Carlys Soft & Chewy Cookies (Makes 32)

Thought it was about time I put my all time favourite, go to cookie recipe on this blog. This was such a popular recipe on my old blog it would be a shame not to post it on my website.

These cookies, are soft and chewy and simply delicious. The recipe makes lots of cookie dough, which is great if you are making these for an event, but if not, do not worry, you can freeze the dough and then you will always have ready to bake cookies to hand! I find the frozen cookie dough even better as I always have people calling in to see my husband and I, and it means I can whip them in the oven and we can have some warm cookies to nibble on. Also you can mix this dough with vanilla ice cream, making a tasty pudding for you.

Also, I have put M&M’s on the top of my cookies. This is completely optional, and you can change this to Mini Eggs, Smarties, peanuts, or leave alone. Same goes with the chocolate chips. These can be white, milk or dark chocolate, and can be mixed, so white chocolate with cranberry, or dark chocolate and orange zest, milk chocolate and fudge. As long as the weight is 120g, you can do as you please with these flavours.

250g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
200g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
465g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
120g chocolate chips (milk, white, dark or a mixture of all 3)
M&Ms (Optional)

I make these by hand in a big bowl with a wooden spoon, and to start, you cream your butter and sugar together, which is tough going to start with, but keep going, it gets easier! Once you have done this, lightly beat your eggs before adding them to the bowl along with the vanilla.

In another bowl, mix your flour, baking powder and chocolate chips in a bowl together, before gradually adding this to your sugar, butter and flour mixture. If you add it all at once you will end up in a cloud of flour! Stir until this is all combined. Your cookie dough is now ready!

Time for the messy but fun bit. If you are baking all the cookies in one day, line a few trays with baking parchment. I have pretty large baking trays, and I can get 6-8 on a sheet, so you may need to do this in batches. If you are wanting to freeze them, I line a baking tray, or some freezer proof plates with cling film. You need to make sure that these plates, baking trays fit in your freezer.

Now you need to roll your cookie dough into balls, just a little smaller than a golf ball. If you are baking these, place them on your lined baking tray with enough room to spread, as they will go to approx 10cm diameter. If freezing the balls, pop them on you baking tray lined with cling film. Make sure they are not touching, but you can but them close together to get as many as you can on a baking tray.

If you are baking these cookies chill for dough for an hour or two before you but them in the oven, and if you are freezing your dough, simply cover the dough balls lightly with cling film so as not to squash them,and pop them in your freezer. After a few hours, you can transfer these little frozen cookie dough balls into a freezer bag. This way, when you fancy some cookies, you don’t need to mess about, just take as many as you like and put onto a lined baking tray!

When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 180C, 160C fan or Gas Mark 4.

Once your oven is ready, pop your cookies in for 8-10 minutes (if cooking from frozen nearer the 10 minutes, and take the dough out of the freezer while your oven warms up). After this, take them out and sprinkle with a few M&M’s (or a topping of your choice) before popping into the oven for another 4-5 minutes, or until the cookies are starting to colour at the edges. At this point, don’t be tempted to think they are undercooked and cook them for a few more minutes. They should look like this, and they will be soft, but once out of the oven they will firm as they are cooling.

Take them out of the oven once cooked and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes, before serving with ice cold milk!

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