"What do you mean, 'leftover Easter chocolate?'" I can hear people saying as they read this.

Look, some of you might only get the one egg at Easter, but my kids? Every single family member who comes calling brings them an egg.

Their childminder gives them an egg. Their playschool gives them an egg. My six year old went to a birthday party recently and came home with an egg. I'm up to my eyeballs in Easter eggs!

Now, I'm not terribly strict when it comes to my kids and sweets.

I'm a firm believer in not using food as a reward or punishment and, especially around Easter, what kind of mother would I be if I took their chocolate from them?

But it's now two weeks since Mr Easter Bunny came to call and I am fed up with all the chocolate still in my house.

The best way to use leftover chocolate without it going to waste, I find, is to bake with it and then freeze the baked goods.

This way, when the craving strikes, you can take it out to defrost, but you don't have to have it all at once.

I love making and freezing cookies, because they defrost really quickly, which is handy if someone pops in for a cup of tea.

And these cookies? You will want to make batch after batch; they are just that good.

Made with browned butter, which is essentially melted butter left to bubble away until the milk solids caramelise, they have a slightly nutty flavour and a fudge-like texture.

Combined with creamy milk or dark chocolate, they are cookie perfection.

If you're feeling fancy, sprinkle some flaky sea salt and use a rich dark chocolate. But if you're swimming in leftover Easter eggs, use up that chocolate and throw these cookies in the freezer!

Brown butter chocolate chunk cookies

The browned butter adds a subtle nutty flavour to the cookies. / Janine Kennedy

Makes approx. 24 large cookies


375g plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

250g butter, cut into cubes

330g dark brown sugar

70g caster sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp milk or yogurt

300g chopped chocolate (any kind)


1 Brown the butter: in a non-stick saucepan (or a heavy-bottomed saucepan), melt the butter and continue to let the butter cook and bubble for about five minutes on medium-low heat (stir occasionally). When the butter is nearly ready, it will foam up significantly. Remove from the heat and pour the browned butter (scrape all the bits from the bottom) into a dish and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

2 Make the cookie dough: lightly mix the flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside. In a large bowl, add the cooled browned butter, the dark brown sugar and the caster sugar. Cream the butter and sugars together for about three minutes, until well combined.

3 Add the egg and vanilla and mix well until the mixture is light and fluffy (the browned butter won't behave like normal butter, so it won't be as fluffy as other cookie doughs).

4 Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine (I usually use clean hands for this). Add the milk or yogurt and mix to combine.

5 Roughly chop your chocolate and add that into the cookie dough. Chill for around three hours, just enough for the dough to firm slightly. If you chill it overnight that's fine, but you will want to take it out to warm up slightly before baking (you should be able to easily form the dough into a ball).

6 Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

7 To make sure all of my cookies are the same size, I usually line a digital scale with cling film and weigh out 60g balls of dough.

8 Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes. They won't look completely cooked in the middle, but they'll firm up as they cool - you don't want to overbake them or they will lose their fudge-y texture.

9 Cool completely and then, if not eating immediately, freeze for up to two months. They will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.

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