Last week I baked some cookies from my Gran’s old recipe book. It was an old Be-Ro baking book and the recipes were real classics. I was flicking through them and realised that you just don’t see as many books like this anymore. Apart from Mary Berry bringing out a new collection of recipes tied in with her BBC show each year the rest is simply focused on specific foods or diets. No one really seems to be baking anymore and if they are then it is with avocados and chia seeds, superfood powders and organic nut butters. Where has the classic baking gone? I mean supermarkets are still stocked high with standard white flour, caster sugar and butter. The baking aisles have plenty of chocolate chips, cupcake decorations and icing. And you can’t move for the amount of jam lined up on the shelves. Surely not everyone is just making do with some jam on toast or using all things sugar, flour and butter for other things?
And I think that is just it, we are still baking and when I say baking I mean proper baking. No courgettes in my cake please – if I am making a cake then I am doing it properly! I think we have just learned that we need less recipes, we have the classics and because we are baking less it means we don’t need a hundred new baking cookbooks to choose from each year. I believe this is a good sign that we are baking less. We are seeing cakes as a treat and that is what they should be. But we shouldn’t wipe them out altogether. I don’t recommend baking cakes every week just for the sake of a bit of pudding for after dinner but I do think that when we bake we can do it without some power berry powder or throwing in a load of grated courgettes.
I made these Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies and they really were the most delicious things I have eaten in a while. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and sugar can give me headaches which is why I really limit it, plus for obvious health reasons. In this case I do admit that I did have to slightly lower the amount of sugar I added but these were still sweet and delicious. They reminded me of childhood, when we baked with standard baking ingredients and they reminded me of home. Pure comfort and absolute joy! Wash down with a glass of milk for a real dose of nostalgia!
- 120g salted butter (room temperature)
- 50g light brown muscovado sugar
- 40g caster sugar
- 150g chocolate chips (I use a mix of milk and dark chocolate)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 220g plain white flour
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5
- Using an electric hand whisk beat together the sugars and butter until combined and smooth, in a large mixing bowl. Then whisk in the vanilla and egg. Sieve the flour and baking powder into the same bowl and stir together using a wooden smooth until you have a thick kind of batter/ dough and the flour is all mixed in with the butter mix. Then stir in the chocolate chips.
- Using a tsp take a drop of the mixture and place onto a lined baking tray. Repeat for the next cookie until all the mixture is used. You might have to do this in batches. Make sure you leave plenty of space between each cookie dough so that they have room to rise and spread.
- Place in the oven for around 12-15 mins or until golden on the edges and bubbling on top. They will still be soft when you take them out of the oven but will quickly firm up. Leave to cool completely.