Deliciously chewy cookies, packed full of Smarties and chocolate chunks. The flavour in these cookies is indescribably good, you have to try them!
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Do you ever feel so overwhelmingly busy but you really don’t actually have that much to do? That’s how I’ve been feeling this week! I think it’s because I’ve been a bit under the weather so every little thing feels like a massive chore, I just sit and think about the things I need to do – like write this post, edit photos, take photos, bake Easter treats… then of course my actual job – and it feels like I’m planning to climb Mount Everest, it all just seems like way too much effort! But today I am feeling a little less poorly and a little more ready to take on the world… or this post at least. I also baked something for Easter today so I’m totally getting on top of things!
There’s no better cure for feeling under the weather than these amazing Smarties Cookies! They don’t look like much, they’re not exactly the most photogenic of cookies – but oh my, are they delicious! These are hands down the best cookies I’ve ever made or eaten, these cookies almost make me believe in a higher power! And what is it that makes them so good? Well, it’s a combination of cookie science, but the big star is browned butter! Browned butter is delicious as we all know, that nutty aroma is just mouth watering – but I’ve never thought to brown the butter before putting it in cookies before, and boy have I been missing out all these years. It gives them such a wonderful, rich taste that cannot be matched.
These Smarties Cookies are so always wonderfully chewy. I love my cookies thick and cakey too, but there’s just something about gooey, chewy cookies that gets my cookie loving heart racing! The secret to making such wonderfully chewy cookies is bread flour, that extra bit of gluten really makes all the difference. I used a mix of bread flour and plain (all purpose) flour, to get a good balance of chewy and soft, and it works amazingly well.
I mentioned cookie science before and it really is what makes a good cookie! Baking, after all, is just chemistry, you mix everything the right way to create something amazing. And to get these wonderfully chewy, mouth wateringly delicious cookies you need to follow the science in this recipe. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna bore you with the science behind the use each ingredient (there’s plenty of articles about cookie science online, just head to google if you want to know more… not until you’ve saved this recipe though!), but all I ask is that you follow the recipe as directed because how things are added are important to get the right texture and taste. Cookies are generally more forgiving than cake when it comes to making mistakes, but the method is just as important!
The other important thing here is to let the cookie dough rest overnight! I normally chill my cookie dough before baking it anyway to stop them spreading too much, but you want these cookies to spread so you’ll bake the dough from room temperature – however you still want to leave the dough in the fridge overnight because the flavours develop so much it’s kind of crazy! I read this little fact about a week before making these cookies and I thought “nah, it can’t make that much of a difference!” but I thought I’d try it out anyway. I baked one cookie as soon as the dough was done and then covered the rest and left it in the fridge. The cookie that I baked right away was delicious, I was in heaven and I didn’t think there was any way they could get better, but I was 100% wrong! I actually ended up leaving my dough in the fridge for 2 days because the weather was so grey I didn’t want to be taking photos in it. The weather was still miserably grey when I baked these but I just couldn’t wait any longer! I don’t know what magic happens to the flavours when they’re left to rest, perhaps they have a party in the fridge and let their wild side out, who knows – all I know is that it makes them so much more delicious, it’s an absolute must (overnight will be fine, there’s no need to rest them for 2 days like I did… but the dough can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days)
The other star of the show here is of course the Smarties! Now I know in the US your version of smarties are like rolls of sweet candy, kind of like our Swizzels Fizzers, but in the UK Smarties are chocolate coated in a hard shell, like big M&Ms. I’m generally not a fan of Nestle chocolate but I love Smarties – my favourite thing about them (and I think this is most people’s favourite thing about them) is the orange coloured ones contain orange flavoured chocolate – when I was a kid I used to eat all the others first and save the orange for last! I think you can get these Smarties in some areas of the US but not all (you might find them in the British section at your grocery store, that is if Hershey’s hasn’t started enforcing their ban of British chocolate anyway!), but whenever I visit Atlanta my suitcase is always half full of tubes of Smarties for the best friend’s mum, they’re her favourite! I will definitely have to make her these cookies when I’m next out there! If you can’t get Smarties where you are, M&Ms would work just as well, your chocolate pieces would just be smaller.
This recipe makes a nice lot of cookies and you’ll be baking them in several batches because you can only do 4-6 on a tray at a time (depending on the size of your tray. You’ll end up with about 24-26 large cookies. I sent a few to my friend Liz as part of her birthday present (she shares the same birthday as me, which is Sunday just btw!) and although they took 5 days to get there (she lives in Seattle) I was assured they were still yummy and chewy, so that’s good to know! I would say they’re at the best for up to 3 days though.
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- 250g unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 180g plain flour (all purpose)
- 100g bread flour
- 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 140g caster sugar (super fine granulated sugar)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 140g brown sugar
- 100g chocolate, chopped
- 150g Smarties
- Melt butter in a small saucepan (preferably light coloured so you can keep an eye on the colour of the butter) over a medium-high heat. Cook the butter, swirling pan constantly to keep the butter moving. Cook until the butter starts to turn golden brown and you get a lovely nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and swirl until butter is a deep brown, about 30 more seconds.
- Transfer browned butter to small bowl and whisk in the 2 tbsp cold water (this adds back the water you lost from cooking it). Place in fridge until cooled and edges are starting to set again and go opaque.
- Whisk flours, bicarb and salt in a large bowl to combine. Set aside.
- Add caster sugar, eggs and vanilla to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whisk on medium speed until pale and thick (mixture should fall like ribbons when whisk pulled out) about 5 minutes.
- Change the mixer attachment to the paddle and add the brown sugar and cooled brown butter to the egg mixture, beat on medium speed for 15-30 seconds.
- Add the flour mixture and stir on low speed until just starting to combine, but not fully combined yet, about 15 seconds.
- Add chopped chocolate and smarties and mix on low until just combined.
- Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm and keep in the fridge overnight (or up to 3 days).
- Before baking, remove dough from fridge to warm up to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 170C/325F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop balls of cookie dough onto sheet, about 2 tbsp per cookie, making sure to leave plenty of space between each cookie - my regular sized baking sheet had room for 6 cookies, that sometimes touched a little. Don't worry too much if you're cookies end up joining together, it'll be trial and error figuring out how many fit on your sheet, these cookies aren't meant to be pretty anyway!
- Bake for 13-16 minutes, until golden brown and edges are set.
- Cool on wire rack
- Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.
- You can chop your chocolate as finely as you like or have big chunks, it's all about preference. Same goes with the type of chocolate you use - I used dark chocolate, but milk would be good too.
- Add the water to the browned butter is an important step, cooking the butter removes the water in it which you need in the cookie to help melt the sugar.
- If you don't have Smarties, use M&Ms
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