Well J and I have just come back from an amazing week in Kenya on safari! It was a fantastic experience with memories I’ll treasure forever – we got within a few meters of lions, charged by an elephant, had an intimate moment with a giraffe, spent sunset standing in the middle of a few hundred strong herd of zebra and buffalo and had the most picturesque champagne breakfast in the African bush you can imagine. But now it’s back to reality – first job on the list, baking! Can’t leave the cake tin empty for more than a day now can you.
These are my absolute favourite cookies, for very good reason I assure you. They are intensely chocolaty, studded with crunchy daim bar and toasted nuts and the occasional squidge of marshmallow, topped with just the slightest sprinkle of sea salt. Have I got your attention?… thought so! These aren’t a quick ten minute recipe, they take time both for chilling the dough and for resting the baked cookies. They definitely can’t be rushed, however they do keep very well. We’ve had them kicking around for a good week and they’ve still been good to go (although it’s rare they stick around that long!).
The original recipe for these came from the Smitten Kitchen recipe index. I’ve just made a few changes over the many times I’ve made them which for me just makes them the perfect cookie. A few tips – don’t skip the toasting the nuts stage, it really brings out the flavour and without this step they just disappear into the mixture rather than holding their own. With the dark chocolate don’t go too high on cocoa content – I went with about 60% which works fine, I think anything too high would just make them too bitter. Also cool the cookies completely for a good few hours before even attempting to remove them from the baking paper. If you try before then the bottoms will just stick and you’ll loose half your cookie and end up with a big gooey mess! To remove them from the baking paper peel them off halfway then turn the paper and peel from the other side – if they are sticking leave them for a bit longer. Also I know it’s asking a lot but don’t try them before they’ve been cooled totally (as if you’ll listen!)- they really aren’t at their best until totally cool.
You could pretty much play around with flavour combinations as much as you wanted with these – swap dime bars for rolos, walnuts for pistachios or pecans, add some malteasers, really whatever you fancied would probably work here, feel free to experiment and let me know!
Dime Bar Rocky Road Cookies:
450g Dark Chocolate (about 60-65% cocoa solids)
50g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
4 Large Eggs
370g Light Muscavado Sugar (or light brown sugar)
1 Tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste
7 Daim Bars – chopped
140g Walnuts (toasted and chopped)
2 Handfuls Mini Marshmallows
Sea Salt (for Sprinkling)
Oven 180C/350F/Gas 4
Break the chocolate into a medium bowl and add the butter. Set over a pan of simmering water and leave to melt stirring occasionally until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
Put the eggs and sugar into a large bowl and whisk for about 5 minutes until the colour has lightened and the texture is about the thickness of double cream. Whisk in the chocolate and vanilla bean paste until smooth.
Add the flour, salt and baking powder and whisk to combine. Then mix in the walnuts, daim bar and marshmallows. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge for about 4 hours, until firm.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper. use a spoon to get a good handful of the mixture and roll it into a ball (How big is your choice – I usually go with a large handful sized but feel free to go smaller if you like). If your going with large handfuls you’ll fit 4 cookies per square sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and put on the second shelf in your oven for about 12-15 minutes depending on size. The top should be just set when they are done.
Slide the cookies still on the baking paper off the tray onto a flat surface. Reline the tray and measure out some more balls of cookie dough – repeat until all the cookie dough is used. Leave all the cookies on their baking paper sheets for a good 3 hours to cool before attempting to remove. Enjoy and try not to think about that post holiday diet you promised yourself you’d stick to!