Chunky Triple Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

This is my ultimate bake. Simple, satisfying and has at times functioned in place of an emotional support animal. Get right down to the recipe below + a mobile friendly version, and keep scrolling for tips and more.

All you really need to know is that my love for the humble chocolate chip cookie is a borderline obsession. If that’s enough to convince you to make this recipe – here you go:

…..Or save this quick reference image on your phone.

This recipe began its life fifteen years ago (!) as the Best, Big, Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on I’ve spent the last decade and a half tweaking it to taste. A note on some of the ingredients:

CHEWINESS There are several components to this recipe to maximise on chewiness. Using two kinds of sugar, an additional egg yolk and softer butter all help with this. Using white sugar as well as brown sugar keeps it crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Win/Win.

BUTTER You may notice that I’ve specified a weird half-melted state for the butter. This is because I live in the tropics and melting the butter completely leads to a greasier cookie and doesn’t hold shape as well as I’d like, even after refrigeration. I have a 700watt microwave, so a quick 15-20 second blast helps achieve the below. It’s definitely liquid in places, but has a thicker consistency than completely melted butter.

SUGARS Any packed (fine-grain) brown sugar works. I’ve used Light Brown, Dark Brown or Muscovado with success. The darker the sugar the deeper the flavour, so if you don’t want a deep molasses after-tase, opt for a lighter brown sugar.

CHOCOLATE I’m not a fan of ready-made chocolate chips as they vary greatly in flavour and quality. Chocolate is the star of this cookie so you want to use something that will help it shine. My go-to is Lindt 100g bars of milk, dark and white.

REFRIGERATION Do not skip this step! Once you’ve beaten the everlasting life out of your softened butter, you’ve got to help it solidify in order to hold all the ingredients together when it goes into a hot oven. Don’t risk a goopy sad cookie after all that effort. Refrigerating cookie dough helps control spread. Keeping it in the fridge for at least an hour ensures that you won’t end up with a thin, inconsistent batch. This is especially true for this recipe as it calls for the butter to have such a soft consistency. I also keep my ‘dough snake’ it in the fridge between batches for consistency.

I’ve even made the batter a day or two in advance and baked cookies fresh as needed! (But I stopped doing this because we quickly found out that ‘as needed’ was all the time in this household…)

VANILLA is also sort of optional. I cannot believe I’m saying this, because I put vanilla essence in every bake, whether or not it’s called for, but a recent shortage at the shops has led to this discovery. I still recommend it because of the nostalgic pull of the scent and flavour but yes – not actually essential for this recipe if you’ve run out!

WALNUTS are optional, but texturally required in my opinion to add some crunch to an otherwise heavenly-soft cookie. You could also try any other kind of nut, or oats.

BAKE TIME varies based on your oven, cookie size and chewiness preference. A longer bake yields a crispier cookie. Play around and see what works for you. For my oven, 9-10 minutes is the sweet spot. For years, I used a smaller table-top oven, with an optimal bake time of 7 minutes. I know the cookies are done when they look like they are about to get crisp edges. They don’t look wet, but are still a little puffy.

When they first come out of the oven they will be pale and fragile so it’s important to leave it untouched on the tray to harden before transferring to a wire rack.

This cookie is a family staple and has doled out the yum for friends, family and neighbours over the years. If you make it, I’d love to know how it turned out for you.

Banana Blueberry Bread 

A not-too-sweet recipe which makes the fruit the star of this fluffy and moreish tea-time loaf.


  • 185g plain flour
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 50g packed brown sugar
  • 50g coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • A couple of handfuls of fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius
  2. Grease and flour a loaf tin.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Stir in the melted butter and sugars until combined.
  5. Add the milk, egg, vanilla and fruit and mix until just combined.
  6. Finish with a quick stir-in of the maple syrup
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.*

*Cooking time varies. I have a small oven which generally means quicker bake time. My loaf cooks in about 35-40 minutes with some tin foil introduced half way to ensure the top doesn’t burn. I would estimate a cook time closer to an hour for conventional sized ovens.

Social Media : A Piece of Cake

Project: Do Stuff is ticking along nicely and I have reveled in the energy that comes from doing things that fall outside of the day-to-day. It’s also been nice to see how these external projects have actually enhanced my day-to day (Google might be onto something with their 20% rule). So how did two of my favourite things – Social Media, and Cake find themselves as bedfellows? Read on..

