I’m restless. I’ve planted things out in the garden – sunflowers, catnip, wildflowers from Ecotricity – I’ve cooked lunch, I’ve tidied, I’ve drafted the first section of my uncanny introduction, I’ve reworked a section of The Novel. I woke up late and it’s felt like a sluggish, unproductive day. I want to be somewhere else, somewhere by water with blossom and breezes and sunshine.
Clearly, I need to bake something.
- 75g salted butter, softened
- 80g light brown muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 120g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 100g bar of chocolate, chopped up.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
- Put the butter and sugars into a bowl and beat until creamy. Beat in the vanilla and orange extract and egg. Sieve the flour, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, bicarbonate of soda and salt over the mixture and mix in with a wooden spoon. Add the chunks of chocolate and stir well.
- Using a teaspoon, place small mounds of the mixture well apart on the baking trays. Bake in the oven for 8-10 mins until light brown on the edges and still slightly soft in the centre.
- Leave on the tray for a couple of minutes to firm up and then transfer to a cooling rack.
(Original recipe here.) Why orange? I’ve taken to adding a drop of orange extract to my morning coffee. It’s lovely and adds a lot of oomph for hardly an calories. With these cookies, I was trying to go for a similarly exotic spiced Jaffa cake type feel, and they’re really quite successful.