Baking with a young kid in the house makes one guilty for sharing so much sugar, and I know heaps of people who are getting het up about the amount of sugar in our diets these days. There was that sugar film just a little while back, which I haven’t seen but no doubt would make me feel bad. Jamie Oliver is also on the band-wagon; highlighting the health issues experienced in the UK by children, who have been consuming at least double, perhaps triple what they ought to on a daily basis.
These issues are not the crux of this post, except for the fact that each week Theo and I attend a mums and bubs group, and I often have trouble deciding what to bake. Most weeks I end up baking “for the mums” which translated, means something unhealthy, often brownies! But for ages I’ve wanted to make a muesli cookie, or something similar that the kids would enjoy. I did consider making my Perfectly Chewy Anzac biscuits but frankly, I was looking for something new.
That led me to consider making a recipe for Muesli Crunch Biscuits, but I wanted a recipe that used oats and not muesli and couldn’t get past the question of whether or not it was calling for toasted muesli or natural. The only thing to do was to adapt an existing recipe to make something more like what I was dreaming of. So, with a tweak here and a tweak there, these are what transpired. Although the title is Australian, these are essentially a riff on an American classic; the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.
Thick, Chewy Muesli Biscuits
A sweet mix of wholemeal flour, oats and honey is loaded up with dried fruit and seeds to form a healthy, delicious alternative to chocolate!
Makes approximately 24 biscuits
115g (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup wholemeal flour
1 ½ cups quick-oats (rolled oats are also fine)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking (bicarb) soda
¾ cup chopped dried fruit (I used apricots, apples, sultanas and cranberries)
½ cup seeds and/or chopped nuts (I used sesame, sunflower, chia and flax seeds)
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease baking trays or line with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together (about 2-3 minutes), then add egg, honey and vanilla extract and beat well. Add in the flour, oats, baking powder and salt, and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Add chopped dried fruit, seeds or nuts. Stir until well combined.
Shape mixture into balls and place on the trays, flatten lightly with fork or fingers and bake in oven for 12-14 minutes, or until light golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.
These are my new “add-in-whatever-you-have-in-the-cupboard” kind of bikkies; for once you’ve made the base mix, your imagination is the only limitation to making these whatever flavour you want them to be! Today dried fruit and nuts; tomorrow chocolate chunks and glace ginger.
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen