I don’t know about you but as much as I adore sunny days, with their endless blue skies and the smell of suncream in the air, I get a secret thrill about waking up seeing rain beads on the window and heavy, mean clouds and knowing that if I want to, I really don’t have to leave the house. Or even my PJs.
Well, it’s been raining cats and dogs today. All day. So doing anything especially energetic really has not been an option. Instead I’ve read a little, bopped to old records, watched Treme and, of course, I’ve donned my pinny.
I have a baking nemesis and have used this rotten day to take him on. For years now I have been unable to master the way of the biscuit. Mine ALWAYS seem to end up hard when they should be chewy and dense when they should be light. No more. No more.
This recipe makes 18 chewy , oaty – vaguely healthy – cookies in under an hour.
* 250g unsalted butter, softened *50g caster sugar *100g light muscovado sugar *150g self-raising flour *225g porridge oats *200g glace cherries *50g raisins or sultanas
1. Preheat the oven to 180Oc/ gas 4/ fan 160Oc and either line 3 baking sheets with baking parchment or just one and bake the cookies in batches.
2. In a big bowl beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
3. Stir in the sieved flour and oats and mix up well.
4. Roughly chop up three quarters of the cherries and stir them, along with the remaining whole cherries and the raisins into the cookie dough.
5. Divide the mix into three. Each third of the mixture can then be divided into six balls. Space the balls far apart on the baking tray and lightly flatten with your fingertips. Don’t fret about the balls looking at all neat.
6. Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes. They will be browned around the edges but pale and golden and slightly gooey in the centre.
7. Remove from the oven and cool on the sheet for about five minutes. Very carefully, using a palette knife, pop the cookies on a wire rack and leave to cool. Or if you’re a greedy monster like I am, eat them whilst they’re still piping hot with a glass of ice cold milk.