When they asked at work what made these cookies luxury, I had to stop to think. I mean, obviously it was the chocolate chips. But then maybe it was the homemade granola? Or was it just the fact that they are homemade? Maybe I should start prefacing all my baking with the moniker of *luxury*. It has a certain ring to it.
Not many of the Baking Bible bakes so far have made it into the office - much to their distress. Quite a few of the recipes so far have been either too fragile to transport or so good there was nothing to share or too short a shelf life or not enough to go around. These cookies didn't fall into any of those categories, mainly because the recipe makes a truck load of them.
The best thing about these cookies was the recipe for the home made granola. There was plenty of commentary amongst the AlphaBakers about whether they liked the home made granola. Sure it was another step in the process, but I think my life is better for that extra step. This was the first time I had ever made my own granola. For those few non Americans who read this blog, granola is like an oatmeal based, toasted muesli. Forget about the cookies, I am happy to just make the granola. So, how to make it?
The internet is full of interpretations, each claiming to be the best. I think that the best granola is the one that you make three times in quick succession. But again, it is probably more a personal choice. Rose's recipe is made on Old Fashioned Oats. I was a bit stumped by old fashioned oats, so I just went with what I had - Flavahan's Porridge oats. These are coarsely cut, but I think old fashioned means not cut up - old fashioned oats that take 40 minutes to cook in the morning instead of 5. Lots of time, especially in the morning, is so old fashioned.
So, the general gist of the granola is to mix some oats with some oil with some nuts (pecans/walnuts) with some sweet with some salty with some spice with some vanilla and then toast in the oven for 20 minutes at a low temperature. Maple syrup was Rose's recommendation - I went for less volume of the sweet and a mix of maple syrup and golden syrup. Mainly because here maple syrup is roughly five times more expensive than golden syrup and most of the cheap maple like syrups (tm) are all golden syrup with maple flavour...
I toasted mine for more like 40 minutes and it crisped up nicely once it cooled. Amazing, stirred into natural yoghurt.
Into the granola you then mix in chocolate chips and dried fruit. My chocolate chips were replaced by a chopped up Lindt chocolate bar and my dried fruits were a premix of raisins and cranberries.
The base of the biscuit is the pretty standard butter, flour, sugar, vanilla made awesome by a food processor. Have I said yet how much I love Rose's cookie recipes because they all so far have used the food processor. And because it wasn't pastry, the boys could press the ON button as many times without me having to yell even once.
This butter goodness is added into the granola and mixed up. Not back breaking work, but not so easy for a three year old.
Then the dough is divided into two and refrigerated. Which I actually did. Amazing. Sometimes it is helpful to cheat off my fellow Alphabakers and learn from those that go boldly and post early!
I didn't opt for the 42gram balls, instead we made just slightly bigger than a teaspoon sized ball. Some we rolled perfectly, some we slopped on, some we rolled and flattened. And you know what, there was a definite difference between the end cookies. So much so, people asked whether I had made three different types. I think that was also because the mixing was a bit random so some had more luxury than others...
My personal favourite were the rolled balls, these really kept their shape and a bit more resistance when bitten. The cinnamon from the granola mix really came through in the biscuits - the granola not so much, which I think was down to using those modern fandangled oats instead of the big old fashioned oats.
Irrespective of the oats used, I would happily make these again. They are a good biscuit to make with kids and a real tin filler, as my grandmother would say. I think the criteria for a tin filler was that they were quick and easy, made a shed load, not so incredible that they would go disappear into the wake of giggling children and held up over time (assuming kids didn't find them).
The granola is definitely on my fortnightly rota. The only difference being that I sub in some dried fruit into the final mix and I am experimenting with coconut oil this weekend...