Oatmeal Cherry & Walnut Cookies and Dolly Mixture Fairy Cakes

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Two Easters ago, I baked a feast. I went so crazy there were cakes, muffins and cookies everywhere: on the tabletops, in the bedroom, in the freezer, in the fridge. It was gloriously nightmarish. A thoroughly obsessively psychotically sick affair.

Last Easter, I believe things were a little more toned down. Moderation was key.

This year, we went for a nice balance of things. Don’t they say good things come in pairs? Two’s a nice number. Well-rounded and more acceptable. In that case, this Easter, we’ve got cookies and cakes. No more than that. No more, no less. I thought we were quite clever.

On Tuesday, we had a nice little wander through the Oxford Covered Market. There’s a cake shop in there which I’ll blog a little later on about. Truly inspiring cakes and sugarcraft. And they make personalized easter eggs made to order too! In fact, H and I had our Easter eggs from there last year. They were yum. And almost too pretty to eat. It’s shops like that that make you feel like you’ve gotta bake. You leave wanting to make something of your very own, to get creative and start challenging yourself in the kitchen. I don’t suppose we really did challenge ourselves but we sure had good fun in the kitchen that day.

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Little fairy cakes topped with dolly mixture (we’ve so gotta love these sweets…so mildly flavoured and pretty to look at) for Easter cakes and a twist on the usual oatmeal raisin cookie which gives you something to talk about as well if you’ve got guests coming round for tea. I haven’t posted a recipe for the Fairy Cakes as H actually remembers this basic recipe by heart. It’s simply margarine, vanilla, flour, eggs, sugar all skillfully beaten by hand then baked at 175d Celsius until ready. Cooled, then frosted with a mix of icing sugar and water. Voila. Top them with sweets or decoration of choice. Cute as a button.

When it comes to eating cookies, dunking in a glass of cold milk is second nature. Or sometimes just eating it sans milk is pretty okay too. Dunking in hot coffee or tea seems unthinkable to me. I’ve seen my mum do it and it leaves rings of buttery-surfaced coffee in the cup. I’ve seen my mates do it and it just all looks a little drippy, a little messy. This time I tried it with this oatmeal cookie and I have a strange feeling my cookie-eating ways have been forever altered. Or at least, when it comes to oatmeal cookies. You’ve gotta dunk them in something warm. Leave the cold milk for the chocolate chip cousin. Oatmeal cookies have so gotta be dipped in a hot coffee or tea. A momentary experience of sweet bliss, as comforting as a spoonful of warm honey-laced porridge. So good.

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Happy Easter everyone! Hoping the Easter bunny sends out much sugary love to all. Will post up some of my little Oxford visit here soon.

Oatmeal Cherry & Walnut Cookies
Ingredients

      115g unsalted butter, softened

 

      1 cup plain flour, sifted

 

      1 cup rolled oats

 

      1 cup/225g dark brown sugar

 

      1 large egg

 

      3/4 cup chopped walnuts

 

      3/4 cup glace cherries, chopped

 

      1/2 tsp baking powder

 

      1/8 tsp baking soda

 

      pinch of salt

 

      1 tsp vanilla extract

 

      1/2 tsp ground ginger

 

    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 175d Celsius.

Cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, then beat.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Add oats to this and mix. Add to wet mixture of creamed butter and sugar. Mix until it is just incorporated.

Fold in cherries and walnuts. Do not overmix.

Form into 1-2 tbs balls or simply drop onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18mins or until just golden brown.

Cooking it for longer gets these cookies a darker shade and they turn into nice crunchy cookies when kept. Cooking for 15mins leaves it nice and chewy in the middle so cook according to your preference. Leave to cool on sheets for a minute before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

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