This week my husband and I are moving for the first time to a place that actually has more rooms than a bedroom, sitting room/kitchen and bathroom. We are officially grown-ups! And I can’t wait.
It feels like a giant leap along in our future to finally move into a house together that has enough room for a growing family. No doubt the novelty of going up and down stairs will wear off in no time, but, for now, it is a new chapter I’m very much looking forward to.
The most significant house move I can remember from my childhood was moving from a beautiful house called The Grange in Northaw to a house in Welwyn. The Grange is where I have so many childhood memories from birthday parties and playing rounders in the garden, to playing ‘kicky-kicky monster’ in the rose garden where my younger sister and I took on our older brothers. I could list the endless adventures we had in the garden, but I think that would take a while and be rather self-indulgent. Maybe another time.
I remember arriving in my new bedroom and feeling very excited to be surrounded by big cardboard boxes. They were all piled up round me as I tried to peer out over the top wondering where I was going to put it all. There is always that initial thrill of deciding how you’re going to decorate your new bedroom and having been only 5 years old when we first moved to The Grange, this felt like an opportunity to put my stamp on my new room at aged 10.
I’m not sure I can even remember what went up on the walls initially because when I really think back, I think I changed it regularly depending on whatever I was into that year! Jason Donavon posters made way to Jonny Wilkinson posters over the years.
I think to make any move less stressful and a little easier to cope with, it’s best to keep those that are there helping you, well fed and watered. And with that in mind, I went to work and pre-baked some cakes that could be defrosted on the morning of moving day. I opted for a lemon yoghurt cake as well as a banana and white chocolate loaf. Both popular cakes that ought to keep the hungry hard working men happy. Plus, they might be more inclined to help when I ask them if they could possibly re-build the odd piece of furniture at the new place.
Now, I know not everyone is a cake person, but most can’t turn down a decent cookie. We might be a nation of biscuit eaters, but over the years the American cookie has definitely invaded our shores.
I had a batch of Ferrero Rocher left in the cupboard, kindly delivered by my parents on New Year’s Day when they came for lunch, that I thought could be the main flavour ingredient of my cookie dough. A delicious nutty chocolate flavour in a soft cookie.
You also have the added benefit that you can make your cookie dough early, freeze it and then slice it up as you like when you want to bake it. Or, I have been known just to eat the frozen cookie dough straight from the freezer. Don’t judge me.
Cookie dough really is the simplest of mixtures to conjure up, even if you’re no baking enthusiast you’ll struggle to go wrong. And with this basic cookie dough, it’s really up to you what you could add. If it’s a box of maltesears, or bars of chocolate left in the fridge, then throw those in.
I used salted butter on this occasion to try and make a slightly less sickly sweet cookie, with the aim of targeting a more adult palette. But to be honest, unsalted butter would of course work just as well.
The thing I love about these cookies is that the ferrero rocher does all the hard work for you. Pockets of rich hazelnut chocolate surrounded by sweet cookie dough. If you manage to restrain yourself at just munching down one, I’d be surprised.
Best get packing!
Ferrero Rocher Cookies
Makes about 16 cookies (depending on the size you go for!)
120g salted butter (or use unsalted if that’s all you have in the fridge)
75g granulated sugar
75g light brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 free range egg
240g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
180g ferrero rocher, bashed up (but don’t work if some of it stick together, this will just provide pockets of gooey chocolate in the cookie)
Sea salt flakes to sprinkle on top (optional)
Put your sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and beat together until they are well combined.
Add in your egg and vanilla extra and beat well.
Sift in your flour, bicarbonate of soda and mix together until you have a soft dough. The dough should just about come together.
Fold through your bashed up ferrero rocher until it is well distributed through the dough.
Roll out a sheet of baking paper and place your dough onto it.
Roll your dough into a long sausage but about the diameter of a rolling pin. So not too thin or you’ll be slicing really thin and small cookies!
Chill the dough in the fridge over night, or up to 72 hours. Or you can cover the baking paper in cling film and place it in the freezer, but I’d suggest using it up within a month.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and slice your cookie dough into 1 & 1/2cm round slices.
Space them well apart from each other on a tray as they will expand and spread on baking.
Bake for about 15 minutes, but check on them at 12 minutes.
They should be golden and slightly soft still when coming out the oven, not browned.
Sprinkle with sea salt if you desire.
Allow the cookies to cool on the tray before removing onto a wire rack to cool properly… if you can wait that long!