Although cake is my one true love when it comes to sweet things, there’s always room for a cookie and they’re a whole lot more versatile than a a delicate sponge cake topped with buttercream and flowers.
To start with you can make them in around 30 minutes and it’s really hard to get them wrong – and even if you do uncooked cookie dough tastes almost as good as the cooked version.
They are also very portable so are great for taking into the office – which is what I did today to feed my colleagues sugar – and it’s easy to make in bulk, so I Rob also ended up taking them in, plus there were extras for my old office and my friend Fiona who luckily works in the same building as me.
Most importantly, they are deliciously simple and understated. The chopped up dates mean the cookies have lovely chewy nibs in them while the porridge oats give them a soft consistently not too dis-similar to flapjack.
You can keep them in an airtight container for three days, freeze them for up to a month, or devour them straight away if you have the same levels of willpower as I do.
100g unsalted butter, very soft
50g caster sugar
50g soft brown sugar (plus 10g for the decoration)
200g plain flour
50g rolled porridge oats
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp vanilla extract
1 large free range egg
200g chopped dates
How to make…
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Mix the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy – this takes around three minutes with an electric beater, five without. You want a smooth, thick consistency.
Continue mixing and add in the egg and vanilla extract until both have been mixed in and then add the bicarb, flour and a pinch of salt and continue stirring until everything is combined. Once it’s all together, throw in the chopped dates and porridge oats and give it a final stir to make sure it’s evenly mixed through the cookie dough.
Now, take small walnut-sized lumps of dough and roll them into small balls (extra flour may be needed) and place onto the baking trays. You’ll get about nine on each baking tray and once the balls are lightly balanced on the trays, use a fork to gently press them down so they resemble the finished cookie shape.
Before you put the cookies in the oven, sprinkle a little brown sugar over each which gives it a nice finish and an extra layer of crunch.
The cookies will expand slightly when cooking so make sure there’s enough room inbetween them otherwise they’ll merge into some kind of giant gladiator cookie (although this might not be a bad thing).
Pop into the oven for eight to ten minutes and once the cookie has turned a lovely golden brown take them out and leave to cool. They’re ready to each pretty much as soon as they’re cool enough to put in your mouth. Enjoy!