Some people see the end of the financial year as a time to reflect upon their achievements and set their goals for the next six months. I’m not one of them.
It’s not that I’ve been sitting around doing nothing (so far this year I’ve made a book, written a lot of stories, held down a day job and managed to maintain most of my obligations to society), but it’s gone by so fast that I’ve barely had time to blink, let alone plan.
However, there is something I’ve been doing that I have every intention of continuing and that’s eating chocolate in large amounts (especially late at night while doing all the things listed previously). Reader, I have become seriously addicted to Whittaker’s Dark Salted Caramel Chocolate. Seriously addicted. I have to forcibly stop buying the stuff because once the packet is in my hand I come over all Augustus Gloop-ish and can think of nothing else but ripping open the golden packet and shovelling it in. This chocolate, which the Whittaker’s Oompa Loompas spent THREE YEARS perfecting, came out in May and I reckon we’ve probably averaged a bar a week ever since. I felt a bit ashamed of this statistic at first but now I’m owning it proudly. If you’re going to comfort-eat, you may as well do it with the good stuff, right?
In between eating it out of the packet I’ve been experimenting with using this chocolate in baking (beyond chopping it up and sprinkling it over French toast). This recipe is the result.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies
If you can’t get Whittaker’s (another reason to love living in New Zealand at the moment), try these with another caramel-filled chocolate. If you like cookies to be thinner and crisper, reduce the amount of flour a tiny bit (say, by a couple of tablespoons). They’re good either way!
125g softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 Tbsp golden syrup
1 small (size 6) egg
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
18 squares Whittaker’s Dark Salted Caramel Chocolate (or alternative)
Heat the oven to 180C and lightly grease or line two baking trays.
Cream the butter and sugars until very light and fluffy. Add the golden syrup and egg and beat again until well combined. Sift in the flour and stir to mix. Take generous tablespoons of the mixture and stick a square of chocolate in the middle of each one. Roll into a ball (to enclose the chocolate) and place on the prepared tray. Repeat until all the mixture is used up. Leave lots of space between them as they will spread while cooking. Press each ball lightly with a floured fork and sprinkle with flaky sea salt before putting the trays in the preheated oven.
Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Cool on a rack and store in an airtight tin.