Over the last 6 months much of my cooking has been about making a lactose-free diet appetising for my cheese- and dairy-loving husband, Bear. This has been made easier by a wonderful variety of goat and sheep cheeses, creams and milk, but it is also wonderful to find products that don’t include the normal unnecessary inclusion of whey/milk protein/milk powder, etc. However, even with progress in the world of the lactose-free, there is still the need to work through recipes and create yummy tasty things that make bought chocolate bars, cakes and biscuits less tempting (or at least less distracting). One of these recipes is of the cookie related quality: Cronin’s Crownies. This is a three-part recipe (which means you could actually separate them instead for normal cookies and brownies if you so wanted) and this is how I made them:
Part 1. Lactose-Free Chocolate-Chunk Cookies
250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
170g goats butter, melted
200g light brown soft sugar
100g caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 bar of dairy-free chocolate*, broken roughly
Silicone Muffin Moulds – these are brilliant for removing the final product from without destroying them. If you can’t find these or they aren’t in your budget, I would use muffin cases and eat from them so as not to make too much mess (or just make a mess and enjoy every minute of it!).
- Preheat oven to 170 C.
- Cream the brown sugar, caster sugar, and melted butter until well blended.
- Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda onto the mixture.
- Add vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk.
- Mix well until smooth, then add the broken chunks of chocolate.
- Fold through until distributed somewhat evenly.
- Using a table spoon put a small amount in each muffin mould, being careful not to fill more than halfway.
- Bake for around 15 minutes or until they are slightly coloured on top but still obviously slightly gooey in the centres.
Part 2. Lactose-free Brownies
The cheating way to make these is to buy a box-mix which is lactose-free (which I did because I have a baby and a poorly husband who I was trying to cheer up with a tasty treat). However, if you want a recipe for tasty brownies, here it is (although in cup/mug quantities because it’s how I learnt – I’m sure you can google an alternative if your OCD is screaming at me):
1 cup of flour
1 cup of sugar
1/2 stick of goats butter
1 bar of dairy-free chocolate*
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of salt
- Melt the chocolate and butter together and mix until well blended, then put in a mixing bowl.
- Add flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and salt and fold until smooth.
Part 3: Combining for Crownies
- Once your muffin-moulded cookies have cooled a little, push a slight dip in the middle of each with the back of a spoon.
- Then fill the remaining space in the muffin mould with brownie mix, being careful not to overfill them.
- Put them back into the preheated (170 C) oven for about 10 minutes or until the tops look shiny and a little cracked. If they are still a little too gooey leave them in the oven but turn off the heat.
- When cool, remove from moulds carefully. You should see a clear line of cookie base and brownie top, and each will look a little half-baked. This is the way I like them but if you’d rather a firmer chewy treat just leave them in for a few minutes longer. Brownie will cook faster than you expect so do keep an eye on them.
- Munch, make mess and enjoy!
* There are a number of varieties out there but personally this has worked for me with most of the dark varieties because the sugar in the cookies works well against the bitterness of the melted chocolate running through. This is probably more about personal taste and is worth trying out different brands. What is great is that actually a number of lactose-free bars I have seen are also gluten-free as well so I’m sure you can adapt the recipe to make them even more allergy-friendly!