I couldn't decide whether to post these cookies today or to show you all that I don't just survive on a diet of butter, sugar and flour and that, from time to time, a vegetable crosses my path.
But twitter spoke and, with the exception of Elaina, wanted cookies. Power to the people and all that.
These cookies were somewhat of a happy accident. They are (very) loosely based on a recipe for Anzac biscuits, Australian cookies full of good things like oats and coconut and golden syrup, which an old colleague once requested that I bake. I have monkeyed around with the recipe plenty over the years and the resulting cookie bears very little resemblance to the original but is equally delicious in its own way.
The most notable change is obviously the lack of coconut. I thought that I didn't like coconut until I was introduced to Malibu, a coconut flavoured rum, on a school trip to Italy when I was 16. Every night we would gather in the bars of the town where we staying and knock back as many Malibu and lemonades as we could afford before returning to the hotel to try and convince our teachers that we were all completely sober. I will always associate the flavour of coconut with those barmy evenings, as we tried to impress the local boys with our sketchy grasp of Italian and giggled in only the way that slightly tipsy teenage girls can.
I do, however, prefer to save my coconut for drinking for the most part and I don't think that you really notice its absence here. You can, of course, add in some dessicated coconut if you are so inclined and reduce the quantity of oats.
I had meant to make these into chocolate chip cookies but, as you will see below, the recipe involves adding hot melted butter and golden syrup to dry ingredients. Those of you with slightly more common sense than me will realise that when you pour a hot liquid onto chocolate, it tends to melt. And melt it did.
Instead of becoming chocolate chip cookies, therefore, they became chocolate cookies and, to be honest, are all the better for it. These cookies are that wonderful combination of crisp and chewy that only a good cookie can be. The chocolate and oatmeal base feels hearty without being heavy and allows the tartness of the dried cranberries to shine. Plus I can kid myself that they're almost healthy. Everyone's a winner.
PS Elaina, I promise I'll post the soup on Friday!
Chocolate and oatmeal cookies
Yield: Approx 30 cookies
- 100g caster sugar
- 125g plain/all purpose flour
- 125g oats of choice
- 50g dried cranberries
- 100g chocolate chips
- 125g unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup/corn syup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 160C/300F. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper/a silicone mat.
- Put the sugar, flour and oats, cranberries and chocolate chips in a large heat proof bowl.
- In a small pan, heat the butter, golden syrup and water until the butter has melted. Take the pan off the heat and add the bicarbonate of soda. The mixture will fizz up. This is fine.
- Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients and store to combine.
- Form teaspoons of the dough into balls, place the balls on the baking trays and press down. Make sure that there is at least two inches between each ball.
- Bake for 10 minutes until the cookies look to be set and are just beginning to crisp around the outside. Leave to cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray to firm up before transferring to a wire rack to cool.