If the weather today is anything to go by, the summer is over. With the odd rain shower last week serving as an indicator that the seasons were about to change, we took the sunny forecast for Saturday as a sign that we should cross something off my 13 for 2013 list (which I’m not doing all that well with!).
We chose activity number 2, to dust off our bikes (literally) and cycle along the North Thanet Coastal Trail. It didn’t get off to a great start, having never really cycled on roads before, my nerves (and ideas of road safety) got the better of me. Walking our bikes to the train station meant that we missed our train by a minute. With an hour to wait for the next train, we went for a drink at the Goods Shed which is handily located next to the station.
Once we got back to Margate we were greeted by bright blue skies filled with fluffy white clouds, and a strong sea wind, which my Zumba-tired legs struggled cycling against (honestly who goes for an exercise class before going out cycling??). After I got over the disappointment that I’m not a fitness superstar, and had warmed my muscles up a bit, it was so much fun.
We even braved a couple of quiet roads so I could practise cycling with traffic. My bike’s frame is quite heavy so whilst I’m fine once I get cycling, I’m a bit wobbly when I start moving and or try to let go of the handlebar. It’s going to take a few more practise rides before I can use my bike as a mode of transport instead of a leisure activity, but I’m getting there!
Before we left Thanet, we met up with my parents for a quick drink at a little beach cafe right next to the beach. With the influx of coffee shops over the last decade it’s a nice change of pace when you get to visit a vintage seaside cafe. It made me nostalgic for the summer I spent working in one, spending my days pulling Mr Whippy ice creams, restocking buckets and spades and repeatedly sweeping sand off the lino floors.
There are certain things I have always enjoyed, and know I always will, and among those are kitsch 50s beach cafes and chocolate chip cookies. When anyone says ‘this recipe is the only one I’m going to need to make *insert food here* for the rest of my life’ I am instantly intrigued. Even more so when the *insert food here* is chocolate chip cookies. These cookies are pretty damned amazing, so amazing in fact that it’s going to be down to a bake off test to see how they stack up next to the Cupcakes and Cashmere cookies I made last year.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
from For Me For You
makes 24 5” cookies
240g plain flour
240g strong flour
1 ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
285g unsalted butter softened
285g light brown sugar
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
560g good quality dark chocolate
Mix together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix the butter and the sugars until they are light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each.
Stir in the vanilla, then add the dry ingredients and mix well.
Add the chocolate at the very end, cover the mixture in clingfilm, and refrigerate for 24-36 hours.
To bake, divide into cookies of a size of your choosing, sprinkle with salt, and place in an oven preheated to 180 C for 15-20 minutes.
Allow to cool on a wire rack (if you can avoid the temptation).