Love Baking: Two types of cookies for Valentines Day

This Valentines Day is the first one that Sye and I will have in the same country, so I wanted to make it a bit special. I’ve been telling him for ages that “I’m really good at baking, I just don’t do it very often”, so decided that whipping up a batch of my favourite cookies would be the perfect gift!

I’ve been using this particular recipe for cookies for at least 5 years now, and it goes down an absolute treat every time. It’s not at all healthy (really, not at all), but they taste so good that it doesn’t even matter. It’s called the best big fat chewy choc chip cookies recipe, so there’s no way you can go wrong!


  • 250g (2 cups) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 170g unsalted butter, melted
  • 200g (1 cup) dark brown soft sugar
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 325g chocolate chips (or any other mix-in you want)
Living in a share-house = no proper mixing bowl


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease baking trays or line with baking paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, bicarb and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and caster sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough onto the prepared baking trays, with each cookie around 1 loaded teaspoon of dough. Do not flatten the dough. Leave lots of space around each cookie
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking paper for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Small balls ready to go in the oven. Could probably still be smaller, and even more spread out.


The original recipe is slightly different to this, however having made it so many times over the years I’ve changed it a little. For instance, the recipe originally calls for 4 tablespoons of dough per cookie, but I find this just makes ginormous cookies which noone can finish eating!

It also states that this makes ~18 serves, but with the smaller portions it comes out closer to the 40-50 cookie mark. Plenty for the whole office!

The first tray of cookies, of at least 10!

For my Valentines Day ❤️ version of the cookies, I wanted to use half the dough to create a red heart-shaped inner section, surrounded by the choc-chip outer dough. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any red food dye at either of the Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s near me, and so decided to be brave and make my own food dye by boiling a red fruit or vegetable and using the resulting liquid to colour the dough. I was a bit worried about using beetroot as a colourant, because I didn’t want to make the cookies taste like beetroot, so decided to go with strawberries instead.

Boiled strawberry leftovers and the extracted liquid

This didn’t work too well though, because the dough only went slightly pink, and became far too liquid-y to shape into love hearts. I eventually just put all the strawberry bits in and added a whole bunch of flour to try and make it stick a bit better.

And then added a lot of sprinkles because why not!

My last-ditch effort to make these cookies look slightly more Valentines-y was to cut some of the remaining strawberries into love-hearts and squish these on to the tops of the cookies. I’m super happy with the result – and from the several few I tried, they taste really good too!

Most importantly, it’s a gift from the heart, and I know Sye will love that above all.