27 Jul 2014

honey oat biscuits

Fabric from Frangipani Fabrics

Sorry, can’t stop, can’t talk now; I’ve got to finish a library book before it’s overdue, Hillary Clinton’s new memoir ‘Hard Choices’. I’ve had three weeks to plough thru — gasp! — 600 pages of small print. I can’t recall the last time I read such a hefty tome. Did I mention it’s small print?

Before starting her book, I had no real idea about Hillary Clinton’s politics, but the fact that as Secretary of State she became such a powerful woman — and perhaps in 2016, will be even more so — fascinates me. Plus it’s been a real crash course in world politics (though Israel and Palestine still confuse me), even knowing it is through the filter of Clinton’s perspective and potential presidential ambitions.

So if I am to avoid an overdue library fine, I need quick recipes. Like these honey oat biscuits, a sweeter variation on Anzacs, from a book by another woman writing about power. The power, that is, of homemade biscuits, cakes and muffins. Perhaps not in the same league as Hillary’s diplomacy moves on the world stage, but in ‘Bake Eat Love’, Anneka Manning believes that anything is possible — in the kitchen — if you have the right ingredients, utensils, skills, knowledge and confidence.

‘Bake Eat Love’ (which I won from Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things; thank you Liz!) is an engaging book for someone like me who is (mostly) a competent cake baker, but loves learning why foil-wrapped butter is better, which array of cake tins is essential, and what variety of sugars a well-stocked kitchen should have (and then comparing the list to my own inventory). All those front-of-book sections about pantry essentials and kitchen equipment fascinate me, so ‘Bake Eat Love’ is fabulous.

But if you had little experience or confidence in the kitchen, Anneka is the perfect guide for you. Her book graduates thru lessons in techniques for you to practice and master. I’m sure I’ll improve my cooking techniques by the end of the book.

So let’s start with her honey oat biscuits, with some macadamia nuts thrown in for good measure. Quick to mix together and get in the oven, and not long in there, either. Just long enough to make a cup of tea (peppermint works well with the sweet honey flavours here) and get back to those 600 pages.
Honey oat biscuits
Adapted from Anneka Manning's 'Bake Eat Love'.
  • Preheat oven to 180 and prep a couple of baking trays.
  • In a large bowl, combine 1 cup plain flour, 1/1/2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (I also used slivered almonds as I was a little short), and 3/4 cups sugar.
  • In a small saucepan, gently melt 150 gms butter with 1/3 cup honey and 1 tbspn water.
  • Once combined, remove from heat and stir in 1 tspn bicarb soda. It will foam up a little.
  • Add this to the dry ingredients, stir till combined.
  • Then roll walnut size balls and place on tray, flattening slightly and leaving a little space around to spread. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until nicely golden.
  • Enjoy with a good book.

20 comments:

  1. Hello e. What a perfect Sunday morning post, love it! Hilary's book sounds fascinating. Bake, Eat, Love looks great too. I love cookbooks with lists & inventories all of that extra information & perfectly styled pantries & equipment. Those biscuits look delicious & I happen to have a huge bag of organic rolled oats x

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    1. good morning jane, and thank you! i'm telling everyone to read both these books! i hope you put those oats to good use and your biscuits turned out just as delicious as mine.

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  2. The biscuits sound good, and I love books like that, that give you a real insight into things that are often on the news. There's lots I'd like to learn about Israel and Palestine as well, I'll find a book on that one day.

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    1. thanks to hillary's book, i now more know about that area of the world (and indeed the whole world) but it's still hard working out the 'goodies' and the 'baddies' - i don't think its clear cut at all! i think that's why i'll stick to baking here at dig in! i'm on more solid ground :-)

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  3. I'll leave a short comment... don't want to keep you from finishing that book and getting it back to the library! The biscuits sound very good. My daughter is on a mission to find a really good cookie recipe at the moment - I'll get her to try this one next.

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    1. ha ha, thank you GD :-) i hope they work for your daughter. these are a (very good) variation on our beloved anzacs, and you can't beat an anzac!

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  4. Hi there Elizabeth! So glad you are enjoying the book! And Hilary Clinton's book sound interesting indeed. May I have a biscuit now? : )

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    1. you may indeed lizzy - help yourself; have two!
      anneka's book is brilliant guide to baking, for anyone, and i can't wait to get back to it :-)

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  5. Anonymous28 July, 2014

    The phrase “strength of character” comes to mind when I think of Hillary Clinton. She has dealt with significant challenges through her life and definitely proved her worth to become Americas first female president. Hoping she gets up in 2016 we’ll wait and see. The remarkable thing about autobiographies is that they can introduce you to issues you've never really considered in detail. The Israeli-Palestinian issue is a tough one to understand. The problem goes back literally thousands of years and obviously not one easily solved. Dare I say this, but Israeli-Palestinians are more alike than they are different. This is the sad part. Anyhow I digress….. Nice biscuits by the way.
    Anonymous Hobart Person! (AHP) :-)

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    1. thank you, very intelligent AHP! i love reading biographies and autobiographies, and after reading hillary's, i agree with you - she certainly has strength of character, as well as sheer physical stamina, surely, to do what she did as secretary of State. i learned a lot about her by the end and have to say, and really came to like and admire her ability ... i think i'd vote for her!

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  6. I'm reading Hillary's book at the moment too. When I think about some of the challenges I have dealing with people in my job I only have to reflect on how and who she has to negotiate with and think...wow my job is easy. Well nobody gets blown up anyway. She'd like the biscuits too.

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    1. you;re probably right, louise - i'm sure hillary would appreciate a good cuppa and oaty biscuit to dunk in it, during a rare quite moment on air force one as she flies between world hot spots :-)

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  7. If you get this twice sorry ... yum to the biscuits and I must get that book!

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    1. only once frogpond, but i'll take it as a double yum :-) i finished hillary's book and last night picked up anneka's again, and want to make ALL her recipes!

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  8. They look so golden and crunchy! I like the idea of enjoying them with a cup of peppermint tea, too.

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    1. hi leaf! the cool mintiness of the tea works well with the honey sweetness of the bikkies. a match made in heaven!

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  9. They look like the perfect accompaniment for a good binge reading session! I read an article on Hilary Clinton in one of those free magazines that get jammed into your hand as you come out of any train station in London, she is pretty fascinating.

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    1. hillary's book would be good for long commutes, hannah, though perhaps a bit heavy for lugging around all day. a couple of these bikkies would build up your strength for that!

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  10. These would be delicious with a cup of tea!

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    1. hi Carla! - yes, it's a perfect pairing, and just right for a gloomy august morning :-)

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