Showing posts with label oatmeal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oatmeal. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

ANZAC Biscuits #CreativeCookieExchange

ANZAC biscuits are a traditional cookie Down Under made with oats, coconut and golden syrup. These biscuits – always biscuits and never cookies – can be baked chewy or crispy and that’s a point that divides families.

This month our Creative Cookie Exchange group theme is Healthy Cookies. My younger daughter and I were brainstorming ideas – I was pushing for a homemade Hobnob (a crispy oat cookie) when she suggested ANZAC biscuits. When we lived in Kuala Lumpur the first time, we enjoyed home baked ANZAC biscuits at least once a year, when one of our Australian friends made them for ANZAC Day. Happily, she also shared her recipe.

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, a joint outfit that fought together during World War I. ANZAC Day, which falls on April 25th every year, is a national holiday in Australia that has grown from its original intent in 1916 to honor the more than 8,000 Australians who died in the campaign to take Gallipoli, to a day to honor all who have fallen in military and peacekeeping missions.

There are several stories about the origin of ANZAC biscuits. One says that they were baked to send overseas in care packages to soldiers. More likely, say historians, they were created and baked to sell at fundraisers to collect money for the war effort. Original ANZAC biscuits were made only of flour, oats, and butter with syrup as the binding agent. They had a long shelf life and were full of energy and nutrition. Coconut has become a popular, later addition.

First, a word about the units of measure. Australian cups and tablespoons are not the same volume as American cups and tablespoons.

1 Australian cup = 8.45 fl oz
1 US cup = 8 fl oz
1 Australian tablespoon = 4 teaspoons
1 US tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

Mercifully, the teaspoons are equal. To make this the least complicated as possible, I’m going to leave the cups the same, since they are 1:1 anyway, but add the gram measurements of an Australian cup of rolled oats, flour, sugar and butter, if you want to use a scale.

1 cup or 120g rolled oats (Don’t use the quick cook oats.)
1 cup or 132g plain flour
1 cup or 237g caster sugar
3/4 cup or 75g coconut
1/2 cup or 125g butter
8 teaspoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda, not baking powder)
8 teaspoons boiling water

Preheat your oven to 300°F or 150°C and line two cookie sheets with baking parchment or silicone liners.

Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl.

Combine butter and golden syrup in a saucepan (or microwaveable bowl) and use your heat source to warm them gently until the butter is melted.

Mix the soda with the boiling water and add it to the butter mixture (it should froth up) and then add the whole lot to the oat mixture. Stir well.

Use a cookie dough scoop or a couple of spoons to divide the dough into about 24 pieces, placing them on your prepared pans.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Rotate the pans mid way through baking time so they will brown evenly. If they are undercooked, they will be soft in the middle. If they’ve run together a little bit, just use a knife to gently separate them.

Remove the biscuits from the pan while warm and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week. If they last that long.


Many thanks to my dear friend Glenys, for being the kind of friend who not only shares her recipes, but one whose friendship over the years has helped me stop questioning my sanity. Knowing she chose this same nomadic life means I must not be nuts, but if I’m crazy at least we are both crazy together. Everyone should be blessed with a friend like Glenys.

A big thank you also to Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories and Holly of A Baker’s House for stepping up to create and update the link list. Want to see the rest of our healthy cookies? Check out the list below.

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life. We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yorkshire Parkin Mini Bundt #BundtBakers

Yorkshire parkin is a rich gingerbread made with treacle and golden syrup. It's a traditional baked treat that might well have been enjoyed by the characters in the beloved children's book, The Secret Garden.

This month my Bundt Bakers group was challenged by our host, Sue of Palatable Pastime, to create a Bundt with the theme Secret Garden. I'm not sure if it's what Sue intended but my mind immediately went to one of my all-time favorite books, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It's a book I have read over and over through the years. If you haven't read it, I recommend that you do. The Kindle edition is free on Amazon right now.

It's the story of an expat kid who loses her whole family to an epidemic and must return alone to England from the only home she's ever known in India. Her supposed home country is foreign to her as are the ways of the local people. After finding the secret garden to nurture in her mysterious uncle's estate, Mary grows from a sour-faced, spoiled and finicky child into one with pink cheeks and a wholesome appetite under the care of a kind Yorkshire maid and her down-to-earth brother, Dicken.

In 1999, Amy Colter published The Secret Garden Cookbook, with recipes inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic book. I must confess that I do not own that book but as I was reading its reviews, parkin was mentioned several times as a particularly traditional Yorkshire treat contained therein. I consulted The Google and found this recipe on BBC Good Food, which I adapted to fit my smaller Bundt pan.

I like to think that Mary took parkin just like this from the big house out to share with Dicken and the wee Robin Red Breast who first showed her where the secret garden was hidden.

1 medium egg
2 tablespoons milk
100g butter, plus extra for greasing the baking pan
1/3 cup or 80ml golden syrup
1/4 cup or 50g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons treacle (or molasses)
1 cup or 125g flour, plus extra for pan
Slightly rounded 1/2 cup or 50g oatmeal
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional: powdered sugar to serve

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and liberally butter and flour your 2 1/2 to 3-cup mini Bundt pan. (Follow the original recipe for a larger pan. This just happened to be the only pan I own where I am staying right now. Traditionally parkin is baked in a square pan and cut into squares to serve.)

