Dominic over at Belleau Kitchen set a brilliant Random Recipe challenge this month involving all those recipes you snip and tear out of magazines or print off from the internet then simply stack into a pile without actually trying any of them…sound familiar? Well it rang bells with me…
It also rang bells for another reason as I have a slim volume that came from my Grandma which encapsulates the true meaning of the phrase, ‘make do and mend’. The book has recipes cut out of magazines or handwritten by my Grandad, stuck into the pages. Recipes for such delights as Mincemeat Specials, Cheesy Onion Custard and Choux Swans which are concocted from strange ingredients I’ve never heard of!
But if you look closely you can see that the pages of the book had already been used once for keeping what I think were the household accounts. The dates written in the accounts are from 1968, and in amongst the wages being taken in there are all the household outgoings. Regular payments to Hodgsons Milk, Huntsby Potatoes, Hempsalls Eggs, Moore’s Bread and Rington’s Tea sit in one column alongside one off purchases such as 2 Mop Heads and some phone charges. Everything is accounted for and balanced.
Grandma always did run a tight ship and was more than savvy when it came to saving, spending and getting the most out of what they had. Re-using what became a defunct accounts book as somewhere to tidily keep all those little magazine clippings makes perfect sense. I wonder if she actually made any of the recipes? The only one I do remember her cooking is Shoofly Pie which I featured as a Random Recipe earlier in the year.
From my pile of tear sheets and clippings I asked Mr K to randomly pull something out and he did me proud, selecting a recipe bundle by Willie Harcourt-Cooze from The Times Magazine dated 18th December 2010 and you guessed it, never looked at since! Who am I to argue that I should make the front page recipe…
Triple Chocolate-chip Cookies
180g Madagascan Sambriano Superior 71% chocolate, roughly chopped (I just used good dark chocolate!)
100g slightly salted butter
130g light muscovado sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 large egg, beaten
120g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g each of dark, white and milk chocolate chopped into chunks
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
Melt the Madagascan chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not in contact with the water.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then blend in the vanilla essence, beaten egg and melted chocolate until combined.
Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda together into a large bowl, then mix in the butter, sugar and chocolate mixture.
Stir in the small chunks of chocolate until evenly mixed through.
Spoon heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto the prepared trays spacing the spoonfuls 6-8cm apart.
Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly on the tray before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Willie recommends eating them on the day they are made but they will keep for up to a week. Much to my nephews delight, we ate ours as part of an ad-hoc ice cream sundae with cake sprinkles!
I’m not actually a particularly good cookie baker so if anyone has a few tips they would be hugely appreciated. These turned out okay, slightly strange texture and they are very rich but a lovely treat.
Thanks Dom for another great Random Recipe challenge. I’m actually going to go through all the clippings and sort them out and who knows, I might even try a few!
Spot of housekeeping: My apologies in advance if the blog goes quiet next week. I am having my knee operated on and it’s unlikely I’ll be able to sit at a desk for a little while afterward, so the blog might have a short break but I’ll be back before you know it, possibly even sooner!