The best presents are those that people make for you.
The time and effort put in is so much more appreciated than something shop-bought or a last minute present due to lack of ideas.
Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to treat someone special to something homemade. I don't often bake cookies but this recipe produces a great chewy and rich chocolatey cookie packed with crunchy pecan nuts and fudge pieces.
And will very quickly gain you lots of admirers with the smell of fresh cookies wafting through the house!
It's a recipe adapted from BBC Good Food and makes around 18 small heart-shaped cookies.
100g dark chocolate (I used 70% cocoa solids)
50g pecan nuts
40g fudge chunks
50g slightly salted butter
25g soft light brown sugar
40g caster sugar
1 heaped tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
50g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Melt 85g of the dark chocolate in a bowl in the microwave (stirring between ever 10 seconds) or over a pan of simmering water. Meanwhile chop up the remaining chocolate and the pecan nuts into small pieces.
In a large bowl whisk together the melted chocolate, egg, butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and both the sugars until smooth. Then add the chopped chocolate, nuts, fudge pieces and flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. Once a loose dough has been formed, spoon the mixture onto a lined baking tray and flatten down until about 1cm thick. Be sure to leave some space around the side of the baking tray as the cookies will spread and expand when baked.
Bake for 10-12 mins until firm to the touch and then remove from the oven.
Whilst still warm, use a small heart shaped cutter to cut small hearts out of the cooked cookie dough.
Cool the shaped cookies on a cooling rack.
Serve wrapped up beautifully in a tin or tie up a stack of them with ribbon and surprise that special someone.