Dirty cookies are an idea I played with a couple years ago which worked out pretty well, and is basically just for a bit of fun. It isn’t quicker particularly than oven cooking cookies, and there is higher risk of them getting pretty badly burnt - but the flipside is the end result is crazily-decadently-good and can be fun if you are entertaining people. If you have been entertaining in the garden at the grill, its quite good fun to whip a couple of these little foil-wrapped balls of decadence straight off the coals for people to dig into.
1. What are Dirty Cookies?
Dirty cooking is generally cooking food directly on burning coals/wood - now of course, you may well be thinking that the sugar in the cookies would immediately burn, and well yes, you’d be correct. So these aren’t true dirty cookies, to prevent immediate burning (and general collapse) of the cookies, we simply wrap the ball of cookie dough in foil before chucking them on.
Now of course, the foil can only do so much to protect the cookie dough from the high heat, so you need to be pretty attentive cooking these, you want to be turning them every couple minutes, getting more and more frequent towards the end of the cooking. Honestly, sometimes I burn a side of them, but they are always recoverable - either because a little bit of crunchy burnt sugar can be a nice contrast to the soft, warm gooey centre or because you can just eat around that part.
2. What are the benefits of dirty cookies?
A couple of things:
Fun! If you have a party or people over, chuck a couple of these foil bombs onto the coal and then hand them out once done (allowing to cool, or a bowl) as ready made individual servings, and quite in-keeping with the general vibe of BBQ food (messy, decadent, eating with your hands trying not to drop all over your face/clothes/floor).
Shape - normally you cook cookie dough it melts into a puddle, classic cookie shape (which is great), but the foil keeps the original ball shape of the dough, which of course changes the thermal properties of the cookie. A puddle cookie, obviously, becomes quite flat and thin - this means its easy for the centre to be cooked through and become chewy and stable (what you want in a cookie, you don’t want to pick up a regular cookie and have the centre fall out because its just goo). However, whilst it remains like a ball, the centre of the ball doesn’t get subject to the same heat so remains gooey, and the ball shape provides the structural integrity to keep it together.
3. Biscoff stuffed, you say?
That’s right. This is a technique that can be used on any cookie dough (within reason). Likewise, it also works equally well with nutella and probably other spreads.
It’s real simple - just spoon out teaspoon size blobs of the spread, freeze, and then when the cookie dough is ready, just wrap the frozen balls in cookie dough!
Dirty cookies can probably be cooked with any of your favourite cookie dough recipes - I’m including this one as its the more decadent of my usual recipes (high choc-chip levels plus biscoff spread, which can also be omitted if you don’t have it to hand). Likewise, the cookie recipe below can be cooked in the oven as usual, for a more classic cookie result - just cook at 160C (Fan oven) for 12 - 15 minutes.
I’d also recommend freezing surplus biscoff spread balls (or nutella balls) as well as cookie dough balls. My freezer is regularly stocked with frozen, pre-portioned balls of cookie dough. Ready for use for ice cream or just adhoc cookie bakes. Fancy a cookie, grab one from the freezer, 12 minutes later you have amazing, warm, home baked cookies. Literally no down side here.
- 8 huge cookies or 16 regular cookies
- 10 minutes
- 8 - 10 minutes
- 250 grams plain flour
- 90 grams cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 200 grams unsalted butter
- 220 grams light brown sugar
- 50 grams golden granulated sugar
- 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
- 200 grams white chocolate chips
- 100 grams milk chocolate chips
- Lotus Biscoff spread
- Ahead of time, if you are using the biscoff spread, spoon out 8 teaspoon sized blobs og the spread and place, evenly spread out, on a cling film covered baking tray and place in the freezer. Once they have frozen and are firm you can just wrap them in cling film and remove the tray (I find the baking tray takes up lots of room in the freezer so take it out as soon as possible)
- In a stand mixer, mix the sugars and butter with the paddle attachment until well mixed and a light creamy consistency - this will take a few minutes, we aren't just combining the ingredients here
- Add the eggs and mix again until combined, this should only be 20-30 seconds
- You can now mix the remaining dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, bicarb soda, cocoa powder) in a mixing bowl, and then add to the stand mixer and mix until it starts to combine
- Whilst it isn't fully combined add all the chocolate chips and mix again until dough combined
- Weigh out the cookie dough into 150 gram balls (or 75 grams for smaller cookies) - you should get 8 (or 16) cookies.
- If you are using the biscoff spread, remove from the freezer and wrap each frozen biscoff ball in cookie dough
- Put the cookie dough in the fridge to rest - cookies always benefit from an overnight rest, but will be delicious if you need to cook them immediately.
- When ready to cook, wrap the cookie balls individually in foil, shiny side facing in, and place them directly into hot coals (being careful, using gloves/tongs) - you will need to turn them every minute or two and check on them regularly (you can actually tell pretty well how they are getting on by the smell). Cook for about 8 minutes total.
- Remove the foil balls, open up and serve. Probably with a spoon, and with ice cream.
- If you want to cook these in the oven, just cook them on a baking tray at 160C (fan oven) for 12 - 15 minutes until they are done
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