Beat the egg and milk together in a small mixing bowl. Set aside. Mix the flour, oatmeal, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.

In a small saucepan, gently warm the butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and treacle until the butter is just melted. Remove from the heat and continue to stir until the brown sugar has dissolved.

Add the dry ingredients to the warm butter mixture, followed by the egg and milk. Stir until well combined.

Pour the batter into your prepared Bundt pan.

Bake in the preheated oven about 30-35 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean and the top is a bit crusty.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before turning the parkin out on a wire rack to cool.

The BBC recipe says to wrap it up tightly in parchment paper and foil and to keep it for a few days before eating, as it gets softer and stickier the longer you keep it. I don’t know about that (time will tell!) but I can assure you that even straight out of the pan, it goes quite excellently with a strong cup of Yorkshire Tea, the brand my younger daughter happens to favor.


Check out all the other Secret Garden recipes the Bundt Bakers are sharing today!


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Slow Cooker Cocoa Peanut Butter Oat Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Chewy, crunchy and more-ish, these no bake slow cooker cookies are made with cocoa, peanut butter and whole rolled oats. They will have you reaching for just one more, until they are gone.

Despite my participation in the last Creative Cookie Exchange no-bake challenge in 2014 when I made Kashata Squares from Uganda, I am a neophyte at no bake cookie making.

This time I got my head in the game and hunted high and low with two recipe goals in mind. 1. It should be easy. Some weeks I’m close to in over my head and no bake could not mean complicated. 2. It should be tasty. I was hoping for something with peanut butter. I’m not much of a sweet eater but I do love the sweet and salty combination that peanut butter brings to a cookie.

This recipe on Moms With Crockpots fits both bills. Of course, my slow cooker is not an official Crockpot®, which is a registered trademark, so while changing up the method somewhat, I also changed the name.

These guys couldn’t be easier. Set your slow cooker on high and make a dent in your to-do list.

1 3/4 cups or 350g sugar
4 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 cup or 120ml milk, warmed slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup or 113g unsalted butter – melted and cooled
3 cups or 300g old fashioned rolled oats (Mine are called Scottish jumbo!)
1/2 cup or 140g crunchy peanut butter

In the base of your slow cooker, before you turn it on, mix together the sugar, cocoa, milk, butter and vanilla. I say to warm the milk first (just 20 -30 seconds in the microwave will do) because, in my experience, cold milk makes melted butter seize up again. We don't want that.

Pour oats on top of the chocolatey syrupy mixture. Spoon peanut butter in the middle on top of the oats. Don't mix them in!

Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on high for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the cocoa mixture reaches a good boil around the edges. Resist opening it to look before your timer buzzes. Lifting the lid releases a lot of heat and it takes a while for your slow cooker to get back up to temperature. The peanut butter isn’t going to sink in (at least mine didn’t) but you do want it to soften in the heat.

You can see that it's bubbling!

Stir well. I mean, really well. You want the peanut butter mixed thoroughly throughout.

Use a cookie scoop to place your cookies on a clean heat resistant surface covered in baking parchment.

I don’t know if my 2-tablespoon scoop is smaller than the original recipe but I got 31 full scoops and one half scoop, way more that the two dozen promised.

Allow cookies to set for a few hours and then store in a sealed container, layers divided by parchment. (Cut up the pieces your cookies cooled on and reuse.) If it’s hot where you live, you might want to chill your cookies. Mine set perfectly but the bottoms were still a little sticky.

Many thanks to Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories and Renee of Magnolia Days for doing our behind-the-scenes organizing this month. It’s much appreciated!

Just in time for the heat of summer, another round of no bake cookies! Forget turning the oven on, we’ve got you covered.

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life). We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Yin Yang Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Fudgy dark cookie on one side with chewy oatmeal cookie on the other side, these two halves complete or more importantly, complement each other.

This month’s Creative Cookie Exchange theme is love and hearts which started me thinking about what love really is, I mean, beyond the heady first rush and tumble of quick emotions, all the highs and lows that are often the hallmarks of young relationships. I’m talking about the comfortable love that settles in, where you can complete each other’s sentences and anticipate each other’s needs, and still thoroughly enjoy spending time together, laughing, traveling, playing. And that brought to mind yin and yang, the Taoist concept of two halves that together complete wholeness.

I’m not sure that’s something two people can ever truly accomplish, but let me just put it out there that this year, in just a couple of short months, my husband and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage and 32 years of laughing, traveling and playing together. Of raising babies to young women of whom we are most proud, moving about the planet making homes in six of the seven continents and sharing the joy of life with friends and family too numerous to count. We have been so blessed.

Since we are both flawed human beings (Ain't nobody perfect folks!) still growing and learning about each other and life, I will never complete him and he may never complete me. After this many years of experience, I believe that complementing each other seems a much more worthwhile goal anyway. Together, we make a pretty solid team. Just like these cookies. These aren’t traditional cookies for Valentine’s Day but bake them for someone you love anyway.

