ginger, choc & walnut cookies

mainpictureI do not like feeling swamped. But, for me, even worse than the feeling of being swamped is the feeling of being listless. Helpless. Uninspired and unmotivated. I can churn out one brilliant idea after the other when I am swamped, I will hustle towards an end goal and then slam that final ball into that final hoop before collapsing in a puddle of exhaustion and selfcongratulatory thoughts. But when I am listless - oh! I crumple into a ball of miserable ineptitude and discard all thoughts of ever recovering. Usually until I get a sound butt-kicking anyway.

Alternatively, and this has been my recent therapy, I stop. And then I bake. I fold and knead and shape. I chop and taste and watch things grow from little bits of flubbery dough into crisp, warm treats that bring delight to the faces I love. And, if I am feeling particularly listless, I add zing. Like the ginger in these delightful little cookies. You will munch and crunch and feel oh-so-at-home and then your eyes will open and a little ginger-infused grin will appear from the sudden spice. Just lovely.

choc, ginger & walnut cookies
adapted from the AWW's Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits

ingredients:

125g butter
¼C white sugar
¾C brown sugar (lightly packed)
½tsp vanilla
1 egg
1¾C self raising flour
½tsp salt
100g chocolate chips
50g walnuts
50g glace ginger

method:

1. Cube your butter. If you are feeling listless, you may wish to actually cube it. In cubes. Alternatively, you may wish to hack at it with whatever knife you have handy until it is in little pieces. I am more likely to do the former. But, as they say, each to their own.

choc ginger walnut cookies
creamed butter & sugars + egg

2. Toss your perfectly cubed (or not) butter into the bowl of your mixer. Then add the sugars (brown and white - let's not discriminate now). You want to beat them until they are creamy and smooth and not-at-all granulated.

3. Add the vanilla and the egg and beat again until just combined. We want to make sure the egg is incorporated. None of this gross egg-streamy-bitty-thing.

choc ginger walnut cookies
folding in the flour

4. Next up, the dry ingredients. Sift the flour and salt into the mixer bowl and mix through with a wooden spoon or spatula. It will get stiffer near the end, but persevere. You are trying to get-yourself-out-of-this-rut-dammit! Also, with perseverence comes a fantastically toned upper arm. You will have to work the other one out at the gym to balance yourself out.

choc ginger walnut cookies
chopped ginger, walnuts & chocolate

5. We want to do a bit more dicing while the oven is heating up. About 180C should do it. Don't worry if you forget. I'll remind you later. Now, where were we...? Ahh! Chopping! Ginger into bearable chunks. Run a knife through your walnuts a couple of times. We want to know they're there without knowing that they're there if you know what I mean. Discernable but not OTT. You don't need to chop your chocolate if you're using chocolate chips. I used a combination of chocolate chips & lindt bittersweet to make a 100g total. I chopped the latter.

choc ginger walnut cookies
roll, squish, repeat

6. Toss your chopped ingredients haphazardly (or meticulously, as you like) into the mixing bowl and use those (now toned) upper arms and a spatula / wooden spoon to mix them in as evenly as you can. Don't go crazy if they aren't exactly uniformly spread out. That's just how life goes ok? Now breathe.

7. Grab dessert-spoon-sized balls of mix from the bowl and roll them about in your hand briefly before plonking them down on a well oiled tray and giving them a satisfying smoosh with your fingers. Lather, rinse, repeat. (Dessert-spoon-sized balls are halfway between a giant gobstopper & a pingpong ball, just in case you were confused). The cookies will spread just a little, so give them a bit of breathing room. You'll end up with about 40-45 depending on the size of your cookies.

choc ginger walnut cookies
just baked and cooling (if you can wait)

8. Your oven should, by now, have hotted up to 180C. No? Well stick it on now, and don't beat yourself up about forgetting. We'll stick the cookies in for about 10 minutes, a little longer if you like your cookies nice and brown and a little crunchier. 10 mins will give you a chewy, just cooked cookie.

9. In the 10 mins they bake for, you can wash up that one bowl and two beaters and one wooden spoon / spatula you used, or you can sit in front of your oven door and just watch the cookies rise. And oh! How comforted you now are, and not even the slightest bit listless. And ahh, how warm as well. Because that is what ginger does to you. Ditto chocolate.

choc ginger walnut cookies

11 bites more:

Howard said...

wb. These look good, are they soft and chewy ? I like those ribbons!

Belle@OohLook said...

Chocolate and ginger - yum! I might just steal this recipe for my Hello Cookie project. And the added benefit of toned upper arms - score!

lili - pikelet and pie said...

I hope your listlessness is over, I'm sure that these biscuits helped - they sure do look zingy and delicious.
:)

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

Ginger and chocolate sounds like an excellent pick-me-up. I love your descriptions. I would never cube the butter in any mood!

Stephcookie said...

Yay welcome back :) Love yor description of these cookies, I find baking the perfect therapy after a bad week/day/hour! And SO much candied ginger! Definitely my type of cookie.

shez said...

Howard: I normally make a batch that are only just cooked (they're soft and chewy) and another that are more fully cooked (they're crunchy outside and chewy inside).

Belle: Toned arms are a definite plus. Reasons I like things that involve stirring & kneading ;)

lilli: Oh very much so. Amazing what a break from the ordinary can do isn't it?

Arwen: Thankyou - and it only happens occasionally. And then, halfway through, I give up and hack at it with a butterknife :)

Stephcookie: I love the zing of candied ginger. It's too much by itself, but adds a delicious (and friendly) surprise in cookies!

FFichiban said...

Hope these make you feel much better! you make me worried XP Oh if you ever need someone to vent on I am here ^^! (as long as you bring these cookies :P)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

They look great and I like the use of glace ginger as I don't really like powdered ginger. Interspered pieces of glace ginger gives it a lovely texture!

chocolatesuze said...

ah i have missed you and your posts! hope you're doing ok dude and hey if you ever need to vent some anger you know who to call =P

Yas said...

Aww how pretty these cookies look!
When I'm stressed I tend to binge eating - I better learn from you and turn it into motivation to cook or something.

shez said...

FFichiban: ahh! thankyou kindly. (and yes. will give you a call next time i'm all a-baking).

Lorraine: there
s something lovely about biting into a chewy rich bit of glaced ginger isn't there?

chocolatesuze: oh yes i do! ;)

Yas: hmmm. at least that way you're getting a workout before you eat everything in sight :)

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