Cooking with herbs, baking, to be specific is a bit of an adventure. At least, it is in my mind. I hold a bunch of fresh, aromatic herbs in my hand and take a really good whiff. Then I try to imagine what they’d be like chopped up or mushed into a sweet treat, like a muffin or a cookie or some other such bake. This thyme it was a cookie. See what I did there?
The idea of these cookies was a sort of slow growth of awareness in my brain. It started with out thyme plant, which sits my our front door. Occasionally, especially when it was a bit warmer, a good breeze would whaft that amazing smell up into my nose just was I was coming or going. It’s a fragrance that will forever remind me of San Francisco, after our trip there a few years ago. Did you know a lot of their sidewalks and floral areas are lined with whole rows of thyme bushes! It’s amazing! Especially since it’s also pretty windy so you constantly get the aroma of Thyme to your nose.
Dark Chocolate Daydreams
But I digress. Once such time the breeze bought thyme to my senses, I was thinking about some dark chocolate my other half had brought back from work and about potentially requesting a little square.
And, somehow, I ended up with dark chocolate & thyme cookies a few hours later (and no stolen chocolate). It’s a bit of a mystery to be honest. I think I must have gone from “I’d like some dark chocolate” to “Oh that’s a nice smell” to “What if thyme smelt like dark chocolate” – or something equally odd. I started with my trusty vanilla chocolate chip cookies recipe, and simply added in some thyme and additional caramel flavouring.
But, strange flavour combinations and all, these cookies are fantastic. They’re not overly sweet, and the thyme adds a subtle added layer of flavour. You can have them cooling and temptingly ready to eat within just 30 minutes and there’s no particularly fancy ingredients needed!
Add an optional twist to your cookies
If you don’t have the caramel flavouring, just leave it out.
If you like salted caramel, be generous with the flavouring and then why not sprinkle a little sea salt on top of the cookies before popping them in the oven? I found in my recipe testing that it was a bit of an acquired taste, so I don’t list it in the recipe.
A tentative step into YouTube
I had a couple of recipe videos up on there already, but I’ve finally uploaded my face to YouTube! I just did a short introduction: it’s dorky, but check it out here: https://youtu.be/C1-bHvCEw0Y
Salted Dark Chocolate Chip & Thyme Cookies (gluten free)
- 125 g vegetable margarine
- 125 g brown sugar
- 210 g gluten free self-raising flour sifted
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 1 ½ tbsp dairy free milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp caramel flavouring
- 1 ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme + extra for sprinkling
- Pinch of salt + extra for sprinkling
- 150 g dairy-free chocolate chips or use a large bar cut into smaller chunks
- Cream together the margarine and sugar until it's light and fluffy. For ease, I sometimes do this in a stand mixer, but you can use a regular bowl and spoon or a hand whisk.
- Add the milk, vanilla extract and caramel flavouring. Add the sifted flour, baking powder, fresh thyme and salt. Mix until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (fan) and line two baking sheets. Put the mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Get about a tablespoon of batter at a time, form it into a ball and squish it slightly. Place onto the baking sheet. These will spread a little in the oven so give them a bit of space, don't crowd them.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then check on them. If they're all getting a good golden brown colouring around the edge, remove them from the oven. If not, leave them in and check every three minutes until they are.
- Leave to cook for five minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.