Saturday, 18 January 2014

The cookie crumbled

It's a baking kind of a day. Wet and misty on the outside, warm and cosy inside. Walk is done - splashing through the ankle deep mud and wet sand and grit as we battled with the rush of football folk to get to the woods beyond the soccer pitch. Medals should go to all those children - all seemingly oblivious to the rain - running aound after a leather ball to a single line crowd of martyresque parents. It's the dads mostly - on the sideline that is. I can only imagine they've been hunted by the females as they grapple with preparing for the onset of mud shirts and clay gathering studded buds that will arrive at kitchen doors later in the afternoon. 

We're saved that yet though - the football that is, and the all sorts of organised sporting activities that dedicated parents must taxi children to and from. With Holly it's just chaotic football and stick throwing so that's adaptable, and with Alannah we have yet to move beyond the point of just enjoying the looking on from safety of warm sling to the getting on on the act itself. But I can see her in there with the worst and the best of them, caked in mud after football on Saturday afternoons under the watchful eye of the Oaks of Charleville. 

Standing dead, but still standing ;) 
And so, what does one do on a baking day? Well eat of course ;)  After a month of testing and tasting the delightful seasonal cakes of others all across the midlands of Ireland, we are back to harvesting the fruits of own our labour in the Holly Cottage kitchen. The man has mastered the bread-making so I decided to put a twist on the usual banana flavoured sweet stock that we tend to store in the cupboard. Today is cookie day. Note to readers - I seem to have difficulty with the americanisation of buns and biscuits, aka cupcakes (or even muffins) and cookies. When did a bun become a cupcake? And has no-one spotted the connection between over-sized buns (muffins) and muffin-tops? Sorry - self confessed traditionalist when it comes to the baking ;) But anyway, these 'bakes' below qualify as cookies and biscuits depending on what result Google throws back at you...

Cold and misty on the outside,
warm and crunchy on the inside ;) 
And so, today's sweet treat is banana flavoured oatcake cookies. By the way - don't fool yourself that just because there's oats in it, that it's (a) healthy and (b) that it's not devilishly sweet and tasty and full of plenty of good carbs and fats and vitamins and the like! Herewith the ingredients....

Oat-Banana Crunch Cookies: cream 2tbsps butter with half a cup of brown sugar, add in 1 egg (beaten), 1/2 teasp vanilla extract and 1 very ripe (and very mashed) banana - and blend. Now, stir in 2 cups of oats, 1 cup wholemeal flower, 1 teasp baking powder, 1 teas bread soda, 1/2 teasp salt and 1/2 teasp cinnamon. I also added in four chopped walnuts for the extra healthy super food fats ;) All is stirred up together - add a drop of milk if too dry - and then spoon contents onto greased baking tray and cook at 175 deg for 15mins. Cooking time depends on whether you used teaspoons or tablespoons to shape your cookies, so adapt. When we tasted them with strong hot coffee they were just right but I do feel that the recipe has room to evolve. The man suggested using golden syrup - I'm not sure but no harm in trying. The cookie was delicious with a dollop of natural yogurt, and I''m sure would go just right with vanilla or banana ice-cream for a more calorific treat. Or maybe even a biscuit....

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