Every time I think I have discovered the ultimate cookie recipe, another one sneaks into my line of vision that I must try. Before you accuse me of cheating on the older model, the new flavour of the week can live happily alongside my number one favourite. Call me fickle, but sometimes a thick double chocolate nut filled treat is what’s needed, while at other times only a nod to the nostalgic toll house variety will do.
And everyone knows, the only thing that beats a chocolate chip cookie is a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. This summer’s discovery of my newest chocolate chip cookie recipe -- the ideal combination of chewy and crispy -- also happens to make the perfect 'witch.
Not every cookie suits a sandwich. A thick-and-chunky cookie makes the whole ensemble too big to take an elegant bite when stuffed. The crunchier cookie breaks easily making assembly a challenge and impractical to eat without coating yourself in ice cream, problematic for not just the perfectionists of this world. But I am pleased to say that I think I might have found the answer. And I stumbled upon it purely by accident.
Despite always searching for good dairy free desserts (minus toxic fat substitutions), I irrationally resisted the olive oil cookie recipe for a very long time. I make a variety of cookies with no fat at all for the dairy free occasions, but for some inexplicable reason the olive oil cookie always made me a little nervous. Until I found the food blog with possibly one of the best names on the planet -The Displaced Housewife(aka Rebecca). She puts my cookie production to shame, and has an enviable number of chocolate chip varieties on her site. Rebecca raved about her olive oil chocolate chip cookies. So much so that I decided to bite the bullet and give them a go.
Like Jacques Torres winning cookie recipe, strong flour (usually used for bread baking) is the key to ensuring the cookies hold their shape. Much tinkering and many test batches later, I now have what I believe to be a cookie as irresistible straight out of the oven as it is snuck out of the freezer stuffed with ice cream. And I promise you won’t miss the butter.
A Few Sandwich Tips:
- Soften the ice cream so that it scoops very easlity onto the bottom cookie.
- If you churn your own ice cream, freeze it on a lined rimmed sheet pan and once completely chilled cut into rounds that fit just inside the cookie.
- Keep a batch of cookies in the freezer at all times for emergency ice cream sandwich assembly.
- The cookies will need to freeze for a good 4-5 hours before they are set enough to eat once filled.
Sometimes when procrastination gets the better of me and there is no the time to chill the sandwich, a bowl of ice cream topped with a freshly baked cookie will suffice, but really nothing beats the real deal.
Olive Oil Chocolate Chip cookies
180ml (¾ cup) good extra virgin olive oil
150g (¾ cup) light brown soft sugar
150g (¾ cup) caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
160g (1 ½ cups) strong white bread flour
65g (½ cup) wholemeal flour
65g (½ cup) plain white flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp maldon salt
200g chopped dark chocolate in good sized pieces or chocolate calettes (chunks are good in the cookies)
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine olive oil, sugars and eggs. Beat on medium to high speed for 2-3 minutes until completely incorporated.
Meanwhile combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and stir together.
Add vanilla to oil mixture and mix followed by the dry ingredients. Mix until no flour shows but careful not to overmix.
Stir in chocolate.
Cover and allow the mixture to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours or preferably overnight to harden.
When you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 190C
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and scoop the cookies with an ice cream scoop (I use a 5cm one) into balls well spaced out on the baking sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. They will still be soft but golden on top, so be careful not to overbake. They will harden as they cool. Cool on the sheets for 10 minutes and then remove to a rack to continue cooling.
If wholemeal flour is not a staple in your larder, you can replace it with plain flour. I just like the added nutty flavour.
The cookie dough is very soft and needs to rest before it is baked to prevent the cookies spreading too much during cooking. You can either do this by letting the whole mixture sit in the fridge for a few hours or preferably overnight before scooping and baking. Alternatively you can scoop them straight after mixing and freezing the raw balls of dough on a lined cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the dough is frozen you can pop them in a freezer bag and bake as you need them.