Day 30: Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter Cookies

Day 30: Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter Cookies

inspired by Pret A Manger

OK, OK I realise that Pret might not count as a restaurant. Plus of all the places that need a shout out during closure, a chain with hundreds of outlets might not be the one in most need.

But I have to admit I miss Pret. I never thought I would say this. Because, in London, they are EVERYWHERE.

If I was at work this week I would be at a drama school in Clerkenwell, designing costumes for their third year showcase. On my walk from the station to work I would go past four Prets. It’s no wonder that they have become part of my daily life.

Until lockdown. And now it’s little things, like popping out for a coffee and something sweet that I miss.

There’s another reason for wanting to make cookies today. Instead of working in the costume studio I’m now volunteering at home. Making scrubs for NHS staff as part of an initiative by English National Opera costume department. You can find out more, and donate if you wish, here.

If I was costume making at the studio I would definitely be popping out for a coffee and a cookie to keep me going. And I LOVE these dark chocolate and almond cookies from Pret. Firstly, they are totally vegan. I’m convinced this must make them healthier. However now I’ve made a batch I’m not so sure!

Secondly these are the kind of biscuit that makes you take a proper break. A packet biscuit (like a gingernut, or a hobnob) you can eat and carry on sewing. Essential at times when a deadline is looming. I dread to think how many dance costumes over the years have ended up with crumbs in them. Poor dancers.

But these cookies are messy. The chocolate is still melted, they are gooey in the middle. It is impossible to eat one of these without getting chocolate all over your fingers. So you have to put down your sewing, and take a few minutes to indulge in this chocolatey goodness, before going back to work.

So today I took time out. Not to go and buy myself a cookie, but to bake a batch. Pret has put the recipe up on their instagram.

I followed it to the letter. I’m not a very confident baker so everything was done just so. I even measured out 4g of salt. I don’t think I’ve ever measured salt before!

But the precision was worth it! They turned out just like the ones Pret sell! Or at least I think they did. After a month in lockdown, memories of those delicious cookies are starting to fade a little…

So now I have nine cookies and 10 pairs of scrub trousers to finish. I have to apologise to the NHS worker that wears the pair I stitched just after having one (OK two) of these and a coffee. All the caffeine and sugar went to my head a little bit so the sewing got a little erratic for a while!

Basically don’t look at the stitching too closely. But I doubt you will. You have more important things to do. You’re saving lives.

This post might be inspired by my craving for a Pret cookie. But really it’s a shout out to all those NHS workers out there. You really are heroes.

I better get back to it. Those heroes need trousers.

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