A few days ago we were sitting inside on a cloudy, rainy, windy and generally miserable day. As the grey light lit the room with gloomy rain-streaked light, a glumness and boredom took hold of the household. I got lured, as I too easily do, into aimlessly roaming the internet while convincing myself that it was work. Buddy was doing paper work, our youngest had gone for a nap, and our three year old, Magnus, was becoming increasingly grumpy as he re-read the entire Dr. Seuss collection for about the fifth time. Something had to be done!
Really the only option for the relief of rainy day tedium is to bake cookies.
And so my three year baking companion and I headed to the kitchen to see what we could devise. As we began to check out what we had, we were faced with the hideous fact that there was no chocolate in the house. Hmmmm….cookies without chocolate. An odd and slightly alarming prospect, but a chance to broaden our baked confection horizons and try out some new flavours. We discovered that we did have two large oranges, and so the plan to make orange cookies was hatched.
There’s an excellent recipe for oat banana cookies that requires only oats, mashed banana and chocolate chips. They are delicious and obviously a really healthy option as they’re sweetened only with potassium laden bananas. With this in mind we decided to make oat cookies, but decided to also add some rye flakes. We also decided to replace the bananas with date puree soaked in with the orange juice, and add a bit of tahini for richness and for some healthy fats. But what about flavourings? We decided on ground cloves, and then Magnus suggested we should add some poppy seeds! Brilliant!
Our cookies turned out really nicely. Chewy and spicy with the crunch of poppy seeds. But much more importantly than that, we seized the gloomy day, and turned it into a really lovely moment, and I got to spend some real time with my boy. While taking pictures, I even discovered that he’s a genius lighting tech! He kept knowing exactly where to hold the reflector to optimize the light!
So here we have our rainy day orange oat and rye cookies… recipe and lighting by Magnus Leask….
- Zest and juice of two large oranges
- 150g stoned dates, chopped
- 100g oats, ground to flour
- 100g oats, unground
- 100g rye flakes
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp tahini
- 1Tbsp poppy seeds
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with non-stick parchment.
- Cover the dates with the orange juice in a jug, and leave to soak for about 10 minutes. Once soaked, blitz together until quite smooth. Stir the vanilla into the juice and date mix and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together the oat flour, oats and rye flakes. Stir in the baking powder, ground clove and poppy seeds until well combined.
- Stir in the orange zest.
- Pour the juice, date, vanilla mix over the dry ingredients and then add the tahini. Stir the mixture very well until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and the mixture has formed a rough oat-y dough that holds together when you squeeze it into small balls.
- Take small handfuls of the dough, roll them into balls between your hands and then flatten them slightly before placing them, slightly spaced out, on the prepared baking tray. The mixture should make between 18-24 cookies, you’ll probably need to work in batches.
- Place the cookies in the oven and allow them to bake for 15-25 minutes, until they’re golden brown and feel firm.
- Set them on a wire rack to cool.