Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Sweet Treats: Crunchy Oat and Honey Biscuits

Rachel, Dublin 

Apartment living and having a keen interest in food is not the most convenient combination.  The cupboards are stuffed with unusual ingredients and kitchenware spilled over from the kitchen into the storeroom quite some time ago.

A symptom of this space shortage is that shopping often gets tucked away in random corners and promptly forgotten about. However, inspired by some articles I have read recently about food waste and the moving Hunger Hurts post by a girl called jack I started to feel a bit guilty about the disorganisation and decided that it was time to look at what I was storing to make sure none of it was going to waste.

My kitchen audit uncovered multiples of a few things, mostly spices, but they are at least small. The largest items by far were three enormous bags of rolled oats stored in various different corners. That certainly explained why we were getting a little tight on space!

Now, I know that having an excess of oats isn't really an issue now that Autumn is upon us and I'm having my new favourite thing, porridge with brown sugar and butter, for breakfast everyday. (A big thank you to Aoife's family for that tip, it's amaaaazing, as Aoife would say!) However, a thought about using up some oats to make oat biscuits had been firmly planted in my mind so I adapted this recipe for the ingredients I had to hand.

crunchy oat and honey biscuits (makes approximately 36) 

150g rolled oats
150g self-raising flour*
150g caster sugar
150g butter
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp honey

*I don't buy self-raising flour (space saving reasons) as you can make your own by adding 2 tsp of baking powder per 150g plain flour. Just add it to the flour in the sieve and the sieving will combine the two.

Preheat your oven to 170°c (fan). Place the butter and honey in a saucepan and heat gently until the butter is entirely melted. Take off the heat and stir in the milk. Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and add the milk/butter/honey mixture and stir to combine. When the mixture comes together measure level tablespoonfuls and space them out on a non stick baking sheet giving them room as they will spread out while cooking (I had to cook the biscuits in three batches with this quantity of mixture). Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes keeping an eye that they don't colour too much. Second, and subsequent, batches need less time as the baking sheet is already hot. When they are ready they will be coloured but still quite soft. You need to work swiftly but gently with a pallet knife to move them from the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool. They will firm up and become crisp while they cool although I can highly recommend scoffing lots of them while they're still warm and satisfyingly chewy.

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