As I am striving to simplify my life with less stuff, I also feel a draw to create recipes that reflects that. Amid the current hype of “50-fancy-ingredient-lattes”, what I want is something tasty and comforting made from just a few store cupboard ingredients.
Maybe it is my shift towards digging deeper into the social justice side of health, or it is a subconscious longing for my Swedish roots. Or maybe it is having a somewhat constrained food budget… I don’t know. What I do know is that there are some real delights to be had, by the skill of being able to turn just a few simple ingredients into something yummy, especially when the weather has you all down.
These cookies, or biscuits where something I made several times this past winter. It was like my body craved something energy dense in order to cope with the long cold wet days. But maybe it was just my tastebuds calling out for something with the combination of fat and sugar. Either way, these basic oat cookies hit the spot every time!
The initial obsession with this particular ingredient combination started off when I spotted a flapjack recipe on Instagram. Over the course of my trial and errors developing this recipe, I learned that the ratios of sugar/oats/butter/honey will affect the texture and quality of your end product. More butter – Less oats will give you a crispier kind of cookie. Increasing the ratio of oats and you’ll end up with more of a flapjack, chewy kind of bar.
To be honest, what I was aiming for was something like the Swedish oat cookies called ‘Havreflarn’, which is a crispy candied type of cookie. The thing is, the recipe for Havreflarn uses wheat flour also and I wanted to try and recreate something without it. You know how it goes though… Baking, apparently, is an exact science so if you go changing any one component, you most likely will not end up with what was the intended outcome of the original recipe. Never the less though, it can be equally tasty and satisfying! Which which I am, self proclaiming about this recipe experiment that I am sharing with you here.
So let’s get to it! This is NOT a dairy free, sugar free kind of cookie. This is an all in treat made with a few things you can buy in your corner shop, or small country village shop to whip up in no time when you need something to go with that comforting cup of tea / coffee / hot chocolate. Those days when we need something to light up a dreary cold day (and when you live in Ireland those are part of every season…)
Basic Oat Cookies
Makes about 12
75g butter ( I use salted)
45g dark muscovado sugar (but any type will do. I just like the flavour of muscovado sugar more)
50g porridge oats
25g oat flour (porridge oats milled in your blender)
1 tbsp milk of choice (dairy or non dairy is fine)
1 tbsp of runny honey (get the best quality you can find and afford)
1/4 tsp baking powder
This recipe is super handy because you can mix all the ingredient directly into the saucepan that you use to melt the butter. Less washing up that way!
Heat the oven to 185°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted remove from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients and stir until you have an even mix of deliciously tasting butter, sugar, honey and oats. (Don’t eat it all this way though, I know it is tempting!)
Using two spoon, spoon a dollop of cookie mixture on to the lined baking sheet. If you want them a bit neater looking than mine then shape them up a bit. Leave some space between each dollop as you don’t want your cookies flowing into each other.
Bake for about 7 min until golden and a little brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool on a rack before tucking in. They will firm up a little as they cool.
Store in an airtight container. Will probably keep for a few days. (Mine never lasts long enough to go off.)
If you have been hanging out here for awhile, then you know by know how much I like sweet things. Sometimes I even consider changing this site to one for desserts, biscuits, cakes and stuff… Yes seriously. But I suppose, as great as that may be, I mean I would get to eat ALL those cookies/cakes/treats (!), it isn’t what I really want Straightforward Nutrition to be all about.
Of course having something sweet, once in awhile, is a sure-fire way to feel amazing, yet have too much and it loses its appeal. Back to that elusive balance again…
A few weeks ago my pre ordered copy of My New Root’s AMAZING book. Seriously some people are just geniuses when it comes to food! I love Sarah B’s approach to food and health. Keep it simple, seasonal and delicious. And it’s all about using the best ingredients available. Because when you do, everything will taste delicious.
I’ve already eyed up a couple of things to try. Next, just to find the time to cook through it. Because the book is laid out in seasons rather than breakfast /lunch / dinner / snacks etc. you have to read it from cover to cover to be able fully absorb it all. Once you have that done, then she makes it seriously easy to get into the swing of cooking by season. Which is what we all should be doing really.
Seasonal cooking may seem like a challenge at first but as soon as you step out of your comfort zone and begin to think outside the box, it isn’t that difficult really. And what you find is that seasonal food just taste a million times better! You know this already. Strawberries in December anyone? (Unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere of course…)
I don’t know if these Salt n’ Pepper Oat Biscuits (cookies for you U.S. peeps) qualifies as seasonal cooking. I like biscuits all year round… However this was the recipe from the book that spoke to me first.
I’ve been wanting to make a “healthy” biscuit for a very long time now. A biscuit, with superior ingredients and one with a spectacular crunch! Not the chewy kind… I particularly love crunchy, crumbly biscuits. However most of my own healthy cookie creating attempts, until now, have been futile. Chewy, yes. Crunchy, no.
This biscuit hits the spot. Sarah B’s genial combination of sea salt, coconut sugar and the addition of black pepper gives you an incredible taste experience. Best of all, they are made from straight up ground oats.
To be honest, I haven’t actually tried the original recipe yet… My version is heavily inspired by the recipe in the book but I decided to try it with ghee rather than coconut oil. So these guys are a little different. If you don’t have ghee, you can use normal unsalted butter. Or try the original coconut oil version. The original recipe also calls for chocolate chunks, but since I didn’t have any and they turned out delicious anyway, I’ve left it out.
I’m sure you can find other ways to enjoy that chocolate… 😉
Salt’n Pepper Oat Biscuits
Makes about 15 biscuits / cookies
80 ml melted ghee – or butter or coconut oil
2 heaped tbsp rice syrup
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup rolled oats, ground into flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar – alternative would be rapadura sugar or light muscovado sugar
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
Set the oven to 170 C. Grind the rolled oats in to flour using a decent blender. ( I use my Nutri-bullet) Mix the dry ingredient in a large bowl.
In a small sauce pan, melt the ghee. Then add the brown rice syrup and the vanilla extract. Stir until you have an even mixture. Add your ghee / syrup / vanilla mix to the dry ingredients and mix with a large wooden spoon until you have a wet dough. ( Try to refrain yourself from eating too much of this…)
Spoon out blobs of dough onto a lined baking tray. Aim for one heaped spoon of mixture for each cookie. Gently shape the mix into small patties. Bake in the pre heated oven for about 20 min, or until golden around the edges.
Allow the cookies to cool slightly on a the tray before moving to a wire rack to allow to cool completely.
Store your cookies in an airtight container. I really have no idea how long they will keep as mine where gone in three days… A qualified guess? A week.
(Recipe inspired by My New Roots Cookbook – Inspired plant based recipes for every season)