For years and years, the only lip balm that I would use was that little tub of carmex. You surely know the one, that round pot with a bright yellow lid. I was convinced that it was the only lip balm that worked and I craved that tingle when you first applied it.
I was never really sold on the taste (and, let’s be honest, you do end up tasting a fair amount) of carmex but my refusal to consider alternatives meant that I was missing out on a world of different flavours.
I was the same when it came to moisturisers. I’ve used the same one for about 15 years and eschewed all other options.
Now, however, I am completed obsessed with the spiced vanilla range of products from The Body Shop. I picked up a tub of the body butter on a whim (and because it was less than half price) and now my bathroom shelves are groaning under the weight of my collection. In my defence, it is a seasonal product so I had to stock up…
It’s the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Neither the vanilla nor the spice is overwhelming. It’s subtle but with a heady fragrance and it’s utterly luxurious. One of my first thoughts when I smelt it was, obviously, whether I could recreate it in cookie form. Everyone thinks that way don’t they?
The key ingredients were pretty easy to determine – my cookie needed to involve vanilla and spice. A look at the ingredients of the body butter didn’t help hugely but I could determine some notes of nutmeg and a touch of cinnamon. I wanted it to be more than that though, I wanted it to be the cookie equivalent of a warm fluffy towel when you get out of the bath.
So, I turned to brown butter. The deep nutty flavour of brown butter seems to be the closes that you can get to a hug in the culinary world. Combined with the toffee-notes of the brown sugar, you get a wonderful rich cookie. Memories stirred of a recipe that Jessica of The Novice Chef had posted. A quick twitter chat confirmed that the cookies were the texture I wanted, soft and crumbly rather than crisp or chewy, and I was off. I have converted the recipe into weights but for the original recipe in cups and to see Jessica’s beautiful pictures, please visit her site.
Whilst I knew the cookies would be good because Jessica is a genius in the kitchen, I was pleasently surprised at how close they were to what I was hoping for. Through the scientific method of taking a bite of cookie and then sniffing myself, I determined that they didn’t taste/smell exactly the same (which is, frankly, not bad thing) but they are a delicious approximation. Even if you don’t have this weird addiction to The Body Shop that I do, they are still a cookie to be reckoned with.