Given I have embarked on a journey to make fun cookie flavours, and having already written a recipe for a Bounty inspired cookie, I thought I would give other chocolate bars a go and so landed on the Crunchie. Honeycomb is actually a difficult thing to bake given you're heating up sugar, so it essentially melts again. I've discovered that it's futile to keep trying to bake honeycomb and so came up with a simple yet very effective solution. Instead of adding the honeycomb before the baking you add it after. The result is an embedded piece of honeycomb like amber which is crunchy and perfectly captures the spirit of the Crunchie bar.
Hands-on Time 20 minutes plus chilling (overnight)
Baking Time 15 minutes
250g Unsalted butter (softened)
200g Light brown sugar
405g Caster sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 Eggs, large
300g Plain flour
3 1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp Fine salt
1 tbsp Instant coffee powder (fine)
7 tbsp Golden syrup
Freestanding mixer with paddle
5cm Round cookie cutter
Baking sheet (ideally aluminium)
Add the butter, light brown sugar, and 175 grams of caster sugar to the bowl of the mixer and beat on a medium-high speed for 5 minutes until you have a very light and fluffy mixture.
Add the vanilla and eggs and beat for a couple of seconds until combined.
Add the flour, cocoa, 1 teaspoon of bicarb, salt, and instant coffee and again beat for a couple of seconds until combined. Scrape the sides down using a spatula to make sure everything is incorporated.
Take a sheet of baking parchment and place the dough onto. Shape the dough into a wide, long sausage and roll up before popping it into fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Take the dough out of the fridge, slice into 16 equal rounds. Roll each round into a ball and place onto the lined baking sheet.
Pop the sheet back into the fridge, ideally overnight, so the dough balls can firm up.
When you’re ready to bake the cookies add the remaining 230 grams of caster sugar to the saucepan along with the golden syrup. Place over a medium-low heat. You may need to give the mixture a little stir to encourage the sugar to dissolve.
Whilst it melts place two sheets of baking parchment nearby.
As the mixture gets hotter and the sugar has melted it should start to bubble. You should notice the bubbles will get bigger. When they start to subside the syrup is ready. At this point it should be fragrant but not burnt.
Take the pan off the heat and add 2 1/4 teaspoons of bicarb whilst stirring. Vigorously stir until the bicarb has incorporated and the mixture is nice and foamy. Keep stirring, you want to knock a little air out.
Now you need to act fast(ish). Tip the honeycomb mixture out onto one of the sheets of parchment. Cover with the other piece and use your baking sheet to press down slightly to cause it to spread out. You want it no more than 2 cm thick.
Quickly using the cookie cutter press it into the honeycomb to make 16 mounds. You’re not looking to cut through the paper, just make something resembling large bubblewrap.
Leave to set. This should take no more than an hour.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C (Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3.
Remove the parchment from the top of the honeycomb. You might find it gets caught in some creases and crevices. When you break the pockets up into discs you should find it comes out, otherwise you might need to encourage it with the blade of knife.
Slide the baking sheet out of the fridge and leave the dough balls on the shelf.
Once the oven has warmed up line the baking sheet with another piece of parchment.
Place approx 6/8 balls spaced about 10cm apart from each other onto the baking parchment.
Pop the tray into the oven on a middle shelf and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and immediately take a piece of honeycomb and press it down onto the middles of the cookies. Press gently but not too slowly.
Repeat with the other cookies.
Slide the parchment carefully, with the cookies, onto the worktop.
Re-line with more paper and bake your next batch.
After the cookies have rested for a couple of minutes they should be firm enough for you to transfer onto a wire rack to fully cool. Don’t forget they will get firmer as they cool, as tempting as it is to immediately eat them straight from the oven. Like some things in life, patience pays off.