The church biscuit: 89. White chocolate chunk cookies

Another delicious straightforward biscuit and truth to tell, a bit of a white knight on galloping steed for me last Saturday evening. Fortunately I had begun biscuit making early in the evening and was congratulating myself on it being before 8 pm when out of the oven I took two trays of Mary Berry’s pecan and stem ginger florentines.  Looking wonderfully golden and glossy, I left them to cool for a few minutes before trying to remove them from the greaseproof paper beneath. To begin with I nudged gently at their filigree edge with the end of a palette knife. With a bit more force I tried to slide the knife beneath the caramel base. And then I tore at the paper, turned the florentine over and realised there was no chance that we – or anyone -would ever be eating them as the paper had set hard and was now part of the biscuit itself.

White chocolate chunk cookies (from Philippa Vanstone's 500 cookies  (Apple Press, 2005)

White chocolate chunk cookies (from Philippa Vanstone’s 500 cookies (Apple Press, 2005)

Having no baking parchment I had lined my trays with ordinary old greaseproof paper. I now know this was a very bad idea.

This recipe  from Philippa Vanstone’s 500 Cookies (Apple Press, 2005) not only saved the day but was easy to make and everyone at church really enjoyed them.

115 g unsalted butter

200 g golden caster sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla essence

190 g self raising flour

50 g oatmeal

225 chopped white chocolate chunks (I used 150 g of Green and Black’s white chocolate and any more would I think have been very sickly)

Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C/350°F/ Gas Mark 5)

White chocolate chunk cookies (from Philippa Vanstone's 500 cookies  (Apple Press, 2005)

White chocolate chunk cookies (from Philippa Vanstone’s 500 cookies (Apple Press, 2005)

Line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment or wipe the trays over with Lakeland’s Cake Release.

Beat butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla. Sift the flour into the mixture, add  the oatmeal and mix in. Then add the chopped white chocolate.

Scoop up a teaspoonful of the mixture, roll it into a ball and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten the dough with your hand or the bottom of a glass.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on the tray for five minutes and then put them on a wire cooling rack. (As I make mine quite small, I wiped and re-greased the baking trays and added the remaining uncooked biscuits.) When cool they will keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container.

Makes 30 – 36 depending on size.

White chocolate chunk cookies (from Philippa Vanstone's 500 cookies  (Apple Press, 2005)

White chocolate chunk cookies (from Philippa Vanstone’s 500 cookies (Apple Press, 2005)

Today the church flower arranging group had its annual jolly – an outing to the garden of Highgrove, the Prince of Wales’s home near Tetbury in Gloucester. Heavy mist in the Thames Valley gave way to brief sunshine though it was warm enough to wander round without a coat most of the time. Our lunch stop in Tetbury found me diverted by a well stocked locally owned bookshop – where I bought 5 books – and an equally good second hand bookshop – now an increasingly rare discovery – and there I bought 3 books. All were gems and some of them had been on my must find list for a long time. (Well, I would say that wouldn’t I? Somewhat horrifyingly, since stating my firm intention to reduce the books on our shelves, I seem to have bought at a rate more furious than ever before.)  A sudden yearning for meat was satisfied by the best of steak sandwiches and thus fortified the 2 miles ambling round the gardens was a doddle accompanied by moments of garden induced joy. Tea in the Arts and Craft restaurant was a delight. Now for that pile of books…

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  1. Posted May 18, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Have you come across the word “Tsundoku” – the pile of books one is intending to read at some point?
    If I gathered mine together from all around the house it would probably be a yard high!

    • Linda Pennell
      Posted May 18, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Oh I feel strangely comforted that I can name that tottering pile! Thank you to Rachel. And was the Tetbury bookshop the wonderful Yellow Lighted Bookshop?

      • Mary Addison
        Posted May 18, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Well how differently we respond to the same things – you feel comforted by the thought of your tsundoku, while for me naming it in this way summons images of being overwhelmed by waves of toppling books, set on taking revenge for their unread status!
        The bookshop was indeed the Yellow Lighted Bookshop – a small but very cleverly stocked bookshop which like Goldilocks and baby bear’s porridge was just right.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted May 18, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      – well goodness knows how high the pile would be especially if you include all the ones you’ve sensibly actually placed on bookshelves. Thank you for the name Rachel – the trouble is it makes all those books seem even more of a threat and potential catastrophe that I would like to think they are.

      • Posted May 30, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Do what my mother says she’d always love to – sit on one pile of books while reading another!

        • Mary Addison
          Posted June 1, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          Knowing my luck, I’d fall of off and send both piles toppling.
          I suspect to be successful you have to build one of the piles on engineering principles – go on Rachel, surprise your mother one day – a birthday perhaps – with one well constructed pile accompanied by a pile of things she’s always wanted to read!

  2. Posted May 18, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I too have fallen foul using greaseproof rather than baking parchment in the past. Your day out sounds lovely. I imagine that on balance you will get rid of more books than you buy during your clear out, and they were on your wish list after all! X

    • Mary Addison
      Posted May 18, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Well thank you for telling me you too have made this mistake – it is very comforting.
      Our day was very enjoyable and we were very lucky with the weather.
      The books bought were ones I really wanted – and in the case of the second hand volumes, ones I had been on the look out for for years.

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