Cookies and Chutney


It’s been a while since I last wrote on here, and i’m starting to get a little bit fidgety and generally just being a bit of a grumpus. I would say that me writing is not a choice, but a deep seated need to project my inner creative out like a pretentious tit but my body does seem to be proving my theory right. I give to you this example; I’ve been tired all evening, I get into bed, say hello to Jupiter up to the South-East of my sky and decide to write myself a reminder sentence, something I often do, and here I am, two hours later, bolt awake and writing tirelessly. I’ve not written anything properly for the past few weeks, and I feel like my brain cells are slowly dying, a reaction I, coincidently, also develop when i’ve not read (…about cooking) for a while. But back onto the post, this is more of an update to all of my happenings during my absence rather then a history-based post, so i’m sorry if you’re disappointed, but there will be a rewarding recipe by the end I promise.I’ve just started a new job and i’m balancing as many hours as I can and putting off all my other things, like having a social life and cooking properly. Oh the shame! I say that, i’ve still cooked a fair amount, for example, a fortnight ago I made a huge batch of cookies (see rudimentary figure below!)
 

I was quite chuffed with them, me and my sister crowded round the oven ‘ee’-ing at the cookies to not spread any further and squeaking at random intervals when we spotted a rogue chocolate chip melting into the dough. They were yum, so to reward your patience, I give to you a pretty damn sexy cookie recipe. Make them right and they are lovely, chewy and soft, love it! 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
170g unsalted butter
200g dark brown soft sugar
100g caster sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
300g chocolate chips
 
 
– Set your oven to 170C or Gas Mark 3 to start with, and cover your baking sheet with greaseproof paper/baking parchment.
– Melt the butter and leave to cool a little, whilst you’re waiting sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl and set aside. Once cooled a little, cream together the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar until really well mixed. Add the vanilla, egg and egg yolk and whisk as hard as you can until light and creamy.
– Add in the sifted ingredients until just mixed and then add in your chocolate chips (I used a mix of dark and milk because I couldn’t decide on the one I wanted!).
– Spoon your mixture out onto a tray, leaving about 3 inches in between each cookies, you should fit maybe 9 cookies on a good sized tray. If you want to as well, instead of laying out your cookies relatively flat, try to pile them high and thin, that way when they melt they’ll stay a decent thickness and will be even more awesome!
– Bake for around 15minutes, but keep a very close eye on, to keep them chewy they’re almost a little underdone. It’s difficult to tell if they’re golden brown because the dough is already that colour, and once you notice they’re getting darker it’s already too late, so you have to do it by touch. If you open the oven after 12 minutes, touch the top of a cookie with your finger and it feels completely liquid underneath, they’re too raw, but they shouldn’t be solid. They should spring back ever so slightly but not feel like you’re poking an egg with no shell…or a fake boob.
– Leave them to cool for 2 or 3 minutes on the tray, then lift them off onto a cooling rack to cool properly.
What they look like once finished! (Stolen from Allrecipes where this recipe is from!)
This recipe is pretty perfect, I remember many, many years ago when I was still an angst-ey goth and I made a set of cookies that were absolutely amazing. I literally searched for 5 years to try and find it and I just sort of gave up that it was a one off and it wasn’t to happen again. Turns out it was this recipe, to cut a long story short, and they’re still as lovely as I remembered, sweet and satisfying with milk, as any good cookie should be I suppose!
 
I’ve not just stuck with cookies either, I also decided it would be a brilliant idea to make a plum and apple chutney with the huge bowl of yellow plums my grandad bought up from his allotment. My dad loves cheese and by the time Christmas comes around it’d be perfectly matured. It was a good idea, in theory, until I realised my biggest pot was not big enough to fit the monster haul…after i’d put in all the ingredients. After much chutney was slopped about and transferred to my slow cooker, I left it to bubble down into a sticky, lovely mess and pour into jars. And voila, the finished product!
Hooray for cute chutney jars (thanks Dad for indefinitely lending them to me!)
Something you thankfully see just off screen is not only the horrific state of the caked on chutney on my slow cooker, but also the fact that i’d taken merely 3 ladles of chutney out of the beast, leaving me with a three-quarter full pot of chutney, and no jars to store them in! Oopsie.Also, as well as starting a new job, I also turned 21. Hooray, I can finally drink in the US and Canada, not that it’s that big of a deal, i’ve been able to have a cider or eight in the UK for three years, but it’s encouraging that I can now go to North America and drink to my heart’s content. But anyway, I had a little get together to celebrate my coming of age, with lots of yum food and good company!
From right to left (clockwise); in the slow cooker on the right, a slow cooked Greek shoulder of lamb with orzo stew, Sailor Jerry’s Tiramisu, cherry tomato and parmesan omelette, tortilla chips and Tzatziki dip, pesto pasta with chorizo and roasted peppers, brownies and bread. It looks a little bit sad when I see it laid out, you wouldn’t think this took me almost an entire day to prepare.I would go on a little more about my exploits but it’s coming up to 2am UK time and I’m going to go and work three very long days at the Jersey Music Festival. So I better go get my beauty sleep on so I can be up bright and early for 6am. 
So for now, tara. I shall not leave it as long as I last did until my next post, I will doubtlessly be full of excited Jersey energy and bring back some wonderous tales of French-English food from out Channel Island cousins.

Peace
JR

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