"Happiness is baking cookies. Happiness is giving them away. And serving them, and eating them, talking about them, reading and writing about them, thinking about them, and sharing them with you."
- Maida Heatter in her Book of Great Cookies.
Isn't that such a beautiful quote? I was so happy to stumble upon it as it exactly sums up how I feel about cookies when I bake them and share them. And today I have some real beauties to share with you that will bring happiness to you and everyone you share them with. I guarantee it.
If anyone is still short of an idea for a last minute Christmas gift, I promise you that these red velvet cookies will be very well received! And remember any gift that's home made is always doubly appreciated. These cookies just melt in your mouth and honestly taste like velvet. Believe it or not, I don't actually eat much of the treats I bake but I ate the last 3 cookies in the house without sparing a thought for anyone else!
Recipe adapted from http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/12/13/red-velvet-chocolate-chip-cookies/
Note that the dough MUST be chilled for one hour before baking so do make sure that you do factor that in when planning to bake these. Also the cookie balls can be frozen for 2 months - just add an extra 1 to 2 minutes onto their baking time. Alternatively, the dough can be frozen at the chilling stage and be defrosted in the refrigerator over night.
198g plain flour
32g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tspn salt
115g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
150g light or dark brown sugar (I used light)
50g caster sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
2 tspns vanilla extract
2.5 to 3tspns red food paste
180g dark chocolate chips
Sift the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a free standing mixer or using an electric mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute.
With the mixer speed on medium, add the sugars and beat until creamy and then add the egg, milk and vanilla extract.
Add the red food colouring and adjust to add more red to suit your preference. I wanted to make sure my cookies screamed red (otherwise whats the point of red velvet cookies!) and so added 3 teaspoons of colouring.
Turn off the mixer and add the flour and then beat on a low speed until the flour is incorporated. DO NOT OVERBEAT.
With a spatula gently fold in the chocolate chips.
The dough will be sticky but turn it out onto some clingfilm and tightly wrap it up. Chill the dough for an hour.
Picture 1 below shows the colour before the flour mix was added. Picture 2 below shows the colour after the flour was added. As I wanted my cookies to be redder, I added half a teaspoon more of colouring, hence the bright red dough (picture 3) wrapped in cling!
After an hour, pre heat the oven to 160C and line 3 baking trays with parchment and take tablespoons of dough and roll them into balls placing them onto the trays. I put 6 cookie balls to a tray.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on their trays for 5 minutes and then transfer on to racks to cool.
Using red food paster will ensure your cookie do actually retain their red appearance after baking. I cannot guarantee that you will have the same success if you use liquid red colouring.
A top tip from www.sallysbakingaddiction.com where I found this recipe is to gently press chocolate chips into the warm cookies to enhance their appearance. You can see my before and after pictures below!