When it was pouring with rain one afternoon last week, and we’d already been out in the morning, I decided that a spot of baking was the best choice of activity, and Andrew enthusiastically agreed – he always does when there’s food at the end of an activity! I flicked through a recipe book that I was given for Christmas for some on the spot inspiration. One that caught my eye was for biscuits with cornflakes in them – like a cross between chocolate cornflake cakes and oaty biscuits. Based on this idea I looked in the cupboards, and then adapted the recipe to include rice crispies and oatmeal, because that’s what we had in. I also reduced the relative quantity of sugar, as I often do when baking with the boys.
Since living with Granny and Grandad, we’re also enjoying the use of Granny’s Kitchenaid, which Andrew loves to help me with. I find this particularly useful when working with real butter – I tend to use margarine myself because I never remember to get butter out enough in advance for it to get to room temperature and is therefore hard work to mix!
I have to say, for a make it up as you go along recipe loosely based on inspiration from a book, these tasted amazing. Perfect texture for the kids to enjoy, nice and light, with a real crisp to them, whilst still being a biscuit rather than a cereal bar/cake.
Here’s how we did it…
- 100g butter
- 150g sugar
- 1 egg
- 125g self raising flour
- 50g oatmeal
- 50g sesame seeds
- 50g rice crispies
- Prepare a couple of baking sheets by lining with greaseproof paper, and preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan).
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg.
- Add the flour, oatmeal and sesame seeds, and mix until well combined.
- Add the rice crispies and gently fold in without over mixing.
- Dollop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray, with large enough gaps between them to allow for spreading during baking.
- Bake for around 15 minutes until lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray until the biscuits firm up.
- Eat and enjoy 🙂
As I was flicking through our Cook with Kids book by Rob Kirby, I came across a recipe for ‘super fit flapjacks’. Instead of just being oats, butter, sugar and syrup, these included various dried fruits and seeds. I didn’t actually have many of the fruit and seeds in the recipe, but it inspired me to make some flapjacks with some of the unusual dried fruit – golden berries and cranberries mix – that I bought recently because it was on offer in the supermarket and the seeds that I had in the cupboard – sesame and caraway.
In a previous baking blog post, I wrote about the fact that caraway seeds are supposed to be a galactagogue – something that stimulates breast-milk production. Oats are also supposed to be a galactagogue, hence the name for the flapjacks that I ended up creating. As well as being good for milk making purposes, flapjacks are in general a good source of energy, particularly with the dried fruit and seeds in, and energy is something I really need at the moment. I find that I get peckish in the night with all the feeding Joel does, so these are great to nibble on in the early hours. The high seed content makes these like a cross between sesame snaps (though softer) and traditional oaty flapjacks.
Even if you’re not trying to induce or increase lactation, these flapjacks are a delicious treat and will keep you going if you’re in need of energy for another reason. Here’s the recipe if you’d like to have a go. It’s very easy and it took Andrew and me about 10 minutes to make plus cooking time.
- 125g brown sugar
- 90g margarine
- 90g honey
- 175g oats
- 100g dried friut (I used 60g sultanas, 40g mixed cranberries and golden berries)
- 100g seeds (I used 60g sesame seeds, 40g caraway seeds)
- Start by lining a square or rectangular baking tin with greaseproof paper.
- Put the oats, fruit and seeds in a big bowl, and stir until well mixed.
- Melt the sugar, margarine and honey in a bowl in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water on the hob.
- Add the melted ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven at 160ºC (fan) for about 10-15 mins until golden on top.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before cutting into squares, as the flapjack needs to harden as it cools.
- Store in an airtight container (next to your bed if you’re me!)