A few months back, a colleague from work went to the States for the first time. He came back raving about how awesome all the food was he had there, and of course I was only to happy to join in that conversation with him! So we talked about the deliciousness of the cheesecake factory and how awesome Ghiradelli chocolate is and before I was even able to tell him about my favourite slab of Ghiradelli he beat me to it and started gushing about the toasted coconut milk chocolate bar!
For the rest of the day I could not get that bar of delightful-ness out of my head!
All week I was dreaming up milk chocolate and coconut creations, when at the same time I started to have another craving...for Ben's Cookies! We used to get these cookies all the time down South...in Covent Garden as a child or Oxford and Brighton as a teenager. There was even that one time we visited Coventry for the day as I was possibly considering Uni there...and when I saw they had a Ben's cookies that nearly swayed it for me! So I just assumed there were Ben's Cookies stores all over the UK! So when my craving hit, I googled to see if there was one in Edinburgh or Glasgow and to my horror there wasn't!!
You see the thing that makes Ben's Cookies so delicious in my opinion, is that they don't just use measley little chocolate chips - oh no, they use great big chunks of chocolate that leave gooey molten pools of yumminess in your cookies!
So I decided it was time to make my own (since I will sadly not be making it down South anytime soon)! I followed a recipe that I had baked waaay back in 2008 and at the time I remember thinking the cookies tasted pretty similar to Ben's Cookies!
This time I added some shredded coconut into the batter, and a drop of coconut extract so amp up the coconut flavour!
...and let's have one more close up on why these are the best cookies - yep, those huge gooey globs of chocolate!
I officially started my maternity leave this week - Baby Braithwaite has one more week until it's due date :) so you can expect lots more blogging around here! and I'm hoping lots more baking too!
In the meantime if you're missing out on Ben's Cookies too...or needing a chocolate and coconut fix then these cookies are definitely for you!
Milk Chocolate Chunk and Coconut Cookies: Ben's Cookies Style
Adapted from Cookie Carnival
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
3 cups plus 2 tbsp plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 oz/450g milk chocolate, chopped into chunks
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, or silicone cookie mats and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the coconut extract (you could also use vanilla if you can't get hold of coconut extract).
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a a separate large bowl. Add the dry ingredients 1/3 at a time to the mixer, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Stir in the shredded coconut.
Using an ice cream scoop to get nice uniform size chunky cookies, scoop out the dough onto the baking trays. You should get 8 cookies on each sheet, or if you have smaller trays place 6 balls of dough on each sheet because the cookies will spread. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking trays, and then transfer them over to wire racks to cool completely.
Make sure you eat the cookies warm to get the full effect of all that gooey chocolate, or if you're eating them at a later time then just buzz each one in the microwave for 15 seconds.
Eat and enjoy!