Monday, 17 December 2007

Oatmeal Biscuits / Oatmeal Cookies

Baking is always a lot of fun but baking with the Children is so much More Fun! The Lovely Wife is the Cookie expert in the house. Sure, I make cookies too but with far less frequency than the wife. This is partly due to my impatience with having to shape / drop the cookies on to the trays and then bake them in many batches. But I do so love to whip up a cookie mix and then leave the baking to someone else!!

Incidentally, did you know that in Commonwealth countries, cookies are actually known as biscuits while in the USA, biscuits refer to a type of bread - most commonly small breads made without yeast, also know as quickbreads. As language has evolved, cookie generally refers to the softer, chewy kind of biscuit.

In my home however, we use the term biscuit and cookie interchangeably whereas by right, it should be Biscuit, since we have a colonial past, speak English (rather than American!) use Metric measurements, drive on the left side of the road and spell using the British system( you know colour, organise, centre... to name just a few). Nonetheless with the influence of television, I can't very well tell my kids that the Cookie Monster should be the Biscuit Monster can I? Then it would have to be "B is for Biscuit, good enough for me.." rather than "C is for cookie, good enough for me...."

Heck! Even I grew up on Sesame Street and the Cookie Monster. I used to wonder from a very early age what the difference between cookies and biscuits are and coulnd't really accept that it was just a language/cultural thing. I then used to wonder why we eat Beef instead of Cow, Pork instead of Pig but we eat Lamb, Chicken and Duck.

This explains why I still spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the unnecessary. My friends and relatives still make fun of me for this reason but I see nothing wrong with an inquisitive mind and this inquisitiveness seems to have rubbed of a little on my two kids. I guess it's true that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Anyway, getting back on track, these biscuits were made by my wife and kids back in November. My son loves taking biscuits for his snack time at kindergarten and he loves nothing better than Mummy's home made biscuits.

Interesting story. Early in the year, he took some of my Chocolate Brownies to kindergarten and shared some with his teacher and classmates. The teacher asked my son "The brownies are very nice, did Mummy make them?" My son replied that it was actually Daddy that made the brownies and that Daddy is the one that makes the cakes at home.

A few weeks later, my son started to take the Lovely Wifes home made biscuits to kindy for his snack time. The teacher then asked him "Did Daddy make these too?". My son explained that Mummy made the biscuits and not Daddy. The teacher then quipped "Oh, so Mummy has become clever now."

The story is much funnier when it's told in person and even more so when my son tells it......

Anyhoo. These are the Oatmeal Cookies the Lovely Wife likes to make and that the kids love to eat. This is the first time that they helped in the making of the biscuits and they had a lot of fun with it.

The recipe comes from Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection - Biscuits. The Lovely Wife loves the Cordon Bleu collection and the recipe is as follows:

125g plain flour
1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g brown sugar
125g castor sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp grated orange rind
160g rolled oats
125g raisins

Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking trays with bakingpaper. Sift together flour, sodium bicarb, bakingpowder and salt.
Cream together the sugars and butter. Add the egg, vanilla and milk and beat till smooth. Sift in the sifted ingredients and mix well. Stir in grated orange rind, then the oats and raisins.
Scoop up balls of the dough with a tablespoon and drop on the prepared trays. Space them about 5cm apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just brown.
Remove from baking trays and let cool on a wire rack.

The kids really enjoyed baking cookies and are now looking forward to helping to bake all the cakes and biscuits for Christmas!


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Loved your stories Dharm. Canada was once a colony as well but a cookie is a soft chewy affair and a biscuit is hard and usually square. We used to be on the imperial system but have been metric now since I was a child..a long time time ago!I still think in feet and inches and have to convert to metres, buy meat at the deli by pounds instead of grams but temperature is in Celcius and I drive in kilometres...just to confuse the matter.

Cynthia said...

Look at the little cutie licking her finger.

Dharm, thanks very much for sharing that info on the cookie-biscuit name. Very useful.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

You read my mind. I recently bought oatmeal and cannot remember for what!!! Ever happen to you? So I have plenty of oatmeal to try this out. YOur kids always make me smile.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

All cookies taste better when they're made with children!


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