One problem after another…………….

Something on crochet next time.

But for now a little culinary aside –

When I was a child my mother had a recipe for Cherry Oat Biscuits and when I had children of my own I took a copy of the recipe.

The first thing I decided was that the cherries (glace cherries) were not the best part of the recipe as when cooked they became hard and tooth threatening so I replace them with soft juicy sultanas which stayed soft and juicy when cooked in this way.

Everything was fine for years and they were one of my children’s favourite cookies: thin and crispy.  The mixture spread so much on the baking trays that however far apart you put the slightly flattened walnut sized balls they always ran into each other.

But years go by, life gets busier, children grow up, and one day I had not made the cookies for years but decided I fancied making some.

But how disappointing – they wouldn’t spread like they used to, several months/years and tries later I decided it must be the soft, improved and excellent for cakes, margarine and decided I would have to make them from butter. Yes, that was the problem!

Then I got a cooker with a fan oven – Great! No need to pre heat – but again they stopped spreading properly. So I added a note to my recipe –

“Only put in oven when it is hot enough”

– This solved the problem.

Then just the other day, when I asked my daughter whether there were any baking goodies I could make to bring her when I next came, she said that she would like some oat cookies.

I keep two sorts of oats: ordinary Quaker oats for cooking and Old Fashioned Scotts Oats for my homemade breakfast muesli.

As I weighed out the Quaker Oats I looked at them and thought – “aren’t they more smashed up looking than oats used to be?” but I went ahead and made the cookies. They spread quite a bit but I had a feeling that they were still a bit thicker than I remembered. Yes and the mixture had not been as ‘fatty’ when I had been rolling them.  They tasted good and crispy but I wasn’t satisfied.

So I set to and made a second batch with the Scotts Old Fashioned Oats – And lo and behold they came out right this time. So I added another note on the recipe card –“Scotts Old Fashioned make thinner biscuits”.

Here are the two cookies: Quaker Oats on the left Scotts on the right – all other ingredients the same.

Should you want to make some – here is the recipe.

It makes about 16 cookies.

In a large bowl mix:

  • 3oz (85g)  plain flour
  • ½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2oz (55g) sultanas
  • 3oz (85g) caster sugar
  • 3oz (85g) whole rolled oats

In a small saucepan melt:

  • 4oz (110g) butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon milk.

Add the melted ingredients to the bowl, mix well and leave to cool.

When cool, roll into walnut sized balls and place well apart on a baking tray.

[There is no need to grease the baking tray and when I say well apart, I really mean it. – I tend to put eight on my baking trays but they do end up touching when they are cooked. Four would probably not touch at all!]

Flatten the balls with a fork.

Preheat the oven to 300 deg F=150 deg C or 140 deg for a Fan Oven.

They take about 15-20 mins in a conventional oven, less in a fan oven but check sooner.

They are ready when the middles are brown rather than cream.

Leave on the baking tray for a couple of minutes before removing with a fish slice or similar; they are fairly fragile.  Leave to cool on a rack.

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