I’m a bit odd. I know you already knew that if you read my blog regularly but in this instance I mean that I love cold weather. I mean, I properly love it. Bleak, cold, melancholy British November weather. I don’t even mind rain. Don’t love it either, but once in a while it’s OK. Every morning recently when I open the curtains and I see there is frost on the grass outside I squeal and get the kids up to look out the window. “Jack Frost has beeeeeeeeen’!” When we first step outside and notice the increasing chill I inwardly have a rush of excitement. I know… I said I was weird!
Why though? Why do I love this weather? I think it’s the contrast. The cold dog walk and then coming home to put a cafetiere of coffee on and warming up with Woman’s Hour on the wireless. Putting the log burner on in the evening then sticking on Fargo and settling down with a decaf tea (rock and roll, eh) after the kids are down. Daily after school cocoas with marshmallows and squirty cream – for me as well as them. I think I must have Nordic blood back there somewhere. It’s that hygge thing isn’t it? Tell me I’m not alone!! I’ll be sick of it come January and want to get some winter sun, but for now I’m embracing the chill – in all senses of the term. I said to Adam yesterday – “… and another reason I love this weather is that you don’t have to worry about getting your bod out! You can actively put on half a stone and it’s fine!” Bring on the wobbly tummies, I say. I do think in the winter we all move towards comfort eating and gain a few pounds – at least. Slow cooked beef stews, and mugs of tea with melt in the mouth biccies like these are the order of the day. And long may that be the case.
This is an adapted recipe from the fabulous Skye Gyngell’s How I Cook book, published a good few years ago – you could get it second hand on Amazon, I’m sure. I picked it up in a charity shop. It’s a great, classy family cook book for the grown up foodie. The recipe is not very much changed, so I am happy to credit her fully. These are very rustic, crumbly biccies, but also so melty too. If giving to children, like I will be doing later for after school treats, then be sure to be a plate Nazi or else expect major crummage happenings…
Makes: 18 biscuits (I baked 12 and froze 6 cookie dough balls)
Takes: about 25 minutes (prep 10 minutes + cook 15 minutes)
- 100 plain or strong white bread flour (I used latter as I had no plain in!)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 200g soft butter
- 135g light brown sugar (or demarara, or golden caster)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 100g oats
- 175g dark chocolate chips (or dark chocolate, chopped up)
- 100g raisins
- Preheat oven to 160C. Line 2 x baking trays with baking parchment.
- Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.
- In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy (use an electric one if you have it). Add the vanilla, egg and the milk and beat again to mix.
- Gradually add four mix to butter and sugar mix, beating it in a bit at a time.
- Fold in raisins, chcocolate chips and oats.
- I use an ice cream scoop to measure out golf sized balls and pop 6 on a lined baking tray, equally spaced as they melt down. I froze 6 dough balls for another time.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool on the tray and then when cooled remove to tin or wire rack.