I didn’t think that this post was going to make it to you tonight. We’ve had a bit of rain here, and came home to find all the power had blown. Again. Did I tell you about the time when the power all cut out half way through preparing Christmas dinner, the turkey half cooked in the oven? That was stressful. Well, the carpenter (which last time I checked deal more with wood than wiring…) from down the road has come in once again to save the day. Apparently he can’t fix things tonight without various spare parts, but he’s rerouted the power past the circuit breakers to give us power for the evening. Apparently as long as we don’t switch on the oven or air conditioning we’ll be able to have light and the house won’t burn down…. reassuring.
Last week was my birthday. I turned the grand old age of 27 – eek!
In between a fantastic girls night out, slightly hungover birthday pub lunch and a deliciously wine soaked dinner with Andy, I was planning on making a big old layer cake. I had one in mind, complete with multiple chocolate and caramel layers. In my head it was amazing. But then Andy sensibly (and annoyingly!) reminded me that we already had a fridge chock full with chocolate I’d brought back from England and really didn’t need a big old chocolatey layer cake too. Now this is something I’m really not sure I agree with, surely there’s always room for more cake in life?!
Perhaps he had a point though. Across my birthday celebrations I was lucky enough to get, not just one, but three birthday cakes. A lemon maderia cake from my Mummy while I was back in England, a chocolate fudge cake from my colleagues, and a ridiculously good malteaser and mars bar tiffin from my lovely friends.
I’ll admit, a fourth cake may have been pushing things just a little!
Instead of a birthday cake this year I made some cookies. Not just any cookies either. These are big, chunky, bumpy cookies. They’re packed full with salted, buttery popcorn and big chunks of dark and white chocolate.
Despite all that chocolate in the fridge, we still managed to polish off a whole tin of these by ourselves.
The cookies are a beautiful balance of salt and sweet. The dark chocolate balances delightfully with the hint of salt, the white adds a delicious sweetness. If you’re the sort of person who can never decide on salty or sweet popcorn at the cinema, these are the cookies for you.
I wasn’t sure I was going to like the texture of popcorn in a cookie. I was envisioning it becoming very soft and stale tasting, or dry and burnt. Its neither of these things. The popcorn lends a lovely chewiness to the cookies, but really retains its light popcorn texture.
It adds a really nice contrast to the crumbly, buttery cookie.
I’d highly recommend at least doubling the amount of popcorn kernels you put in your pan. Once your house is filled with the smell of deliciously warm, buttery, salted freshly popped popcorn, you won’t be able to resist nibbling away.
Double Chocolate and Buttered Popcorn Cookies
(adapted from Joy the Baker)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
50g (1/4 cup) popcorn kernels
1/4 teaspoon salt
15g butter, melted
150g granulated or white caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
100g white chocolate, roughly chopped into small chunks
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped into small chunks
Start by making your popcorn.
Put the oil into a large pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, pour in the popcorn kernels. Shake them around a bit so the evenly cover the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan, leaving the lid a little ajar to let the steam escape. Listen to the popcorn pop. Give it a little shake from time to time. As soon as the corn has stopped popping, take it off the heat. Pour in the salt and melted butter and shake the pan around to coat the popcorn. Cool completely then sift through with your fingers to remove any un-popped kernels or burnt pieces of popcorn.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Now make up the cookie batter. Cream together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
Add in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix until well combined.
Stir through the chocolate chunks until evenly combined, then stir through the popcorn. The kernels may crush a little as you mix them in, this is fine.
Prepare a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Roll small lumps of the mixture into balls. You’re aiming for balls a little bigger than a golf ball. Lay them out onto your baking trays well spaced to allow for spreading.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until starting to brown but still soft in the middle.
Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.