. If you buy in bulk, you get a lot more for your money – and if you have kids, they’re cheaper than buying chocolate buttons. Just make sure you keep the bag on a high shelf 😉

Just stir the chocolate chips through the dough, and you’re done!

Well, I say that you’re done, but this dough really needs to mature in the fridge for 24 hours. You can make cookies with it straight away, but for some reason they are simply better cookies the next day. I won’t pretend that I understand why. Don’t take my word for it though – try it for yourself and compare!

Tip the dough out onto some cling film and wrap it up carefully to be stored in the fridge. You will probably want to split the dough in half to make this easier.

Once you have patiently waited for the dough to mature, you can finally move on to baking! In order to get a consistent size, I always prefer to weigh the dough, rather than go by eye. It takes just as long to weigh the dough out as it does to compare it to the last one you rolled, and if you weigh the dough your cookies are far more likely to look uniform once baked.

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If you want to freeze your cookies for later, which is the main reason I make these, place your balls of dough in a container not touching each other; I use this brownie pan, and freeze a dozen at a time as I am short on freezer space. Once your dough balls are frozen, you can then transfer them to a regular freezer bag, and move on to the next batch.

If you want to bake cookies immediately, place your dough balls on a lined baking tray with plenty of space between them. You can see how much they spread out – but don’t worry if they do end up touching each other, as they come apart easily. They might just be a bit misshapen.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges are golden, and the middle still looks a bit soft. The cookie should give you both some crunch, and some gooey softness in the middle. Don’t attempt to remove the cookies from the baking tray straight away, as they will just disintegrate. Leave the whole baking sheet to rest on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes, then they will come off easily.

If you bake your cookies straight from frozen, you simply bake them for a couple of extra minutes. But always keep an eye on them the first time; every oven is different, so adjust your baking times accordingly.

And there you have it – ‘instant’ chocolate chips cookies for surprise guests, and for those surprise cookie cravings! Enjoy!

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‘Instant’ Chocolate Chip Cookies

240g plain flour
240g strong white bread flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
285g unsalted butter
285g light brown sugar
225g granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
575g chocolate chips

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl, and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar, until very light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
Stir through the sifted dry ingredients until just combined.
Add the chocolate chips, and stir until evenly distributed.

Wrap the dough in cling film, and leave to mature in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

Weigh out 50g pieces of cookie dough, and roll into balls.
Place on a lined baking tray for immediate baking, or into a freezer safe dish and then into the freezer.
Once the dough balls are frozen, they can be transferred into a freezer bag, as they will no longer stick together.

To bake, preheat the oven to 180c.

Place the dough balls on a baking sheet, with plenty of space between them.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until golden on the edges, and still soft in the middle.
Cookies baked from frozen will take an extra couple of minutes.

Leave the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before you attempt to remove the cookies. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container.

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