After several test batches, and being declared Cookie Genius by (the totally unbiased) Matthew every time, I really do have to say that these are among the best cookies I have ever made. Ever.
They are chewy, but not too chewy. They are chocolatey but not too chocolatey. They have a hint of orange but it isn’t overpowering.
This recipe makes a neat dozen and uses one of my very favourite methods of shaping, taught to me by the incredible Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
1 1/4 tsp. ground flax seeds (about 1/2 an egg?)
2 tbsp., plus 1 tsp. milk (soy pref., though cow’s milk works equally well)
1/4 cup groundnut oil (or sunflower/canola/etc.)
2/3 c. golden castor sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 c. plain flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
50 g dark chocolate (70% at least, for maximum effect), roughly chopped
zest of 1 orange
1/4 c. walnut pieces, roughly chopped (optional)
Before you begin, set your oven to 350 F/Gas 6 and grease your baking tray. Then mix the ground flax seeds and milk until creamy, either in a blender or shaken in a (lidded) jar, and set it aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, oil and vanilla. Add the flax seed mixture by combining thoroughly. Stir in the orange zest, then sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients in. You might need to sift the dry ingredients in, in batches.
Once the dough begins to form, it will quickly become stiff enough that the spatula becomes useless and you’ll have to use your hands. Add the chocolate chips (and walnuts if using) and, using your hands, mix them in.
This is my favourite part. Roll the dough into a ball. Break off a piece the size of a small walnut (about 1 inch). Place on the baking tray. With your fingers together, flatten the ball into a disc. Try to place the cookies about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart, as these do spread a fair bit.
Bake for 10 minutes. They may seem not quite cooked, but remove them from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
Wait for them to cool completely before serving, if you can.