Nothing is as lovely as a homemade edible gift. Try making a batch of these dark, decadent chocolate cookies filled with creamy pecans and sticky stem ginger - perfect for any special occasion.
- Break 200g dark chocolate into pieces and melt it with the butter, either in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water or in the microwave on a low setting. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. Chop the remaining chocolate into chunks.
- Whisk the light brown sugar and eggs together in a large bowl for a couple of minutes. Add the vanilla extract, then the melted chocolate and butter mixture, and stir until smooth. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa and pinch salt. Add to the cookie mixture with the chopped chocolate, pecans and stem ginger and mix until thoroughly combined. Cover with clingfilm and chill for a couple of hours, until firm.
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and line 2 solid baking trays with nonstick baking paper. Using a dessertspoon, scoop balls of the cookie mixture on to the baking trays, leaving space between them. Flatten the cookies slightly and bake in batches on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 12 mins, until firm but not crisp. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the trays. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
All biscuits are perfect for freezing - you can even freeze the dough and bake your biscuits fresh. Cookie dough makes a lovely gift too. Package your biscuits carefully when they are completely cold and always freeze them on the same day you bake them, they can be frozen for up to 2 months. Or they can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week. After a week they will not be as crisp and the flavour and overall texture won’t be as good, but they are still edible for a day or two.
Bake according to the recipe but stop before adding decoration or icing if called for. Allow to cool completely. Wrap well in clingfilm and tin foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 3 months.
Loosen the tin foil and clingfilm but leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours before serving. If you wish to serve the baked goods warm, place them on a baking sheet for 10 mins in a moderate oven.
If you wish to add icing or decoration, add them after the baked goods have fully defrosted and are at room temperature.
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