Minstrel cookies

My love of a bargain beat sense and reason once again the other week, when I saw share-size bags of minstrels reduced to just 25p each – what a bargain! Naturally I grabbed a handful.

I could quite happily have just munched my way through them all, but I thought it would be more sensible to use some of them for baking, and having seen lots of cookie recipes that use M&Ms, I thought Minstrels would probably bake into a biscuit equally well.

I decided to tie this in to April’s We Should Cocoa Challenge, set by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog, which was to combine chocolate and cheese, and used the base recipe for these chocolate chip cookies, which uses cream cheese instead of an egg in the cookie dough.

They turned out really well – more like a normal cookie than the apricot and white chocolate cream cheese cookies I made last year – and stayed really soft and chewy for as long as I could keep the pony’s hands off them.

I would definitely use this recipe again if I have any spare cream cheese waiting to be used!

Minstrel Cookies (recipe adapted from the Busty Baker)

Makes 14

  • 85g cream cheese
  • 85g butter, melted and cooled
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 105g light brown sugar
  • 135g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 150g Minstrels (approximately 1.5 large bags, or 3 regular sized bags)

Beat the cream cheese to soften, then gradually add in the melted butter and vanilla, beating until combined, followed by the sugar (sifted is best to get out any lumps). Sift together the flour, bicarb and salt and fold into the cookie mixture. Divide into 14 roughly equal pieces, then press 4 Minstrels into each. You don’t have to be that precise, you could just mix them into the mixture beforehand but I like all my cookies to have equal amounts of chocolate!

Chill in the fridge for half an hour, then roll each cookie into a ball. Place the balls onto a baking sheet, well spaced out – I did mine in 2 batches. Flatten down a little, then bake at 160 degrees for 15 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden. Leave on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.