With all things gloomy (read: weather) we must find ways to comfort and nurture ourselves. What better way than to please the stomach? Oats have of late become a dietary staple. They are so versatile, and a wonderful substitute and healthy alternative to a many of carbs. I use oats to make upma in the morning (simply replace rava with oats), or soak them overnight in apple juice for the yummiest bircher muesli, or even add them to my cookies—to give them a healthy crunch and texture (and reduce the amount of flour!). I have often come across fix-it/remedies, where people recommend that oats is a great substitute to corn flour- especially in thickening sauces, stocks, etc. Well with its multitude of uses, please share how you eat your oats! 🙂
ChocolOat Cookies (adapted from here)
Ingredients: (makes approximately 36 cookies or 18-25 large cookies)
1. 1 cup butter (I used salted. If you want to use unsalted, add half a tsp of salt to the recipe)
2. 1/4 cup white sugar (granulated or castor, I used half and half)
3. 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed well and levelled
4. 1 tsp vanilla bean essence/1 vanilla pod
5. 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
6. 1 tsp baking soda
7. 1/4 cup boiling water
8. 2 cups quick cooking oats (I used Quakers)
1. Preheat the oven to 175*c.
2. Cream the butter with the white sugar with an electric hand mixer for a few minutes, until well combined. Add the brown sugar and repeat.
3. Sift in the flour, (salt if using unsalted butter) and add the vanilla essence/scrape the pod and add the beans. Mix well. This might have to be done with a palette knife/hands to ensure no clumps of flour.
4. Boil some water and measure out 1/4th cup of boiling water. Add to this the baking soda and mix well till combined and a little frothy. Add this to the batter mixture. Knead well to combine.
5. Finally, transfer to a floured surface/ large plate for kneading. Add the oats and chocolate chips, and knead well with your hands. Shape into a ball (or whatever shape you like!) and place in freezer for ½ hour. Roll out into a t 1/4th inch sheet (on a floured surface or baking sheet) and shape with cookie cutters. I however chose the simpler version, making small round shapes with my hands and flattening.
6. Place on lined baking tray and place in oven for 15 minutes. They might look soft and are soft to the touch after 15 minutes, but pull them out and leave to cool for 10 minutes before attempting to touch them (yes— I couldn’t exercise this self control and ended up breaking two gorgeous cookies—lesson learnt!). They will harden and be perfect after this 10 minute resting period.
1. Locally available chocolate chips in the corner shops are not typically of great quality. If possible, I would suggest getting your hands on some good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips for the kill!
2. Make sure to freeze the batter before use, or else the batter will be too sticky and will not hold any shape.