>Shortbread cookies with chocolate chips

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Pottering around last week with the children -waiting for the school gates to reopen-, we tried a few new baking recipes and this one was a definite winner: a crumbly and melting cooky that kept its shape and was lovely for dunking in a hot cup of tea as well! The cakes above were made by my youngest, aged 11 and a bit.

This recipe was borrowed from a Dorking Kindersley book I bought ages ago “The baking book” by Jane Bull. The step by step illustrations are really easy for kids to follow on their own and the recipes delicious enough to satisfy fussy adults too.

Ingredients list:
Plain flour (we used wholemeal spelt for a the health note) 150g
Caster sugar 50g
Butter 100g
Chocolate 50g

Put all the ingredients into the bowl (except the chocolate) and rub the mixture between your thumbs until it looks crumbly. If you are putting in the chocolate chips, break them up now (we use a parmesan knife for this) and put them in. Now squeeze the mixture together to make a ball. Pinch off some and roll golf size balls into your hands. My tip here is to put these balls on a plate and into the fridge for 1/2 hour or so: this really helps cookies to hold their shape and it is true of these biscuits too.

Place the cold balls onto a baking sheet, leaving plenty of room around each and flatten them with your palm or a fork if you want a pattern.

Bake in a warm oven for 20-25 min at 170º then cool on a rack.

We made plenty and they kept very well in a metal biscuit tin. We loved them so much and they were so easy to make that I don’t think we’ll be buying the shop variety ever again – at least, so long as my youngest son continues to turn out regular batches of these!

After eating these, we went up to climb the 311 steps to the top of Monument – something not many Londoners have done- and were rewarded by the view and a certificate stating the feat! The Monument, eponymous to the tube station, was built in 1671-77 by Sir Christopher Wren and Dr Robert Hooke to commemorate the Great Fire of London of 1666. Its height is the exact distance from the fire’s start in a baker’s shop in nearby Pudding Lane. I bet you didn’t know that! Me neither…

I am not very good with height, I feel dizzy on escalators and I assure you the 50 metres climb was very high indeed but the real achievement was in going down the narrow winding steps… It felt like a spinning carousel and I landed with relief, but shoeless! -You did not expect me to do this in my 9 inches heels, did you?!

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