If there’s one thing that Sophie Morris should be able to do well, it’s cookies. She’s built a successful business on a brilliantly simple product and Kooky Dough is exactly what it says: a roll of raw dough, ready to pop into the oven.
I like it because it’s made with the kind of real ingredients – butter, eggs, proper chocolate - that I put into the dough if I made it at home. It’s even wrapped in enough greaseproof paper to line the baking tin. Easy to use and fun for kids of all ages: I’m particularly thinking here of the Student Sister who often packed rolls of her own cookie dough to take back to college on Sunday nights.
I’ve also seen Sophie, together with her business partner, Graham, working the crowds and putting in long hours at events like Bloom. Route to success? 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration.
And now Sophie’s gone off and written a cookbook, presumably in the extra five minutes she has available each day. It’s a smart and stylish number, arranged seasonally, with eight recipes for each month of the year. It’s not all sweet either. Bargain chicken thighs get a couple of outings (Crispy Caramelised Chicken Thighs, Spicy Chicken Thighs with Cannellini Beans), there’s a great take on a classic with Grandpa’s Famous Fish Cakes and plenty of quick pasta family fillers to inspire a few mid-week meals (Lemony Chicken and Chilli, Pasta with Butternut Squash, Sage and Smoky Bacon). While there may also be a sense of retreading ground familiar to anyone who has more than a few cookbooks (Thai Green Curry, Hummus, Steak Sandwich, for instance), this is the ideal book to give to someone who’s just setting up house: soon-to-be-graduated Student Sister, I’m thinking of you.
While I enjoy cooking seasonally, I do find it a bit fecky when it comes to reading cookbooks. At least there’s a decent index for when you can’t find those Dark Chocolate and Orange Cookies you planned to make. And then you come across Hazelnut Swirl Cookies. And Cranberry Coconut Florentines. Which to make? Simple answer – after checking out this recipe, I’ll have to try them all.
Dark Chocolate and Orange Cookies
I used dark muscovado sugar here because I love the flavour but be aware that the type of sugar you use can affect the texture of the finished cookie. For a mix of textures, I like to use a combination of 80g dark chocolate drops (55% cocoa) and a 100g 70% cocoa bar that’s been roughly chopped up. Makes approximately 30 little cookies.
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon bread soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
170g butter, at room temperature
55g caster sugar
220g soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
180g dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat your oven to 180°C (170°C fanbake). Line three baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
Sift – or whisk – the flour, bread soda and salt together.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter in a large bowl, add the sugars and beat well. Add the vanilla, orange zest and egg and mix again. With the mixer set on slow, add the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly. Stir the chocolate through the dough.
Scoop up spoons of dough – I like to have lots of small cookies so used teaspoons – and place on the lined baking sheets, allowing room for spreading. Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on size, until golden brown. Allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes before placing on a wire rack to finish cooling. Or get grabbed.
Adapted from Sophie Kooks by Sophie Morris. Thanks to Gill and Macmillan for the review copy.
More cookies on Bibliocook
Cookies from the Ard Bia Cookbook by Aoibheann Mac Namara and Aoife Carrigy
Twookieparty: NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies
Christmas cookies: Salted Caramel and Hazelnut Squares
Sweet treats for work: Chocolate Buckwheat Cookies
Choc Chip Cranberry Cookies (by way of Chocolate Chippies)
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies for cottage visitors