The church biscuit; a Sunday quest: 23. Chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies for church (a Green & Black recipe)

Chocolate chip cookies for church (adaptation of a Green & Black recipe)


125 g unsalted butter

100 g soft light brown sugar

50 g muscovado sugar

1 medium egg

few drops vanilla extract

140 g light brown self raising flour

75 g rolled oats

150 g dark cooking chocolate

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/fan 160 degrees C /gas mark 4

Grease 2-3 baking sheets and line with baking parchment.

Cream butter and sugar until mixture is light and fluffy, then add the egg and vanilla and beat together.

Add sifted flour and oats and, finally the chocolate which has been broken into pieces. Dust your hands with flour and roll dough into a ball. Set dough aside in the fridge for 15 minutes or so to firm up.

Pull off small pieces of dough the size of a walnut, roll them in your hand, put them on the tray and flatten them slightly. Space them well apart to allow for spreading.

Cook for  about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and leave to cool on tray for a minute or two. Transfer to a wire rack.

This recipe was adapted from one on a wrapper for Green & Black’s cooking chocolate. I used brown SR flour, both sugars were brown and I added no salt. The original recipe made 16 but for chuch people prefer smaller ones, so I made about 28.

Chocolate chip cookies (adapted from Green & Black's recipe )

Chocolate chip cookies (adapted from Green & Black’s recipe )

Yesterday was the Historic Churches’ Ride and Stride in which people are sponsored to cycle to as many churches as they can in the day. Ipsden Church has many supporters to cycle for it and this year a tough bunch of 13 + 1 dog bagged stamps from 34 churches.  The group started at 10 am, finished at 8 pm and had a good hour and a half lunch at the Red Lion in Britwell Salome. An astonishing 51 miles were covered and the dog ran for 24 (I’m not sure whether the dog was sponsored). Harry, the churchwarden had hospitably provisioned the church with squash and biscuits for weary cyclists visiting Ipsden Church before himself setting off with the herd. Last year Harry personally raised £1122.50 and the group as a whole brought in £1575.50; half of the sum raised went to Ipsden Church. This year Harry’s sponsorship stands at £961 “so far” (and I’m quoting him). Thank you Harry and fellow cyclists, admirable not only for the physical act of pedal pushing for 50 miles but also for the act of fishing for and landing sponsorship from their friends, relations and colleagues. And did Harry languish in his bed on Sunday morning as his aching limbs were no doubt screaming at him to do. No,  he did not. He got up and fed his animals (chickens, ducks, guinea fowl, alpacas, to list just the ones I can remember) and was at church early (before the vicar and the vicar’s wife) to lay the altar for communion and sort out the service books. My biscuits were somewhat redundant  as Harry’s leftover supply from the day before was still generous. Undeterred, I pushed my own produce forcefully on to the church goers and even then I still had enough to offer those attending the 11 am service at North Stoke, plus a group of walkers who tumbled into the church just as the service ended. (Well they  stumbled in – the door is a bit tricky and the step can come as a surprise – and then promptly retreated when they realised there was a service. My husband by that time was back in the vestry, so he bolted out of the door, cut them off at the lych gate and invited them to join us. (It was providential that we had biscuits to offer them as it is welcoming without being oppressive.)  

North Stoke’s experience of Ride and Stride is quite the opposite of Ipsden’s. As the village of North Stoke is on the Thames Path, the church gets many people calling in, and probably many more walkers in particular, but as it is those who cycle or walk for your church who bring in the money, they get little direct benefit. Perhaps next year we can get some North Stoke cyclists to join the Ipsden contingent as they seem to have got the whole thing down to the fine art of a military campaign (including that lunch at a lovely pub on the way). Indeed, Ipsden was obviously such a jolly group with more than a bit of the Pied Piper about them, that they gathered another couple of cylclists on the way, including a churchwarden from Crowmarsh and a man from Warborough. Goodness, you do but wonder – if they’d gone many more miles they’d have had half the county in their wake.

Ride and Stride hit the city of Oxford too as my boss (the Acting Librarian) and the college Archivist manned the Balliol Archives which occupies the newly converted church of St Cross. (The chancel is still consecrated and a few services may be held there each year.) For them it was a double whammy as Ride and Stride coincided with Open Doors Oxford. In 2 days they had a mind-boggling 500 plus visitors and both were utterly exhausted by Sunday evening.

I made these biscuits once before for church and they were pretty good. However, I forgot my camera so never blogged about them. 

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