This Valentine’s Day, I am on a one-man mission to overthrow the tyranny of that clichéd box of chocolates; and there is nothing that says, “I actually (somewhat) care” more than baking your inamorato/inamorata a batch of white chocolate chip and blueberry cookies. Of course, this recipe is not just for corny expressions of luuurve. In fact, singles might enjoy this a bit more, as they get to have a whole batch to themselves and won’t have to worry about their expanding waistline in the process.

Ingredients:

350g Self-raising Flour (or normal flour and 1tsp baking powder)

1tsp Salt

225g Butter (or ½ Packet of Stork)

175g Caster Sugar

175g Light Muscovado Sugar (or any type of Brown Sugar you can find)

ca. 100g Chopped Hazelnuts (available at Sainsbury’s)

Quaker Oats (however much you want)

1tsp Vanilla Extract (e.g. Madagascan Bourbon Vanilla Extract from Lakeland)

2 Eggs

200g White Chocolate (broken into pieces)

ca. 150g Fresh Blueberries (or one packet)

50g of Luuurve (or ‘like’, if you’re not at that place yet…)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 190 °C.

2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the butter, caster sugar and brown sugar. Mix thoroughly. Beware: this can get a bit tricky. The butter is relatively solid, so you’ll need to persevere. Get an electric mixer if you have one. By the end of this exercise, you should have a soft, lovely brown muck, and guns of steel.

4. Add the vanilla extract and eggs, then mix again.

5. Pour this brown mixture into the flour and salt, and beat together. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts and oats. The hazelnuts add a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to it all (namely, nuttiness); the oats turn what would otherwise end up being a rather hard, Frisbee-shaped disappointment into soft, chewy pieces of heaven. Be a bit gratuitous with the oats; I tend to add about 1 ½ cereal bowls worth.

6. And now the pièce de résistance: the white chocolate and blueberries. Feel free to celebrate with a glass of wine if you’ve made it this far. You need to break the chocolate into smaller pieces (duh!), but not too small. Wash the blueberries before pouring them into the mixture. Stir thoroughly again, and resist the temptation to shovel all of that gorgeously fragrant cookie dough into your mouth.

7. Get a baking tray and cover it in baking paper. For each individual cookie, take about a tablespoonful of cookie dough, and transfer it to the tray. Make sure you’ve washed your hands beforehand, as you need to use them to keep the little lumps of cookie dough together. You should be able to fit about six or nine small lumps on a tray. They should not be touching.

8. Put the tray into the top shelf of the oven (NOT middle) for about 10 mins, or until the lumps have flattened and turned golden. Take them out of the oven, and leave to cool until you can transfer the cookies to a plate without breaking them apart (ca. 10 mins); you’ll need to poke them a few times to check.

After the first batch is done, repeat the process for the rest of the cookie dough. Serve with a glass of milk, and some shameless, cookie-dough-laced snogging. Enjoy!

Eric John

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