Well it is now Tuesday night. I am tucked up in bed psychologically preparing myself for work tomorrow. I have been at home for the past week recovering from a chest infection so my brain needs to start moving the gears up! Today I got out of bed at midday and chopped up some vegetables for the slow cooker in an attempt to create a lentil stew for the rest of the week. I went back to bed and slept a bit more. When I finally got up I took my shower, switched on my phone, logged into my NHS mail and Systmone account. It was not as bad as I thought it might be after seven days away. Much of the work I think I can manage when I get back tomorrow, I have an administrative session in the morning and I will chip away at as much as I can.
After doing that, and seriously thinking about in what order I was going to tackle all of my tasks, my mind wandered to food (as it always does) and I realised that I did not have any homemade snacks to take to work. I also thought that I had better see how much stamina I had, so decided to bake some cookies.
I had a jar of cranberries that I wanted to use up so it was as good a start as any. Despite my multiple recipe books, I will still turn to Google to look for a recipe that I can adapt for my purposes. After a short search, I found a Martha Stewart recipe that seemed to fit the bill. I had to make a number of adaptations based on the contents of my cupboards. I used wholemeal self-raising flour instead of all purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder. I do not have two types of sugar so I used 1 1/2 cups of golden caster sugar. Crucially, I did not have any eggs, so I used two tablespoons of chia seeds as a substitute to mix with the milk (in my case almond milk). I recently read in a vegan text book that chia seeds could be used as an egg substitute. I made a lovely gloopy mixture which seemed to work well. I decided from the outset that I was only going to make 12 cookies and freeze the remainder of the cookie dough mixture for another day.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
2 large eggs
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup dried cranberries
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla, milk, and eggs. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, gradually add milk mixture, and beat well. Add the flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Remove bowl from the electric mixer, and stir in the oats and cranberries. Place dough in the refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. Shape 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball; place on one of the prepared sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing 3 inches apart. Press with the bottom of a glass to flatten dough into 2-inch-diameter rounds.
Bake until golden but still soft in center, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove from oven; transfer with parchment to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
As for the final product? Sweet and crunchy! I think I like them. They will certainly be coming to work with me tomorrow.