Nigella Lawson is my biggest girl chef crush. I gaze lovingly from afar (my chair is not very close to the television) and both wish to be her, dipping into the leftovers past midnight, and to be sitting across the table from her, staring at her brown locks and eating her gorgeous food. The fact that she’s married to my favourite contemporary art magnate, Charles Saatchi, pushes me over the edge.
But, despite my brown locks, I am nothing like her in the kitchen. And so it was with trepidation that I cracked the spine of Kitchen, her latest cookbook. There are many recipes that sound wonderful, but for solitary, regularly meatless me, a little taxing. A dinner party will have to be centred around a savoury Nigella endeavour one day. In the meantime, I can certainly do cookies. Yes, cookies. A minor cop out. When a superstar like Nigella, however, claims to have an ultimate chocolate chip cookie, I take notice. A cold egg? Interesting. Extra large in size? Keep going. Milk chocolate chips? Let’s go.
I’ve read quite a few posts and articles about how an extra large cookie is the best for exemplifying a cookie’s taste and texture. I had to buy a large scoop especially for this recipe. It was totally worth it. Having a cookie look like you picked it up at a bakery is a nice touch, but having it taste like it too? Extra nice. As you can see, I did make three different sizes because I know that not everyone will eat a giant cookie. I’m pretty sure that those few that got to taste the giant cookies (me included) much preferred them, extra calories and all.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen
Yes, British measurements. Could make for interesting conversions, so use a kitchen scale if possible. Your cookies might look too underbaked when you pull them out of the oven, but the extra 5 minutes on the pan really makes a difference.
150 g soft unsalted butter
125 g light brown sugar
100 g white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg, fridge-cold
1 egg yolk, fridge-cold
300 g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
300 g milk chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3 — I went with slightly below 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the butter and let it cool a bit. Put the brown and white sugars into a bowl, pour the slightly cooled, melted butter over them and beat together. Beat in the vanilla, the cold egg and cold egg yolk until your mixture is light and creamy. Slowly mix in the flour and the baking soda until just blended, then fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the cookie dough into large rounds (about ¼ cup) and drop onto the prepared baking sheet, plopping the cookies down about 3 inches apart. You will need to make these in at least two batches, keeping the bowl of cookie dough in the fridge between batches.
Bake for 15-17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly golden. If you decide to make a smaller cookie, they will take less time, you’ll have to watch closely. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks.