If I was going to get addicted to something it would be these biscuits. I would gladly give up salted caramel eclairs and sticky ginger cake and banana ice cream sundaes if it meant I could have a batch of these frequently delivered to my door. I think I would even consider giving up gin and tonics if I could eat chocolate crackle cookies every. single. day. I know that's an outrageously big call but we're talking real life here.
These are deceptively simple, a total doddle* to put together. And they look super impressive. Even if you're one of those people that says they can't bake. (a) you really can, you're just fooling yourself and (b) these are so simple a monkey could make them blindfolded in their sleep. Trust me everyone can bake, it's just like following a set of rules except you get a homemade baked treat at the end. Win win right?!
*Yep I totally just said doddle but we're going to roll with it.
I've been in a bit of a cooking rut lately. Not so much lacking in inspiration but lacking severely in motivation. I've had a bunch of beetroots sitting in my fridge for a week waiting patiently to be roasted in balsamic and dukkah and made into a delightful lentil and hazelnut salad. I mean I went to all the effort of actually putting on clothes to leave the house and walk down the hill to the shops, and I'd even made sure to charge my camera battery to snap these beets in all their glory and then BANG a whack of total un-motivation. (I'm aware that that's not a word but it's kind of exactly what it feels like.) Total cooking block.
But then there was a moment today when everything changed. The baking spurt came and I actually had every ingredient I needed in the pantry. I really had no other excuse. Even though the thought of turning on the oven to 200ºC when it already felt like it was double that outside wasn't enough to deter me. When the mood strikes just bake. It's not often that I'll give myself a high five for something, but these definitely deserved it.
Chocolate Crackle Cookies
recipe adapted from David Herbert's "Best Ever Baking Recipes"
150g plain flour
60g dutch cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar
60g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 tsp vanilla essence
80g icing sugar
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and caster sugar into a large bowl. Using your fingertips gently rub the butter into the flour mixture (as if you were doing so for pastry) until the butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
In a small bowl lightly whisk together the eggs and vanilla and then add to the flour mixture. Stir together until combined. Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Sift the icing sugar onto a large plate. Roll the dough into walnut sized pieces and roll in the icing sugar until well coated. Space on baking trays about 5 cm apart, and bake for 10-12 minutes, until they are just set when lightly touched. Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, before transferring them to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.