My favourite cookie recipe

We all know what day it is tomorrow. How could we not? For weeks the shops have been stacked full of red glittery hearts, teddy bears and pink fluffy cards. Oh yes, Valentines Day is just around the corner. 

For the lucky ones among us Valentines Day is a treat; a time to share cuddles and cosy meals with our beloved. For others, the date brings grimaces and above all, the feeling of loneliness. I know that feeling well! 

To combat this, I decided to make some cookies. (Red and white, in honour of the occasion). This is my favourite recipe - from Nigella again; her book is wonderful - and I've done a couple of variations. These little delights are cranberry and white chocolate but you could substitute nuts, raisins, fudge chunks, chocolate chips…. The choice is yours. 

Begin by mixing some caster sugar and brown sugar together.

Pour some melted butter over, and mix well. 

Add the eggs!

And next, vanilla extract. 

Toss in the flour and mix really well, until the texture is that of a very firm peanut butter.

Now add whatever you fancy! 

At this point, you can either bake the cookies, or go all American and eat the dough. They're good either way! *Please don't feed the dough to the elderly, pregnant or young children as it contains raw eggs*

Tadaa! I'll be enjoying these tomorrow night, with a glass of milk and season 2 of Gossip Girl. How about you? What are your plans? 

150g soft unsalted butter
125g soft light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk 
300g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Two handfuls of your chosen filling - e.g. one of cranberries, one of chocolate, or two of chocolate…

1. Heat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Line a baking sheet (you may need two!).

2. Put the brown and white sugars in a bowl. Melt the butter and pour it over the sugar. Beat well.

3. Beat in the vanilla and eggs until light and creamy.

4. Mix in the flour and bicarb until blended, then add the filing. 

5. Shape your cookies - I use an ice-cream scoop and then flatten them out. Place them on the baking sheet, well spread apart!  

5. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool and serve! 

*You can freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months in an airtight container. The unbaked dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months, then add 2-3 more minutes when baking. Handy!*