There are certain recipes that the first time you make them, you know they’re going to be a reliable friend for a long time. Dan Lepard has provided several of these (roast cocoa cookies, anyone?), and a few weeks ago I finally got round to buying one of his books, Short and Sweet. Settling down with some sticky tabs and a cup of tea, I ended up marking about a third of the recipes as ones to try, and these Rye, Raisin and Chocolate Cookies were the most tempting of the lot.
The cookies are made with egg white to give them a light crust, through which the fat little raisins rise up temptingly. Once cooled they sink a little to give a chewy centre and crisp edges, with little juicy pops of sweetness from the raisins. The sweetness is really intense, and contrasts with the almost savoury chocolate and rye in a way which is really, really addictive. To give you some idea, it took me four batches to even get round to photographing these cookies because they kept mysteriously disappearing (into my mouth).
What makes this recipe even better is that it is completely adaptable. Don’t have raisins? Use currants, or cranberries. No rye flour? Use regular flour, or a mix of wholemeal and normal. Underbeat at the first stage? They come out a little chunkier but still delicious. I’ve added ground ginger, used spelt flour, and played around with the amount of salt and they’ve always been nothing short of delicious.
If you’re worried about what to do with that leftover egg yolk, don’t fear! Stick the yolk in your scrambled eggs to make them extra rich, or use it to make brownies. I regularly make lemon curd and freeze the leftover egg whites in mini tupperwears so I can defrost them any time to make these cookies, nut-free macarons or Swiss meringue buttercream.
Recipe: Rye, Raisin and Chocolate Cookies (from Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet)
125g unsalted butter, softened
100g soft brown sugar
100g caster sugar
2 tbsps cocoa powder
1 egg white
150g rye flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp fine salt
- Preheat your oven to 170C. Line two trays and put to one side.
- Beat together the butter, sugars and cocoa until light in colour and fluffy. Add the egg white and vanilla and beat to combine. In a bowl add the bicarb and salt to the flour and give a quick whisk to combine. Add half the flour mix at a time and mix to combine, then add the raisins and mix until evenly distributed (you might need to do this bit by hand).
- Roll heaped teaspoons of the mix and stick on your tray – they’ll spread so leave plenty of room. Press each one down slightly and bake each try for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a rack – they harden up as they cool – and try not to burn your mouth on a lava-hot raisin when you inevitably eat one straight from the oven.