Alex Hoffler and Stacey O’Gorman, aka The Meringue Girls, have paired up with Currys PC World this Christmas to create four fun recipes. We attended a masterclass and were tasked with baking one of these new recipes: the Cookie Muff – and you can try it at home with their recipe below. But first, find out a little more…

Simple to make, the Cookie Muff is a hybrid chocolate chip cookie-style muffin with a melted chocolate core that has a nutty edge, thanks to a dollop of nut butter. We used almond butter, but you can use any nut butter you’re keen to whip up – including peanut butter; it’s simple to make your own, as the Meringue Girls assured us.

Cookie dough

We made a classic chocolate chip cookie dough which was then pressed into the baking tray, creating a small well into which we poured the melted chocolate and nut butter, before topping with a thin cookie dough lid. After a quick demonstration by the girls, we were left to our own devices with surprisingly impressive results (mothers everywhere would have been proud).

Within 15 minutes our laden baking trays were going into the oven and once baked, we tried ours with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, hot from the oven (when they’re best!). The cookie muffs were chocolatey and super indulgent. I’ll certainly be baking another batch soon.

In the meantime, you can give it a try…

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Cookie Muff Recipe

Ingredients | Serves 12

110g unsalted butter, cut into little cubes and softened to room temp (plus a little extra to grease the tin)
110g unrefined light brown sugar
110g unrefined caster sugar
1 medium free range organic egg
1 fresh vanilla bean pod with the seeds scraped out
220g organic plain flour
½ tsp Maldon sea salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g dark chocolate chips (at least 70%)
200g good quality dark chocolate bar (at least 70%), chopped into little pieces
1 tbsp of Pip & Nut Coconut and Almond Butter

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3
2. Using kitchen roll, lightly grease your muffin tin with butter
3. Place the butter and sugar in the standalone mixer and beat until light and fluffy
4. Add the egg and vanilla seeds and continue to beat until creamy
5. Sift together the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda, then add to the butter and sugar and fold by hand until just combined
6. Add the chocolate chips and give the mixture a good stir to distribute them
7. Now melt the chopped chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl over a pan of boiling water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Keep stirring, and the steam will melt the chocolate
8. Make balls of dough using your hands, and press them down into the muffin holes with your fingers so the mixture comes up the sides, and makes a well to hold the melted chocolate and nut butter

Tip: Make sure you leave some dough for the cookiemuff tops

9. Using the jug, pour the melted chocolate into each hole, and top with 1 tbsp of almond nut butter
10. Chill in the freezer for 5-10 mins
11. Next, make flat pieces of the reserved cookie dough and place them on top of each one, to create a seal – crimp down the edges with your fingers
12. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until the edges are hardened and a little brown and crackled. Take them out when they are still squidgy, as they will harden more while they cool
13. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then use a knife to loosen the edges of each toadstool

How to serve: Place on a plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

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So why are they called the Meringue Girls?

We got the chance to chat with the Meringue Girls and try their signature meringue kisses. The meringues are bright, colourful and exquisite – and they taste as good as they look. There were 11 flavours to choose from (so of course we sampled each one) ranging from hazelnut to pistachio and rosewater (a personal favourite), passion fruit, coconut, and even a gin and tonic flavoured meringue.

The girls like to inject an element of fun into their baking as well as great flavours, and their ‘unicorn poo’ meringue kiss is a rainbow of colour, as if by magic…

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It was great to see the Meringue Girls in their element, giving us a few baking tips and showing that baking doesn’t have to be a finickety or a panic-inducing activity (as The Great British Bake Off may sometimes have us believe). The demonstration was fun, relaxed, and showed the girls’ attitude towards baking. In their own words, it’s about being inspired and creative and not necessarily going by the book.

While meringues remain the essence of who and what the Meringue Girls are, they are always looking to branch out and try new and exciting things, the Cookie Muffs being just one example.

Read our interview with the Meringue Girls here

Creative baking duo, The Meringue Girls, have partnered with Currys PC World to challenge the nation to try something new in the kitchen with a range of impressive dessert recipes. Visit www.currys.co.uk/baking for all your baking needs

Photography: Alex Wallace
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