Chewy Maple & Bee Pollen Oat Cookies

Not really much of a tale behind these other than I just REALLY wanted an oatmeal cookie one day. But I can be particular about my oat cookies! Not for me are the crisp, brittle types. I prefer the soft, chewy variety that meltingly give when you bite. Maple syrup ALWAYS makes things better so why not include it? To be honest it’s not too prevalent in the taste of this cookie- just enough boost the “cookie comfort factor” (I may trademark that as a baking calibration tool!) The bee pollen was a “why the heck not?” addition from a pantry rummage, albeit with added health benefits. If you don’t have any feel fee to omit. Which of course means these become “Chewy Maple Oatmeal Cookies”. One less ingredient but just as tasty.

Makes 30 apx

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups All Purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened

• 1 cup light brown sugar, packed

• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• 2 large eggs

• 1 tablespoon fancy molasses

• 3 cups whole rolled oats

• 1/2 cup bee pollen

• 1/4 cup maple syrup

Method

  1. Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until blended, about 5 minute, then increase to high speed and whip for another 5-6mins
  3. In a jug combine the eggs, molasses, maple syrup and vanilla. Add to the butter mixture and beat for 3 minutes until combined. Scrape down the sides and beat again as needed to combine
  4. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients (I usually do it in 1/4 cup increments) and mix on low until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the oats and bee pollen. The final dough will be thick and sticky.
  5. Cover and chill the dough for at least 45 minutes in the refrigerator
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
  7. Use a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoon size) to scoop the cookie dough on to the prepared baking sheets, placing 2 inches apart. Bake for 15minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look soft.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
  9. Cookies can be kept at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 1 week

Coconut & Fruit Flapjacks

img_5542

First of all let’s clear up the looming misunderstanding. In this recipe my use of the term “Flapjack” is as used in the UK and Ireland, as opposed to it’s North American connotation. So if you were expecting another pancake recipe you may want to move along.

I must stress the “may” part though. If you find yourself unfamiliar with Flapjacks as they appear here well then you’re in for a treat. Defined as “a sweet, tray-baked oat bar, most commonly made from rolled oats, butter, brown sugar and golden syrup“- growing up they were the stuff of school-time treats. Like so many other bakes with a traditional heritage, a love of these oaty morsels falls into two distinct camps- soft & chewy or crunchy & crumbly. Both however offer comforting butteriness and sweetness with each rustic bite. At the end of the day it’s all a matter of time and taste.

The easiest way to describe a flapjack is to think of it as a granola bar. Like it’s pseudo-healthy breakfast cousin it’s basis is in the “slick ‘ em and stick ’em” method of ingredients. Here it’s the butter providing the “slick ’em” element with the “stick ’em” being provided by the amalgamation of sugar, corn & maple syrups, and molasses. The aforementioned ingredients and oats are the basic building blocks, carrying any number of preferred add-ins. Dried fruit, chocolate chips, caramel are all fair game here.

Having mentioned the flapjacks featured ingredient, the humble rolled oat, I feel it fair to offer a sliver of insight here. Flapjacks can be made using just the one type of oats- Rolled Oats (sometimes known as Jumbo Oats). I have found, however, that by using a mix of rolled oats and quick oats a sturdier, less crumbly flapjack is the end result, the latter oats providing a finer grain to act as an infill to the voids between the larger oat flakes.

Above all the flapjack is a bake that is easily tweaked to personal preference for taste and texture proving a lasting favorite that has stood the test of time. Once you have the essential slick ’em, stick ’em and oats in place the Flapjack World is your oyster!

