When it’s school holiday time, we seem to eat so much more as a family than we usually do. It’s taken me by surprise how frequently my kids want to eat and with the extra time to spend with them at home, it’s been nice to do a little baking. But I’m no super spontaneous, indie, ‘let’s get creative’ type mum so adventures in this area still need to be simple enough to keep the fun levels high for all of us. This recipe sent in by Emily Yap totally fits the bill, who recommends it for lots of reasons: they’re tasty, cheap, easy to make and all the ingredients are standard pantry items – cause who likes having to make an extra trip to the shops just to do some baking? This recipe, adapted from a blog called The Pioneer Woman Cooks makes 15 squares of yummy-ness and will cost around $4 to bake.
- 200g cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup oats (quick or regular)
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed firm
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 x 370g jar of jam of your preference, I used IXL Strawberry Conserve
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees, then grease and line a 20 x 30 cm lamington tin.
- Put all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, blitz for just a moment until everything is just combined.
- Add chopped butter to the mix and process until mixture resembles crumbs with large/obvious chunks, roughly the size of rice grains. Be careful not to over-process.
- Divide mixture in half and press one half of the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the lamington tin.
- Heat the jam in the microwave at 50% for 40 seconds and give it a good stir. Pour gently over the crumb base and use a spoon to spread evenly.
- Gently tip the rest of the crumb mixture on the top of the jam and spread evenly. Using clean fingers press down as firmly as possible without destabilising the jam.
- Bake for 20-30 mins until brown on top. Cool in the tin and use a sharp knife to cut into squares.
So it seems I’m slowly being converted out of my anti-biscuit baking funk by some contributors and their awesome recipes. My old uni friend Katherine has sent in this fantastic contribution – cookies with just two ingredients + whatever mix-ins you might like. There’s so much to love about this recipe: no butter, no eggs, no refined sugar, minimal mixing, less than 5 minutes prep before they go in the oven, they’re much healthier than their mainstream counterparts, they taste terrific and the oatey substance of them is so homely. But since this is a blog about easy and affordable hospitality, I should mention too that they’re a great option to make for last minute guests who drop in (no rolling mixture, just dollop the mixture on the trays using 2 dessert spoons), a yummy addition to a meal provided for folks in need or freezing in advance for the never-ending stock needed for healthy school lunches. Originally from a terrific blog called The Burlap Bag – all credit is given to its author, Lauren who invented these. Using the quantities listed below, with choc-chips used as my mix-in of choice, these little babies will cost you no more than $6 to make 40+ cookies and less if you get bananas cheaper than $3/kg. Thanks for sharing, Katherine and thanks for inventing, Lauren!
- 8 bananas, mashed (or blitzed in food processor)
- 4 cups quick cooking oats (homebrand is fine)
- My mix in: 1 x 230g bag cadbury choc-chips
Mix ingredients together. Old bananas are amazing for this, but you can use fresh ones too. I buy a bunch of bananas, let them get old on my counter, giving the family the opportunity to eat them and then stick what remains in the freezer – whole with the skin on.
Then add in what sounds yummy to you (or nothing!) Lauren suggests these:
– a handful of chocolate chips
– crushed walnut pieces
Lauren’s tip: Since all bananas are different sizes, the needed measurements can vary. If it seems too runny and the cookies would flatten out too much, add in more oatmeal. And make sure to not add in TOO many mix-ins as the cookies won’t hold together very well. Dollop onto trays using dessert spoons and flatten before baking with a fork. Bake in a moderate oven for around 15 mins. Enjoy!