Woke up early and realised I had invited a friend for coffee but forgotten to get any biscuits. Such emergencies call for "Steph's 4am Cookies" - so named because she originally produced them in the early hours of the morning once, after a party with friends when they suddenly all had a craving for biscuits!
The great advantage is that they are virtually foolproof [i.e. Steph's mother can reliably produce a batch of them even when stressed] So out with my treasured Mason Cash mixing bowl [a lovely Christmas present from the girls many years ago] and in with the butter and sugar
The recipe is American [from Hersheys/Reeses - the chocolate & peanut butter cups people] and so all in cups [so no fussing with scales]. I used my hand blender - couldn't face getting out the Kenwood Chef this morning!
The mixture is quite stiff - but scoops out beautifully with my 1" ice cream scoop. Another advantage - the baking sheets can be used as they are - no faffing about greasing/lining them.
The recipe suggests adding Reeses Peanut Butter Chips - but we can't find them here [and they'd probably be prohibitively expensive anyway - although Mark brought some back from Canada for Steph and she said they did add an extra dimension of flavour]
I scooped out 75% of the mix onto three baking trays, they while they were cooking, fished around in the cupboard and found some mini chocolate beans, so stirred them in.
And within 30 minutes I had a whole batch of cookies. The recipe says 'yield 52' - but I got 78 which is amazing. So some on a plate for Helen, some in a tin for later - and two tins to put in the freezer to store [yes there is sellotape on those tins - not that it will prove much a of deterrent to you-know-who]
Using my scoop means they cook into amazingly regular circles and fit beautifully into the cylindrical tins!
Here's the recipe.
STEPH'S 4 a.m. COOKIES
- 1¼ cups softened butter or margarine
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups unsifted plain flour
- ¾ cup Hershey's cocoa powder [Aldi's is very good value!]
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda [baking soda]
- ½tsp salt
- [2 cups Reeses Peanut Butter Chips]
Preheat oven to 180°C. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl till light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
In separate bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt - gradually blend into creamed mixture. Stir in pb chips [or chocolate beans or whatever]
Drop by teaspoonsful onto UNGREASED baking sheets. Bake for 8-9 minutes.
DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cookies will be soft - they will puff up in the oven and flatten on cooling. Cool on sheet until set - about 1 minute, then cool completely on wire rack.
They keep in tin for a week, or for a month in freezer [if family do not get hold of them first!]
Thank you Steph for the original inspiration, and Liz for the storage tin.
Question - is it teaspoonsful or teaspoonfuls? I feel it ought to be the former, but the spell-checker insists on the latter!!
Now all I have to do is wait for my guest to arrive...