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Today is a good day. My leg is slowly improving and I’m now able to walk and not hurt. With this improvement, and the fact that the puppy Cara is as of today, allowed to go outside, we decided to have our first family walk. Not to tire either myself or Cara out, we only went to our new local grocer shop and got coffees and almond croissants, but at eight a.m ugghh! The puppy was so excited to be out and very well behaved and sat watching every new thing go by.

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In the four weeks since we got Cara, she has doubled in size. She is still absolutely adorable and just about still able to be picked up and is slowly learning to walk with a leash and has learnt to sit and stay when asked. But she likes to eat and chew everything. My advice to anyone getting a puppy, hide all your cables as Cara has managed to destroy our phone chargers, computer cables and all soft furnishings oh and also has started to chew our wooden floors and brand new back door.  But isn’t she cute?

As for chewing… or munching as I like to call it, on Friday when I made bolognese, I also made some yummy chocolate chip cookies for desert. Unfortunately D wasn’t in the mood for sweet things so I ate them all by myself. Oopps!  So I will be posting my chocolate chip cookie (drop cookie) recipe. But I will aslo be posting a second recipe…

I know I am not alone when I say I like to eat raw cookie dough. I usually spend just as much time licking the mixing bowl as I do actually mixing the dough. So after having already eaten a batch of cookies, I came up with a super duper idea. Why not make something with cookie dough (that isn’t actually a cookie).  DING DING! Idea just in : Caramel and cookie dough squares. D E V I N E !!!  Although a little rustic looking these still hit the spot. But before you can run, you have to walk :

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CHOCOLATE CHIP AND NUT COOKIES

Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these are simple and tasty.

  • 113 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150 g golden granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 205 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 150 g chocolate chips, plain or dark or a mix
  • 100 g toasted pecans, roughly chopped

THE HOW

Cream the butter and the sugar together well. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the cornflour, bicarb of soda and salt. Add this to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans (if using).

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Scoop spoonfuls of dough (about 2 tbsp) shape them into a ball and place onto a parchment lined baking tray or a plate. Chill the scooped cookies for at least an hour, or once chilled, the cookies can be frozen for baking later. I cook half the dough balls and freeze the other half.

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Preheat the oven to 170°c  (fan oven). Arrange the chilled scooped cookies onto parchment-lined baking trays, leaving 3 inches between the cookies.

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Bake for 15-18 minutes, until browned around the edges. Cool the cookies on the baking tray. If baking cookie dough that has been frozen, arrange the frozen cookies on the baking tray and let them thaw for 20 minutes at room temperature before baking as above.

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Now for the squares…

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CARAMEL AND COOKIE DOUGH SQUARES

These are difficult little treats to photograph, but are melt in the mouth. The cookie recipe has to be slightly adapted so not to kill or make you sick.  Instead of the egg, I used 5 tbsp milk and I left out the nuts as that might have been too much for the squares. Make these with a fairly thick caramel or it will run out of the squares once cut.

  • 1 quantity of cookie dough (minus the egg and replaced with milk)
  • 400 g rich thick caramel sauce (homemade caramel, dulce de leche or a tin of caramel for cakes)

For the topping:

  • 175 g dark chocolate
  • 25 g butter

For the base:

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 180 g butter
  • 280 g self raising flour, sifted

THE HOW

Preheat the oven to 170°c  (fan oven). To make the base, line a brownie tray or deep sided rectangular baking sheet with baking paper. Blend the butter, sugar and flour in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs. Pour into the tray and flatten down with your hands until it is even. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

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Spread the caramel on top and smooth out to form an thin even layer. Put in the fridge to firm up for about an hour.

When ready for the next layer, spoon the cookie mix onto the caramel and smooth out evenly.

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Melt the chocolate and butter together and pour over the cookie dough layer. Pop into the fridge again to cool and firm up. Cut into roughly 20 squares and devour!

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