I have a confession to make. Nothing juicy but it is to blame for the silence around here. My absence hasn’t been from a collapse into a banana pancakey coma of deliciousness, I’ve just been fighting the truth about my new kitchen. The truth is, I hate the crap out of it and cooking on the stove top turns me into a groaning, nag-monster. Our oven/stove is awful, just awful! Boiling potatoes for mash can take me a whole freaking hour, I kid you not. It is such a weak piece of turd that keeping a rolling boil is almost impossible. To top it off my stove can fail to bring my sauce to a simmer whilst I persevere for 40-50 minutes and then in an instant burn the bottom of it. I hate it, hate it, HATE IT!
Our flat is pretty, we have loads of extra floor space and it’s the first place I’ve lived that is relatively easy to clean up after three messy kiddo’s in. We pay an arm and a leg for the pleasure but walking through the door and letting out a sigh of relief rather than a groan whilst squeezing past a bike, knocking down a pile of coats and tripping over a pile of shoes makes it worth it. Sadly the landlord has over the years of renting this place out started to cut corners on appliances. The dishwasher, oven and washing machine are really cheap and nasty. It wasn’t something we could have known before renting the place (unless I had thought to ask the previous tenants when we had our viewing. I always feel awful intruding in people’s personal space when viewing a property and rarely say anything other than to apologise for the inconvenience and to thank them for letting us wander around) so sadly we’re stuck with it.
Fortunately there is a solution within reach, we’re saving for one of these babies: a Double Induction Hob. Until then I’m out of new savoury dishes to share and will probably just stick to easy to bake stuff. The oven is pretty terrible too but manageable so I can still bake up a storm (albeit inside a teensy tiny oven that takes forever to warm up).
These cookies are healthy (ish) and the kids loved them dunked in milk. They remind me a little of gingernut cookies and I loved them dunked in a strong cup of milky tea.
I used wholemeal flour but you could use half white flour and half wholemeal if you prefer. Raisins can be substituted for the dried apricots and dairy-free spread and dairy-free milk can be used to make these allergy and vegan friendly.
Recipe makes 20-30 cookies depending on the size of your cookie-cutter (I used a small glass and made about 30)
Preheat your oven to 170 C / 340 F
In a small saucepan melt the butter, sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk and the agave nectar. Bring to the boil, stirring and take off the heat when it has just started to bubble.
In a large bowl place the flour, bicarb soda and ginger. Stir through the finely chopped dried apricots
Make a well in the centre of your flour mixture and pour in the melted butter and sugar
Stir until everything is combined and knead gently with clean hands until it has all come together. I found my dough was way too dry and added a little more milk 1 Tablespoon at a time until my dough held together
Roll your dough out onto a floured surface to about a 1/4 of an inch thick. For softer cookies roll it to 1/2 an inch thick. I prefer them with a bit of crunch (perfect for dunking in a glass of milk) so went for the 1/4 inch
Use a cookie cutter to cut out your cookies and place onto a lined baking tray
Bake in the centre of your oven for 10-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. 10 minutes will give you softer cookies (not soft like your average choc-chip cookie, still stiff but not crunchy) and up to 20 minutes will give you crunchy cookies (check on them every 5 minutes after the 10 minute mark just in case they start to burn)
Pull up a chair and grab yourself a tea, coffee or big glass of milk and dunk away. These will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks
* Recipe adapted from a recipe in “Cooking ABC’s” published by Guy Fox History Project Limited (free cook book the kiddo’s scored)