Crazy-good cookies

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Chocolate chunk cookies are probably the most-baked thing in my kitchen; just about weekly at times. The recipe I swear by is one I found online somewhere, and is by Simon Holst. It uses only 75g butter which is half the amount some cookies recipes get through, but the end result is still moist and buttery and if you can always up the butter quota if you want a dripping-with-it result. I’ve been making these cookies for years and bit by bit I’ve healthied them up a bit by messing round with the sugar and replacing white flour with alternatives. I’ve always used about 1/3 less sugar than the original 1 cup (white/raw mixed) but today I got that down to half a cup – a mix of Muscavado and coconut sugar. I’ve recently fallen in love with Muscavado sugar. It’s the most ‘raw’, unrefined of all the cane sugar products and has a rich molasses flavor with a definite savoury note. It totally outperforms regular soft brown sugar for sprinkling on porridge, and for a simple dessert, a wee bit of Muscavado sprinkled over thick plain yoghurt is superb. Most supermarkets and gourmet food stores stock it, the UK brand Billington’s is the one I buy.

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This is a basic cookie recipe and you can play around with it in so many ways. Try adding some dried fruit, nuts or oats. You can add good quality cocoa, or raw cacao, powder with the flour if you’d like a chocolatey dough.

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Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius fanbake. In a large bowl, mix 75g butter, 1 egg, 1/4 cup coconut sugar and 1/4 cup Muscavado sugar with a fork. Try to break up the lumps of sugar as much as you can. Chop up about 70g dark chocolate (I keep Whittaker’s Dark Ghana in the pantry for baking) into small chunks and stir into the sugar mix. Sift in 1 1/2 cups spelt flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder and mix to combine with a wooden spoon. Place spoonfuls on a baking tray (I use a silicon baking mat on a tray, to save mess). Allow a bit of space between as they will spread slightly while baking. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. The cookies will firm up as they cool but should remain slightly soft in the centre.

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