So there I was, a month to go before  Adara’s 3rd birthday party, furiously researching cakes and decorating tips that would meet her highness’s discerning standards (in other words purple and pretty) when I came across a whole new world of cake-design on social media. Apart from the fantastic YouTube tutorials and a bazillion links on Pinterest, a productive chunk of Zuckerberg’s 1 billion are obsessively passionate about all things pretty and cake. I was struck with how active these cake pages were, daily posts – daily responses, helpful, passionate and fun.

Their efforts are solid – a mixed bag showcasing stunning creations, sharing tips, tricks, tutorials, theming days,  encouraging opinion, dialogue and conversation. Royal Bakery, Planet Cake, Victorious Cupcakes and Peggy Does Cake have become fast favourites. In terms of numbers, they’re  all in the double-digit thousands which I find impressive given these are home-grown pages, and almost certainly an organically-grown audience. From a social media practitioners POV, it was nice to get up close and personal with an interest group –  observe and be a part of a new kind of conversation.

I was at a SM conference a couple of years ago and it was stressed even then, that the best social media case studies don’t always stem from the wizardry of a 4A’s digital agency. Sometimes you only have to look as far as your local corner shop, at the individuals and businesses with a real understanding of their customers and what it takes to foster brand advocacy. One post in particular, from Royal Bakery stood out for me and I wanted to share from it some terrific home truths and (perhaps inadvertently) some tips to engage users on Social Media. I also love that Royal Bakery has a Monday Moan:

1. “Grow pages by giving visitors a reason to be there, a reason to come back and tell their friends”                                                                                                                   Once a user lands on your page, they should be able to understand at first glance – who you are, what you are doing on Facebook and how you engage with your fans.

2. “..By when she found me, I’d already started writing tutorials and making YouTube videos”                                                                             In other words… content, content, content! Always have a content strategy in place. Whether you’re a media giant or a car repair shop – there’s always something to say, or a story to what you do. Sample your content, ideas, and champion your cause! Try a few things out – unless your post is offensive or spam-my your page will hardly suffer any unlikes for it. Would a behind the scenes look  resonate with your audience? Why not? We know that hard-sell doesn’t work on Social Media, and we know the cost of acquisition (getting a user to like a page) is higher than the cost of retention (keeping them there) so you’re already best placed to find out what works and what doesn’t – they’re already THERE.

3.”The way to grow a page, like any business, is by hard work, finding a niche and trying to be original.” This is a great one –  there are absolutely no shortcuts, the quicker you accept that, the quicker you can get going!

4. “Give a little bit extra” If you can, if it doesn’t take a lot of effort, and is related to your product or content, why not?

5.” Lots of likes does not equal lots of customers” And the number of people ‘talking about this’ also isn’t an accurate message of how engaged your users are either.

6. “I have my Free-for-all Friday so everyone can show off their work once a week”    Welcome user generated content, feature it, celebrate it –  this is content for you, and a way to foster loyalty with your audience.  Everyone wins.

7. “If I like a page and want to see its posts on my newsfeed — then I’ll like the page” …and there we have it, a truth that hasn’t changed from day one. We’re at the tail end of 2012, and I’ve seen some conversations floating around on LinkedIn on the value of a ‘like’ in 2012. What’s a like worth? What it’s always been worth. There is a small window from the minute a like button is clicked and the first few of your posts appearing on a user’s newsfeed. Whether you stay visible on that newsfeed relies on you. I’m afraid you can’t really have any ‘off’ days.  Does your brand consistently offer value to your audience and initiate meaningful conversation?

So thank you, Royal Bakery for this delicious post and of course, for the fabulous and inspiring cake updates. Birthday party season (Oct – Dec)  is also my annual excuse to load up on baking love like piping nozzles (‘HONEY, There is ONLY one grass tip. How pedestrian do you want this cake to look?’)  Arcane gel colours I won’t ever use, specialty cake pans and more fiddly bits and pieces.  And if you’re wondering.. here’s the cake I made on Sunday for Adara’s 3rd Birthday Princesses and Knights party. It passed the 3 year old approval process with flying colours (she wanted to dip a finger into it as soon as she saw it) although she was a bit fixated on cutting the doll’s hair off. Last year of goes..