Around 18 months ago I was invited to attend a festive baking workshop with Lucy, and she kindly gave all of the participants a pre-release copy of her book: Lucy Bakes. I haven’t spoken about it all that much, apart from featuring a slightly edited version of the Peanut Butter Fudge, but it is one of my favourite baking books. There’s nothing overly fancy in it, but what there is are basic and delicious recipes that create minimal washing up. And the recipes work. Always. It might not be one I cook from directly all the time, but if I need to check the ratios for a sponge, an ideal oven temperature, optimum baking times etc this book is the book I turn to.
The book is essentially my baking bible. It would be ideal for beginners to baking, and I think it’s even suitable for cooking with kids as most of the recipes will both appeal and be suitably short to keep them occupied. The nutella cake in particular I image would be a hit! But for me the winner has to be the soft cookie recipe. It’s a super-simple recipe giving huge America style cookies which are soft and chewy and just totally delicious. The full recipe given is for a basic dough, then there’s loads of flavouring suggestions – but of course I went for the double chocolate version, and then added more chocolate to make triple chocolate cookies. Because why the hell not?!
Of course you could add any kind of chocolate chunk or other addition you want – nuts work amazingly well in cookies, as do pretzels. If you want a non-chocolatey dough then replace the cocoa powder with more flour…
- 125g salted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 225g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 200g self-raising flour
- 25g cocoa powder
- 5g bicarbonate of soda
- 100g white chocolate chunks
- 100g milk or dark chocolate chunks
Beat together the butter and sugar until soft and creamy, then add the egg and vanilla extract. Add the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of sofa and stir until you have a stiff dough. Stir through the chocolate chunks, and then roll the dough into around 15 balls (each should weight around 45g). Flatten slightly, then pop onto lined baking trays (they do spread lots when cooking) and bake for 8-10 minutes at 190C – a shorted cooking time gives a softer cookie. Allow to cool on a wire wrack, though they are delicious served warm and gooey with a glass of milk or a hot chocolate…
Other recipes worth trying: the Rose & Poppyseed Cake, Honey Lavender Flapjack, Florentine Bars, Peanut Butter Crispy Squares and the Potato and Onion Seed Bread. All delicious!
*I was gifted a copy of this book directly by the author at an invited workshop in 2017. There was no request to feature the book or workshop on my blog, and this isn’t a paid feature.
What is your go-to cookbook for baking?