Lightly spiced with ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg, these cookies are perfect for this time of year. Feel free to adapt the spicing to suit your personal preferences – I don’t like the flavours to be overwhelming, but enough to add a richness. It’s for this reason that I use half wholemeal flour as well, but you can use all strong white flour if you prefer. Blending in the wholemeal not only adds to the flavour, but also creates a softer texture than using the strong white flour on its own. Raisins would also make a great addition, which you can switch in for the dark chocolate if you prefer.
As we approach the shortest day of the year and the daylight gets ever more scarce, I like to keep a jar of these cookies on hand for visitors to the mill, to serve with a cup of tea as the light fades. You can also make the dough in advance and leave it to chill in the fridge, then pop them in the oven just before your guests arrive, to make the kitchen smell fantastic.
Makes 12 large or 20 smaller cookies
Beat together the butter and sugars using an electric whisk or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, until pale and creamy. Add the beaten eggs one at a time and combine thoroughly, followed by the spices and salt, and beat for around 8 minutes.
Add the flours, baking powder and baking soda and combine – do this reasonably quickly, to avoid over-mixing the dough. Lastly, stir through your chocolate chips.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Take a large tablespoon of dough for each cookie and roll them into balls using your hands. Place them on the baking tray, and use your hands to gently flatten the tops of the dough. Cover the tray tightly with cling film and place it in the fridge for an hour, or overnight, to chill.
When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 180°C and line your baking trays with baking parchment.
Spread the balls of cookie dough apart across the trays so that there is at least 10cm between each ball, as the dough spreads quite a lot. You may need to bake them in batches.
Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes, until the edges have turned a golden brown and the centres are golden. The centre of the cookies should be soft. Leave the cookies to cool on the trays, before transferring them to an airtight container. If stored in a cool, dry and airtight place, they will keep for up two days.