Is There a Doctor in the House?

Today my beautiful and bright niece, Ellie, graduates from university as a medical doctor. We have had a few PhDs in the family but no medical doctors for a loooooong time. From her Facebook entries, you would think that Ellie has partied hard, baked cupcakes and drunk tea for most of the past five years, but her exam results show otherwise, thank heavens! As she starts the next stage of her training – two years in hospital – I was trying to think of a recipe which will help her to survive those long working hours, keep her alert in the wee wee hours and is easy to make when you’re tired. Ellie bakes every bit as well as I do – her decorating skills are much better – so there’s not much point in doing cakes. However, she is partial to a bit of sugar and so today’s recipe is for Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies. My original recipe is for Dark Chocolate Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies, but Ellie will omit the nuts on doctor’s orders! The recipe originally came from Homes and Gardens magazine about 20 years ago. I haven’t changed it at all, except to omit nuts as necessary, or use white or milk chocolate instead of plain. My preference has always been plain chocolate, but the boys preferred milk. Tom of course prefers white. I have also made them with a mix of chocolate types and this works well. So Ellie, sweetie, this is for you – we’re all really proud of you and wish you every happiness and success in the next couple of years.

Dark Chocolate Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies – Ingredient

  • 300 g / 11 oz self-raising flour, sifted
  • 225 g / 8 oz plain chocolate, cut into chunky pieces
  • 100 g / 4 oz skinned toasted hazelnuts, chopped (omit if you have a nut allergy!)
  • 225 g / 8 oz butter
  • 175 g / 6 oz caster sugar
  • 100 g / 4 oz soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tspn vanilla essence


Heat the oven to 190 C / 375 F / Gas mark 5.

Cream the butter and both sugars until soft and light. Beat the eggs and vanilla essence together.

Add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar, a third at a time, mixing each addition well before adding the next. Mix in half the flour, then mix in the remaining flour. Add the chocolate chunks and hazelnuts.

Drop heaped teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto ungreased baking trays. Don’t put them too close together as they will spread during baking.

Bake for 10-12 mins until just golden. Cool on the tray for a couple of mins before transferring to a wire rack.


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