And just because everyone's thinking it anyway, this scene:

Note: Start early in the day to allow chilling time for the two doughs.

Ingredients for about 3 dozen cookies
For the yin:
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g brown sugar
3/4 cup or 150g granulated sugar
1/3 cup or 75g butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 125g flour
3/4 cup or 60g unsweetened extra dark cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the yang:
1 cup or 200g granulated sugar
1/2 cup or 115g butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups or 156g flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 95g uncooked quick rolled oats

To decorate: handful each white and semi-sweet chocolate chips
Useful tool: 5 in or 13cm length of stiff wire for marking where to cut the cookie dough

For the yin dough:
Cream your butter with the two sugars.

Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat again.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the mixing bowl. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

Roll into a thick log about 2 inches or 5cm in diameter and cover tightly with cling film. Put the dough log in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

For the yang dough:
Cream your butter with the sugar.

Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat again.

Sift in your flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.

Add in the oats and keep mixing until thoroughly combined.

Roll into a thick log about 2 inches or 5cm in diameter and cover tightly with cling film. Put the dough log in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

Try to get your logs the same approximate size

While the dough is chilling, bend your wire around the neck of a bottle, first one way and then the other, to make a tool the approximate outline of the division between the yin and yang.

Once the dough is well chilled, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C. Prepare your cookie sheet by greasing it with non-stick spray or lining it with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Putting the two together 
Slice your two cookie dough logs into even slices. Use your wire tool to press down on the slices to mark where to cut them into two. You can, of course, do this free hand. But the pieces might not match up as neatly.

Use the tip of a sharp knife to cut each slice apart. Fit them back together, one half light, the other half dark, pressing gently to make them one on the prepared cookie sheet.

Decorate each with one white and one dark chocolate chip.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until just done for chewy cookies.

Leave to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.


These would also be pretty cool for Chinese New Year, another holiday coming upon us shortly. Many thanks to Deepti of Bakingyummies for handling the hosting responsibilities this month!

Check out all the other interpretations of love and hearts from my fellow Creative Cookie Exchange bakers this month.

We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life). We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Peanut butter and pumpkin combine beautifully for cake-y cookies chock full of chocolate chips or M&Ms. Great for parties and snacks this time of year!

I may have mentioned once or a thousand times before but I am not much of a sweet eater. Give me a large link of smoked sausage over a sweet slice of chocolate cake any day. New friends, that is ones I've made in the last four years since I started blogging, are always shocked by this revelation because I bake so much. I love to bake, it’s true! I just give it all away, mostly. When you consider the expensive hobbies some people enjoy, like collecting antiques, horseback riding or racing yachts – even quilting, have you priced quality fabric lately?! - this is relatively cheap. Some eggs, butter, flour, flavorings. I love the creative process of baking, plus there’s the added bonus of feeling benevolent when I give treats away. If you are looking for a hobby, this is a good one!

M&Ms vs Chocolate Chips
I’ve got another confession to make about these cookies in particular. I’ve discovered that I am not a fan of the seasonal M&Ms. I thought they would taste the same as other M&Ms but they really don’t. I think they are sweeter. (See paragraph 1.) The colors are great but next time I make these cookies, I’m going to stick to semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, the only chocolate I actually like. If you like the seasonal ones, by all means, carry on. The cookies themselves were fluffy and cake-y and soft. And not overly sweet when I ate around the M&Ms. Yes, I did that thing.

Many thanks to Laura from The Spiced Life for organizing our Creative Cookie Exchange group and choosing this month’s theme: Celebrate the Pumpkin. Thanks also to Renee from Magnolia Days for putting together our link list of 12 pumpkin related cookies. Make sure you scroll down to check them out at the bottom of my post.

This recipe was adapted from one on the Bob’s Red Mill site.

1/4 cup or 65g crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup or 60g unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g brown sugar
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 125g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 195g canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/4 cups or 113g 5-minute oats
3/4 cup or 150g M&Ms (or sub chocolate chips – see paragraph 2 above) plus a handful extra for decorating (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the peanut butter, butter and sugars together until fluffy.

Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add in your egg and vanilla and beat again.

Add in the pumpkin and beat again until combined.

Sift the flour, soda and salt directly into the same bowl. Beat again.

Finally, add the oats and M&Ms and stir well or use your beaters on a very slow speed to combine. You don’t want to break up the M&Ms.

Use a scoop or a spoon to drop balls of cookie dough onto your prepared cookie sheet.

Poke a few more M&Ms on the top of each for decoration, if desired.

Bake in your preheated oven for 12-14 minutes or until just browned. These cookies should be chewy and slightly under- rather than over-baked, if you are going to err on one side or the other. They turn out soft and cake-y and no one likes dry cake.

Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan then remove the cookies and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Repeat the scooping/baking process until all the cookies are done. This makes about 2 dozen, depending on the size of your scoop. Mine is 2 tablespoons or 30ml and I got 27 cookies.


Need a great resource for cookie recipes? Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life), on the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!