Have you ever had one of those days where nothing is going right? That was me last Monday. I have been fairly upbeat and chipper throughout this COVID-19 pandemic (I am, after all, the author of this column!) but some days are just tough. I was missing my friends and extended family, coming to terms with the fact that I don't know when I'll get to take my kids to Canada for a visit and dealing with those everyday obstacles life throws your way. It was all a bit too much, to be honest.

Being honest - with yourself and others - is a good thing. It's fine to put on a brave face and appear happy, but sometimes you feel better by telling someone you trust just how awful you're feeling. It really does help.

Cookies help, too - particularly if they're the chocolate kind. These cookies cheer me up with I'm feeling glum. My chocoholic kids adore them and I love the fact that they look so impressive but are actually so quick and easy to make.

If you're having a bad day (or week, or month), you should try out this recipe. A cookie, combined with a cup of tea and a chat with a friend, is almost 100% guaranteed to make you feel better.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies


  • 125g plain flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 125g softened butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For rolling:

  • 125g caster sugar
  • 100g icing sugar
  • Directions:

    1. Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.

    2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer (paddle attachment), beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about five minutes.

    3. Add the egg and vanilla; continue to beat the mixture until pale, fluffy and everything is well incorporated.

    4. Lower the speed of the mixer and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is well-combined.

    5. Chill the dough for two to four hours.

    6. Add the caster sugar to one bowl and the icing sugar to another. Take the chilled cookie dough and tear off pieces; rolling them into similarly sized balls.

    7. Preheat the oven to 180°C; line a baking tray with parchment.

    8. Roll the cookie dough balls in the caster sugar first, and then the icing sugar. This is to ensure the icing sugar doesn't melt in the oven, while baking.

    9. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes. Keep in an airtight container for up to a week. Enjoy!