I write this as I eat cookies. Cookies for breakfast are fine yes? Maybe they’re more suited to the weekend – if pancakes are too ambitious on Saturday morning, then opening a packet of Marylands isn’t too offensive – but Monday? I haven’t even found the wagon, let alone fallen off it. But what can I say, these blueberry, lemon and white chocolate cookies are a drug and I’m a grown up now so sensible breakfasts are negotiable these days.
Dear reader, do we ever learn from our mistakes? Last weekend, Gaylord and I went to Paris to meet his new-born niece (and another niece arrived the day after we returned to Toulouse! There’s something in the water in Paris), and we visited Gaylord’s dear family friends. These friends are feeders – they don’t eat a lot themselves but oh boy can they cook and don’t they love watching you eat it. After three courses of apéro – olives, homemade tapenade with crostini, garlic-butter focaccia – prawns cooked in cream and cider for the main course, then a selection of cream-stuffed patisserie for dessert, I was ready to burst. But just wait.
I should have known that wasn’t the end of it. There was still a portion of îles flottantes to come. Unwitting and naive, of course I agreed to try it – it’s mostly air right? – and I was served what seemed to be my own private meringue island swimming in a sea of crème anglaise. I spent the rest of the night gently sweating, and was incredibly rude when it came to finally saying our goodbyes as instead of doing the typical two cheek kiss, I kept a safe two-feet distance from everyone; any pressure on my swollen stomach could have resulted in a highly unpleasant moment for us all, especially at close proximity.
You’d have thought I would have learnt but no, I went from one weekend to the next accompanied by excess dessert. This Saturday, between the two of us we made three desserts – scones, chocolate and raspberry cake and blueberry, lemon and white chocolate cookies. There’s no need for it all, especially as I thought I was on an anti-inflammatory diet, which evidently isn’t going too well. But, I just thought teccccchnically a meal isn’t over until dessert passes these lips… over the last week or so there have been multiple repeated ends to my meals.
And now, the sweet course has broken free from the shackles that confine it to the end of a meal at an acceptable time of day, to be snaffled down at 7am on a Monday morning. But let me introduce you to these cookies, so then I can defend myself properly.
Introducing these humble blueberry, lemon and white chocolate cookies
Blueberry and white chocolate is a classic combo – the brother to dark chocolate and raspberry – and together they’ve speckled, stained and tie-dyed many muffins and cookies over the years. Meanwhile, their relationship appears to be an open one because blueberry keeps running off with lemon, which is a bit awkward because, to many, lemon and blueberry are a love-match. Now, I’m not a polygamy advocate, although there may be many happy throuples out there, but personally I think all three are happiest combined in one baked good. Enter blueberry, lemon and white chocolate cookies.
These aren’t the cookies you’d serve at a children’s birthday party – these are grown up cookies, ones that grown ups can choose to eat for breakfast if they so please. They have the merest zing of lemon zest, more of a light fragrance than the lemony slap we can get from a lemon drizzle cake. And, blueberries will be happy to hear this, but lemon and white chocolate really do get along, both bringing out each other’s best sides – the smooth creamy chocolate meets the zesty buzz of lemon.
And the blueberries, the star of the relationship and the show, are spicy, juicy and burst, and the three of them together make these cookies really feel breakfasty, just like a Starbucks muffin (ok, ok, I’ll stop trying to justify myself).
Now, we need to practice some delayed gratification when it comes to these cookies. I know, the pot calls the kettle black and all that. But seriously, these cookies are infinitely better after the dough has had a 24-hour rest in the fridge. My first batch was baked immediately because honestly who can wait for cookies and I must say, as I took my first bite, I was sceptical. They just weren’t good enough. The colour was insipid and the flavours didn’t meld, all parties involved didn’t know in which direction they were going.
So, keeping my fingers crossed I baked another batch after a day of chilling – if they hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t have anything to offer you today! – and wow, they emerged deeply caramelised and that first bite was chewy, warm and spicy. The lemon had had time to settle down from its rhythmic buzz and now harmonised with the blueberries and white chocolate. I ate two off the tray and then, as you know, one for breakfast this morning. That one was almost fudgy in texture and it’s taken me a lot of will-power not to go grab another.
I’ve learnt a few things about my diet this week, but most of all, blueberry, lemon and white chocolate cookies are an excellent breakfast.
Blueberry, Lemon and White Chocolate Cookies
- 115 g unsalted butter
- 110 g soft brown sugar
- 50 g sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 190 g plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 115 g white chocolate
- 80 g fresh blueberries
- Slowly melt the butter on low heat to ensure none evaporates – you need it all! Combine the sugars and lemon zest and juice in a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and vanilla extract and stir until relatively smooth. Crack in the egg and whisk it all together until emulsified and glossy.
- Sift in the flour, and add the salt and baking soda. Fold it all together.
- Chop the chocolate squares in half and add them all to the cookie dough along with the blueberries. Stir to endure they are well mixed then cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 24 hours.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/395°F. Line a baking tray with parchment and scoop out golf-ball sized chunks of dough, chocolate and blueberries. I baked 6 cookies at a time, but they don't spread too widely so you could fit 8 on a large baking tray. Once the oven is hot, slide the tray inside and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven when the edges are deep gold and the blueberries have burst.