img_5548

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 sticks salted butter
  • 3/8 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon golden corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fancy molasses
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups jumbo rolled oats
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 1/4 cup dried fruit slices, chopped (I’ve used a mix of apple, pear, apricot and mango)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F (350 degrees F for a crunchier flapjack). Line and grease a 9′ X 12′ baking tin with baking parchment
  2. In a large bowl combine the oats, coconut and dried fruit. Stir well to mix and break up any fruit clumps. Set aside for now
  3. In a medium pan melt the butter with the sugar, syrup, vanilla extract and salt. Stir well to combine until sugar has dissolved.
  4. Pout the butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir well to ensure all the dry ingredients are coated
  5. Tip the flapjack mixture into your prepared tin and press evenly for a flat surface
  6. Bake in your preheated oven, middle shelf,  for 25 minutes for chewy, 30 minutes for crunchy, until set and golden
  7. Remove from the oven and gently score the flapjacks, not going the full way through. For the size of tin I use here, I cut so I have 3 by 4 “square” pieces (2 cuts x 3)
  8. Allow to cool completely in the tin. When fully cooled re-score where you’ve previously cut this time going the full way through
  9. If you want to lend an extra decadent touch, drizzle over some melted chocolate

img_5545

 

Recipe Alert…Peanut Butter Oattie cookies

2015-04-22 13.13.58

My Peanut Butter Oattie cookies are packed full of oats giving them a soft, chewy texture with whole peanuts adding pleasing crunchiness. Make sure you use salted peanuts as they add wonderful pockets of tangy saltiness contrasting the sweet oats.

Sweet, salty, chewy and incredibly moresish- you need to try these beauties! They’re proving incredibly  popular in my household at the moment- I’ve already lost count of the times I’ve been asked to make them. A fantastic treat to have in stock when the kids bundle home from school- a hard days “Rock; Paper; Scissors” having depleted their energy levels! Partnered with a glass of cold milk it’s indeed a marriage made in heaven. But it’s not just my children who can be found pilfering the cookie jar when these are about. My husband’s preference for the savory means he’s oftened to be found checking emails with cookie in hand!

I call them cookies as opposed to biscuits as a personal preference. For me biscuits represent something more uniform and structured- exact bites of crumbly sweetness. The cookie on the other hand is something more rustic. A ballsier rebel of the Baking World conforming less to the rules of appearence and plunging headfirst into the realm of flavours. Cookies don’t care how you think they look- they prefer to let their flavours make an impression. These cookies are not your small, danity bite size treats. They are large handfuls of tastiness- not meant to be nibbled on but greedily chomped at. Partnered with a glass of cold milk your satifaction is sure to be sealed with dripping, grinning milky moustache.

2015-04-22 12.41.18

Peanut Butter Oattie Cookies

Makes between 24-30 (depending on size)

175g Unsalted butter

225g Crunchy peanut butter

4 tablespoons Maple syrup

150g Caster sugar

150g Light brown sugar

2 large Eggs

1 tablespoon Vanilla extract

225g Plain flour

2 teaspoons Bicarb of soda

1/2 teaspoon Salt

250g Jumbo porridge oats

100g Salted peanuts

 

Method

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and both of the sugars. Set to beat on medium speed. Beat for about 10 mins.
  • Whilst the butter mixing is beating you can get on the the other parts of the recipe. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • In a separate large bowl combine the flour, bicarb of soda, and salt.
  • Add the porridge oats and peanuts and mix throughly.
  • To the butter mixture add 1 egg and beat to evenly incorporate. Add the remaining egg and once again beat to evenly incorporate.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and slowly add half of the dry ingredients, mixing only until just incorporated. Add in the remainder of the dry ingredients and once again mix until just combined. The batter will be quite stiff and lumpy. Don’t worry- this is exactly what you want.
  • Using two dessert spoons or an icecream scoop, place plarge balls (slightly larger than golf-ball shapes) onto the lined baking trays. Leave apx 2 inches between each cookie ball as they will spread whilst cooking they will spread. (I’m never too fussed about having them an even size as I think having them varying shapes and textures adds to their charm and  tastiness).
  • Place the cookie trays into the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until they spread and are golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the baked cookies to rest on the trays for about 8-10mins. They will still be a bit soft at this point so remove from the trays with a fish-slice or flat spatula and leave to cool fully on wire racks. During cooling they will frim up some more giving a soft cookie texture.
  • Once fully cooled, remove from the rack and enjoy.

 

In the meantime,

“Remember Mom’s the word- that’s Mr. Mom’s!”