Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yummy Oaty Cookies

Today's treat is an old recipe that I remember my Mum baking when I was a kid, and I think these might have been our favourite bikkies. Sometimes she would bake early in the morning and we would wake up to the smell of biscuits, so that is what I did this morning! It is so gross and rainy here in Ireland right now, not to mention dark, so warm oaty cookies were really needed. These are sort of like ANZAC biscuits, in that all old oat-biscuit recipes are like ANZAC biscuits, the difference is that these use honey instead of golden syrup and have chocolate chips in them. The recipe comes from a big old book that my Mum had, with a red spine, called the New Zealand Radio & Television cookbook, and is the same book that my chocolate self-saucing pudding recipe comes from. They would be good with some sultanas in them too. Of all the cookies I make, I think it is these and ANZAC biscuits that get the widest appreciation - there doesn't seem to be anybody who doesn't find them amazing. So I strongly recommend that everybody have a recipe like this one to fall back on!

Butter Oat Biscuits

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup raw sugar (or any sugar)
125 grams butter (real butter, not margarine)
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
100 grams chocolate chips (or raisins)

As with all other biscuits, before you start mixing you should turn the oven on to 180 degrees celsius and perhaps prepare a tray while your hands are still clean.

These biscuits do not use the creaming method, so they are a little bit faster to prepare than most of the other biscuits that I make. First of all, you combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. You want plain flour for this, with no raising agents. I'm not sure if raw sugar is a common ingredient - at home it is readily available but perhaps it is called by a different name here. It is basically a light brown sugar with quite large grains, perhaps it could be called crystalline sugar. At home you often get it in the cafes for some reason. Just now I looked up raw sugar to see if there is any real difference but there is not, and I found a quote from somebody that says 'sugar has the same nutritional benefits as rat poison, but one takes a lot longer to kill you'. So, just because it is brown, less processed sugar, it is still not healthy. Oh well, I don't mind.

To get back to the point, place the butter, water and honey in a small bowl. Place it in the microwave until the butter is all melted (or if you don't have one, melt it over the stove, it's all the same!). Add the baking soda and stir briskly to combine it because you really don't want any lumps of baking soda in your biscuits.

Now pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and give it a good mix! You can try to use a spoon but it will work better if you use your hands. It is not a sticky mixture but quite dry and crumbly so you won't get very messy. You have to use your hands to roll it into balls anyway. Which brings us to the next step, which is to roll the mixture into balls. Whatever size you like, a big handful or a spoonful. Like I said before, the mixture is sort of crumbly so you have to take your spoonful or handful and press it together in your hand to make a ball, then place it on the tray and press it down gently. They spread a little but not too much so you can put them quite close together.

Bake each tray of biscuits for 12 minutes, and when you take them out of the oven let them cool for a few minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack, otherwise they will be soft and might crumble. Then all that is left to do is to try not to eat them all at once!

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