I must say, I have a massive sweet tooth. I don't want to stereotypically say that I attribute it to my Arab side, but honestly, do you know any Arabs who don't like something sweet? Middle Eastern desserts are dripping with syrup. If it's milky, sugar is dissolved into it and more often than not, caramelised on top of it as well. Do you like a biscuit with your tea? What about a date filled biscuit with a sweet dough surround? Sugar in your tea? 5 spoonfuls in a thimble sized cup please! My sweet tooth definitely comes from my dad.
Having said that, there are some things that I can't stand being sweet. Like popcorn - I hate sweet popcorn. It's a more-ish snack that has to be salty, not just savoury, it needs salt whatever flavour you pair it with. And crisps. I really don't like vegetable crisps because they're made with root vegetables which are naturally loaded with sugar. I love carrots, parsnips and beetroot - but not as a savoury, crispy snack. Bring on the Hula Hoops!
Anyway, back to sweets. I love a good cookie. It's very rare that I actually make them but when I get hankering, it will not go away until I've satisfied the craving. And I always have to use the same recipe. It's my failsafe and I know that every time I'll get the same delicious result.
I use a Joy the Baker recipe and I always change up the fillings on them. My favourite so far has been white chocolate and honeycomb. That was a revelation that absolutely delighted me. I never put nuts in my cookies though. At least, not big chunks of them. They take away from the sweetness of the cookie and that's honestly something that I'm just not ok with. I'm not judging Masterchef, I don't need anything to cut through the sweetness of my biscuit. But some people like nuts in biscuits - if that's you, go for it! I like chocolate in mine - shocking.
Joy puts pecans and semi sweet chocolate in her cookies. I have made these ones with just white chocolate. Don't be fooled by the Cadbury's hot chocolate tub in the picture. It's my chocolate chip tub that I get refilled when I run low. I'm definitely not product placing!
White Chocolate Cookies
225g + 1 tbsp butter (softened)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp golden syrup (Joy calls for molasses - treacle - but I always use golden syrup with no issue)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g white chocolate chips
Place half of the butter in a saucepan and melt it. Keep the butter on the heat until it starts going foamy, the solids start going brown and you get a delicious nutty smell from the pot. This is browned butter. Pour it into a separate bowl to cool slightly and scrape all the bits of brown solids into the bowl as well for maximum flavour.
In a mixer with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl with a hand whisk), cream the remaining butter and caster sugar together until it's light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and syrup and mix everything together until well combined.
Add the cooled brown butter and brown sugar to the bowl and cream everything together. When it's all well mixed, add the egg and yolk to the bowl and cream gently, scraping down the sides as you go, until you have a smooth, silky mix.
Add the flour, salt and bicarb to the bowl and mix until the flour is just combined. If you're using a mixer, take the bowl off the stand and fold in the chocolate chips.
Using a tablespoon or small scoop, take some of the mixture and form it into balls with your hands. You can use a standard ice cream scoop to make bigger cookies but small ones go further.
Place each ball on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. If your oven has bad heat distribution, bake them on a lower shelf and adjust the timing accordingly. You want them to be a little bit brown on the edges and still soft and gooey in the middle.
As soon as you take the tray out of the oven, bang it on the counter really hard a couple of times to get the crackle look on the cookie. Leave them on a wire rack to cool and then enjoy with a cold glass of milk (or dunk it into a good, strong coffee).