Updated: Apr 22, 2022
I'm a terror for starting blogs and then not really committing to them. My blogging career started out well - I once wrote a blog where I tried a new recipe every day for a year. And have dined out on this vaguely interesting fact at every training session I've attended to in the eight years since I did it. Following the success of that one - it's had over half a million unique views in its time - I tried to start a few others but never found my groove.
But since the advent of lock down, I've found this particular blog is a great way to share the recipes I enjoy making at home for my friends and family in between creating celebration cakes for other people.
One of my favourite Saturday treats pre-lock down was a trip to the East Bristol Bakery for a fresh sourdough. It killed the half an hour whilst Mini Me was at tap dancing. Fortunately for me lockdown has meant that I've finally had the opportunity to perfect my sourdough skills (well I did until The Husband killed Derek, my precious starter although that's another story) and so trips to the bakery will no doubt not resume when we are free to roam again.
Whilst I'm keen to support local businesses, the reason for not returning to the bakery is because they sell such amazing cakes, pastries and biscuits alongside the sourdough. And I was often known to use the excuse of not having the right cash to add a few pastries or cookies to my order to meet the minimum card spend requirements. This is a bad thing for my pocket and my waistline.
One of my favourite things they sell are lovely little chocolate cookies. They're usually just out of the oven when I arrive and are warm and slightly melty in the middle. They also have a small sprinking of sea salt to the top which cuts perfectly through the chocolatey goodness. It's really impmortant to use sea salt, not table salt or rock salt. Table salt is too fine and will just make them taste too salty. Rock salt is too chunky. I use Maldon sea salt as it has lovely, fine flakes but I know there are others on the market.
I have tried to recreate this recipe at home and whilst I've not found the secret to their success, these cookies are a good enough approximation and have had the seal of approval from the residents at Ladybird Cakery HQ.
The recipe uses coconut oil although you could substitute butter. The rye flour gives a little nutty taste and adds to the texture but if you don't have this to hand, just use all plain flour. You could also consider switching out the flour for gluten-free although you may need additional liquid (check the instructions on your packet if you go down this route).
50g coconut oil - softened
75g butter - softened
150g light brown sugar
100g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, melted and cooled
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g plain flour
25g rye flour (or just use more plain flour)
1tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt
100g dried sour cherries
Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Cream together the coconut oil and butter. If the coconut oil is too cold, you may find some small lumps of solid coconut oil but they will bake out.
Mix in the eggs, melted chocolate and the vanilla, scraping down the sides.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix to a stiff dough.
Gently fold in the cherries into the dough.
Scoop the dough into golf-ball sized pieces and space evenly apart on the tray about 3-4 cm apart, slightly flattening the top. You might need to use two trays or bake in batches.
Bake for 12 minutes. Leave to settle on the tray for five minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy whilst still warm.