Apricot and Chilli Chocolate Cookies

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This morning, in an ode to my final day on the butter lapped shores of France, I thought it only necessarily to channel my inner Parisian and get chic for my journey back under the channel. Since I was leaving the well groomed shores of Chanel and Yves, I thought it only right to embrace a little of their glamour.

When I got dressed at 6am, I did not consider the journey. In hindsight I will state that it is rather impractical to wear heels and a paper thin coat for travelling. Especially as it meant spending my morning hobbling inelegantly down the Eurostar platform, comically dragging my bag behind me, like a limping dog. Amusing for everyone else.

Of course being devastated to see the derrière of Steak Frites and Confit de Canard, the weather had no been at best and I had a vague hope that the shores of my homeland would greet me with sunshine and blue skies. Of course I was wrong.

A five minutes deluge, extended to a relentless trickle of rain has meant a departure to my chic French togetherness and a hello to my frizzy, damp barnet. The coat once blue is now navy and it was a swift swap from my Rag & Bone‘s to my running shoes once out we got out of the station. Welcome home the the fleece and the tweed. Au Revoir for now to my uncreased white shirts and skirts. Until another day.

As soon as I got home, it was straight to the cupboards, in search of something remedial, to warm my cold cockles.

Definitely oven baked and Chocolatey… It had to be… For anyone that loves a good biscuit, but doesn’t fancy chocolate, why not try authentic Italian Cranberry and Orange Biscotti

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I have to apologise for the long list of ingredients in this recipe. Usually I am an advocate of more simple, short and sweet sort but this recipe is an exception. Originally adapted from 101 Cookbooks’ Ginger Cookies, I have spent many an afternoon playing in the kitchen with different variations and this is one of my favourites.

101 Cookbooks advocates the use Ginger in different variations, which I have opted away from, in favour of the heat the Chilli Chocolate imparts. This is not necessarily to everyones tastes and Chilli Chocolate can be a bit of a nuisance to get hold of, not to mention a tad expensive. If you can’t get hold of it I would definitely advocate the addition of a pinch of Chilli Powder to the batter to enhance the subtle  heat of the ground ginger. Failing that, a substitution of (finely chopped) Crystallised Ginger for half the dried Apricots works wonderfully well too.

Ingredients

  • 200g WHOLEMEAL FLOUR
  • 1/2 tsp BAKING POWDER
  • 1 1/2 tsp GROUND GINGER
  • 1/2 tsp SALT
  • 115g softened UNSALTED BUTTER
  • 100g LIGHT BROWN SUGAR
  • 1 heaped tbs BLACK TREACLE or MOLASSES
  • 1 LARGE EGG
  • 150g dried APRICOTS
  • 150g (70% COCOA) CHILLI CHOCOLATE, I used Green and Black’s
  • 2 tbs unrefined CASTER SUGAR

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees F/ Gas Mark 4

Add the Flour, Baking Powder, dried Ginger and Salt to a large bowl and mix.

Melt the Butter, Treacle and Sugar in a saucepan, over a low flame. Mixing until the Sugar fully melts. Once the Sugar has melted add the mixture to the bowl with the Flour. Crack in the Egg and mix well.

Finely Chop the Apricots and the Chilli Chocolate. Add to the bowl and give it a final mix.

Pre-grease two large baking trays, or cover with greased parchment paper.

Shape the dough into round balls, roughly the size of a ping-pong ball, or slightly smaller. Sprinkle a little Caster Sugar on top of each, and roll each cookie in your palm, to make sure the outsides are coated

Place each Cookie on the baking tray. Make sure to leave room so they can spread out.

Bake the Cookies for 8-10 minutes or until they are slightly hard on the outside, but still soft and gooey on the inside.

Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before eating. Once cooled, store them in a sealed container.

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