Friday, February 26, 2021

Cadbury Egg & Milk Chocolate Levain Style Cookies

Last month one of my friends suggested or rather I should say convinced some of us to take a thirty day, yet thirty day yoga challenge. Not wanting to be an outlier or a party-poop along with the whispering competitive voice nudging me, I decided I would do it. But after sitting in an uncomfortable pose for the first eight and half minutes of the first session, I wondered if I had the endurance and passion for incorporating yoga into my life every day for thirty consecutive days. Well, today is day 26 and I have stayed the course. With only a teeny bit of whining happening along the way. Incorporating a new daily routine, no matter how good it might be for you, is it's own kind of challenge. Setting aside 25-40 minutes a day to completely focus on one thing isn't easy. Especially for someone who thrives on multi-tasking. In spite of knowing the practice of yoga has great benefits on one's physical and mental health, I thought maybe I would reward myself, in some tangible way of course, when the thirty days comes to an end. I put that out there just in case I needed some added motivation or found myself hitting the proverbial yoga wall. However, with only five days left in this challenge, I know one thing is for certain. There is no other option than to finish this yoga journey. And instead of buying myself something I should probably buy or make something for the person who was the constant encouraging presence throughout this journey.

Maybe a batch of these oversized, thick, chewy, chocolatey Cadbury Egg & Milk Chocolate Levain Style Cookies could be my token of appreciation. What do you think? A worthy expression of gratitude?

Well maybe you would have to taste these crunchy on the outside, chewy and chocolately on the inside cookies first before giving this idea a big thumbs up. Or maybe you would say yes to almost any milk chocolate chip cookie made with those delicious, seasonal mini-Cadbury eggs? Either way, I definitely think you need to make these Cadbury Egg & Milk Chocolate Levain Style Cookies as they are unlike any other cookie you have ever tasted. After just one bite and you might start hoarding bags of mini-Cadbury eggs so you can keep making them after the Easter holiday season.

These Levain Style cookies have a few things in common with the Levain Style Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe shared with you last summer. Although these have a bit more vanilla in them, use almost room temperature versus chilled unsalted butter, use both milk chocolate chips and chopped mini-Cadbury Eggs, are topped with even more halved mini-Cadbury Eggs instead of sea salt, and are made slightly smaller (about 4 ounces instead of 6 ounces each). And the recipe yields eleven (instead of eight) swoonworthy, possibly shareable sized cookies!

Using a large (2 1/4" in diameter) cookie scoop helps to create evenly sized cookies. Weighing your cookie dough balls on a scale helps to ensure they are as close in weight as possible. Evenly sized cookies results in evenly baked cookies. 

After placing one whole mini-egg in the center, I cut some mini-Cadbury eggs in half and pressed them into the top of each ball of dough. Then I wrapped the tray in plastic wrap and let the dough chill for somewhere between two and three hours.

The cookies bake for 20-22 minutes in a preheated 375 degree (F) oven, rotating the baking sheet midway through the baking process.

The cookies are ready to come out of the oven when they are golden brown around the edges and have a few golden spots on top. Somewhere between the 20-22 minute mark, they may still look a little underdone but after being removed from the oven and resting on the baking sheet for 8-10 minutes they will have a perfect crisp exterior and slightly moist, chewy interior.

Here's the spoiler alert on these Cadbury Egg & Milk Chocolate Levain Style Cookies. In spite of what I said earlier along with their size, chances are you won't want to share your cookie with anyone. There is so much going on with these cookies in terms of both flavors and textures, you are destined to be smitten with them.

If you have a favor to return to someone in your life, if you are looking to brighten the day of a friend or even a stranger, if you are looking to return a kindness, or if you have a friend who looks out for your best interests, make and deliver them a batch of these Cadbury Egg & Milk Chocolate Levain Style Cookies. Just make sure to keep one just for yourself. Especially if you are looking to reward yourself for something, for anything. Like maybe for hanging in and finishing strong on a challenge suggested by one of your well-intentioned friends.

Cadbury Egg & Milk Chocolate Levain Style Cookies
Makes 11 large cookies

2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (113g) cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup (8 oz/226g) unsalted butter, semi-room temperature, cubed (recommend a European style butter)
2/3 cup (134g) light/dark brown sugar combination (see notes)
2/3 cup (134g) granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup (156g) milk chocolate chips (see notes)
1 1/4 cups (220g) Cadbury mini-eggs, chopped
Generous 1/3 cup (80g) Cadbury mini-eggs, cut in half
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1. Combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt in a medium sized bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
2. Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cold butter on low speed until the butter cubes lose their shape (about 30-45 seconds).
3. Beat in the granulated sugar (about 30 seconds)
4. Beat in the brown sugar and vanilla (about 30 seconds). Mixture will be thick and creamy.
5. Mix in the milk chocolate chips and chopped Cadbury Eggs to distribute evenly in the batter (about 30 seconds).
6. On low speed mix in the dry ingredients in three additions. Do not over beat, but there should be no streaks of flour showing.
7. Add in the lightly beaten eggs in two additions. Beat until mixture forms a cohesive dough.
8. Use a large (2 1/4") cookie scoop to divide the dough into 11 balls. Balls of dough will weigh slightly more than 4 ounces each (or 120g). 
9. Press 7-8 Cadbury egg halves semi-evenly and firmly into each ball of dough.
10. Place the balls of dough on a baking sheet, tightly cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
11. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Line two baking pans with parchment paper. 
12. Place 4 balls of the cookie on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Note: You will be baking one cookie sheet at a time.
13. Bake cookies for 20-22 minutes or until the edges and spots on top are lightly golden. Rotate cookie sheet midway through the baking process. Do not over bake the cookies. Let cookies rest on the cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes. 
14. Remove cookies from baking sheet and place on a cooling rack. Let cool slightly or let come to room temperature before serving. 
15. Store any left over cookies in a tightly sealed container or wrap in a cellophane bag.

Notes: (1) I used a combination of light and dark brown sugars, about a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio. But could also use equal portions of light and dark brown sugar. (2) I used these Guittard Milk Chocolate Maxi Chips as they aren't just delicious, they are oversized. Instead of milk chocolate chips, use chopped milk chocolate. (3) The easiest way to crush the Cadbury Eggs is to put them in a ziplock bag and use a mallet or can to crush them. A sharp knife can be used to cut them in half. (4) I used a little more than one bag of the mini-Cadbury Eggs to make these cookies.