Thanks for all of your lovely comments on the last couple of posts as we’ve prepared the house for the holidays. We’ve had a lovely weekend getting into the swing of Christmas with visiting family; the meringue wreath was mercifully able to be resurrected, the turkey was wrestled successfully into the oven without any limbs needing to be sawn off, and Harry was initiated into the tradition of family games. Sardines saw 9 grown adults wedged variously into a bunk bed, a small airing cupboard and under an occasional table, and Twister swiftly revealed just who had been conscientious in their yoga practice this year. I write to you from the sofa, in a happy haze of leftover Prosecco, with several joints iced-up and immobilised.
Anyway, to business, and to a last-minute gift that I promise you can knock up in the time it takes to run a bath, and which will wow with its homespun thoughtfulness. Trust me.
Every year, I make spiced oatmeal and raisin cookies for Christmas and every year, I end up scribbling the recipe down for friends who are already planning how to secure some more, even before the last crumbs are brushed away. They require very little skill and are actually supposed to look uneven and bumpy, and that to me qualifies them as being just about the perfect cookie to make.
This year I’ve distilled the recipe into a jar, adding the dry ingredients in layers and attaching baking instructions listing the steps needed and additional ingredients (an egg and butter, very easy). I’ve uploaded some printables below, so that once you’ve raided the cupboards and filled your jars, you can just print out the swing tags and you’re ready to go.
An important caveat for chefs and gourmands; combining all the dry ingredients in this way is not quite as good as taking a conventional step-wise approach and mixing butter and sugars before adding flour, and raisins last etc; if you are gifting to a cookie connoisseur with a refined palate, this may matter. For the rest of us – they’re yummy.
To fill your jars (I used 1 litre jars; try Kilner or the Korken range at IKEA) you’ll need: (if you’re in North America and work in cup measurements, try this recipe which helpfully is designed for a jar too and is similar):
- 130g Caster sugar
- 130g soft brown sugar
- 60g rolled oats
- 180g plain flour, mixed with 1/2 tsp of bicarb of soda, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1tsp ginger
- 120g raisins
- 200g icing sugar.
Pour all of the ingredients into the jar in layers, in the order described, tapping the jar gently to level each layer out before adding the next. Try spooning them in if you find it easier. For the icing sugar, put this into a separate small bag and add last before sealing the jar; this is for the icing so will be used when the cookies are baked.
Recipients of your gift can just pour the contents of the jar into a bowl, stir well and then add a beaten egg and 150g of softened butter, and the cookies are ready to roll into balls and bake. Once cooled, they can be drizzled with icing. I added a little jar of white chocolate stars and a wooden spoon with each gift this year; you could also accessorise with any pretty sprinkles or with chopped nuts, for example.
If you click on the links below you’ll find these labels; just cut out and glue front to back before tying on with ribbon.