During my first trip to London almost a decade ago, I remember stumbling across a small little shop selling these monster sized cookies. Up until that point, I was not the biggest cookie fan. I mean I would eat them but I did not find them particularly exciting. That of course was before Ben’s Cookies. As it is often the case with all good things, I only discovered Ben’s Cookies on my very last day in London. To make matters worse, as I met up with my (now former) friends for dinner and shared my amazing new discovery. They too raved and shared their love of Ben’s Cookies! This of course did not sit well with me, because all I could think about was how many cookies I could have had over that week – had my subpar tour guides mentioned it!
After a decade, one of the things I needed to cross off my list when I went to London was to get my hands on some Ben’s Cookies. Having not had them for so long, I did wonder if I built them up too much in my mind and if I would be somewhat disappointed when I did have them again. Of course, no such thing happened and they were possibly even better than I remembered.
And while that has definitely been a perk of moving to the UK. What I have noticed though, is now that I am considerably closer to a store, I find it even more frustrating that there are no Ben’s Cookies stores around me. What is it about being so close and yet so far that makes me want them even more? I mean if you really think about it, I was halfway across the world dreaming about this ever evasive cookie that I thought (then) I would never have again and was somehow ok with it. But now that I am realistically only a couple of hours drive away – I am more frustrated than ever that I have to go ALL THE WAY to London/Bath to have them?
And while this makes no sense whatsoever, this frustration has motivated me to experiment and try to replicate this cookie (imitation is the best form of flattery no?). And after a number of not quite right/failed attempts (not to forget a couple of extra inches around the waistline), I believe I have finally got a recipe that comes pretty close. While these have made me giddy with happiness and will keep me satiated for now, I will of course have to pop in to Ben’s again (when I can) – just to be 100% sure.
Do let me know if you try these and what you think about them?
500gm plain flour
50gm corn flour
100gm granulated sugar
150gm brown sugar (soft light brown sugar)
50gm muscovado sugar (dark)
3 eggs (medium sized)
250gm unsalted butter
1 tsp salt 1tsp Vanilla Essence
0.5 tsp Sodium Bicarbonate
125gm Jumbo Chocolate chips
180gm of chocolate chunks – I used a mix of Lindt 70% & 51% Cocoa
1. Melt butter and set aside to cool.
2. Mix flour, corn flour and sodium bicarbonate in a bowl and set aside.
3. Combine all three sugars, add butter and mix well.
4. Once combined add eggs one at a time, salt and vanilla essence.
5. Mix in flour gradually until well combined.
6. Add in chocolate chips and chocolate chunks.
7. Keep overnight in fridge.
8. Weigh out 100gm of cookie dough, roll into a ball and place on baking tray.
9. Bake at 200 degrees Celcius for 10 – 13 minutes until they turn brown. ** Read EDIT**
1. The dough is quite soft, so the longer it is chilled the better cause you really want to roll it into a ball so it looks a little tall to start so that it doesn’t spread too much.
2. You need to start with quite high heat. My current oven is rather old and temperamental so I recommend doing a tester batch to figure out what works with your oven. You want a high heat and at least 10 minutes till it gets brown so it isn’t completely cooked all the way through when you take it out of the oven. For my oven it takes 13-15 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius.
3. When weighing out the cookies, I move the chocolate chunks around so that I get chocolate chips randomly but I have one chocolate chunk in the middle and two placed rather close to each other on top (they spread quite a bit)
4. Let them cool before digging in!
5. Just a little pre-warning re the cookie colour. When I first made these cookies with light brown sugar, they were considerably lighter in colour. If you are only making them with light brown sugar,(they still taste great) you should bake them till they are golden brown in colour or they will be overcooked in the middle. When using Muscovado sugar be warned that they will look darker, so aim for about 10 minutes at least before taking them out.
So I have gotten some feedback re temperature over the last few weeks.
Newer ovens 200 degrees seems to work great at 10 minutes.
My oven which is really quite old and all over the place, I feel works best at 180 degrees at 13-15 minutes.