Shop-bought cookies will never beat freshly baked, homemade ones and, when they are so easy to make in large batches, there’s really no excuse to buy them any more! Why not encourage the kids to help you make some? Here’s a basic, no frills recipe that works every time, courtesy of Ellie's Kitchen.

Makes 14 large cookies

• 100 g softened unsalted butter
• 100 g soft light brown sugar
• 100 g granulated sugar
• 1 medium egg
• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
• 165 g plain flour
• ¼ tsp salt
• ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• Milk chocolate chunks

1. Preheat the oven to 160°
2. Use a mixer to cream together the butter with the brown and granulated sugar.
3. Slowly beat in the egg and vanilla bean paste, then sieve in the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda until combined and a dough forms.
4. Divide the mixture evenly into 14 balls and put them on a couple of large baking sheets. Flatten the balls slightly.
TIP: Leave 5 cm gaps in between each ball so they have room to spread.
5. Push in chocolate chunks (as many as you fancy!)
TIP: Jazz them up with different chocolates or even nuts and dried fruit; just add them in when the chocolate chips are added.
6. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes until the cookies are golden around the edge. They will firm up a little more as they cool.
TIP: Once the cookies begin to spread in the oven (after around 5 minutes) you may notice that there aren’t enough chocolate chunks.  If so, remove them from the oven and quickly top up with more chocolate before returning them to the oven.

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