Thursday, 13 June 2013

Hazelnut oat choc chip cookies and the long weekend

Our Queen's Birthday long weekend was unexpectedly full.  Wandering through the Coburg Carnivale.  Walking along the beach.  Craft projects.  Eating choc chip cookies.  I even managed a trip to the movies.

Coburg Carnivale packed a lot into the small Victoria Street mall, with a Suitcase Rummage in part of the supermarket car park.  No doubt our enjoyment of the event was helped by the blue skies and colourful bunting.  It was also nice to see some familiar faces.

Girl guides showed us how to tie reef knots with lolly snakes.  Sylvia made a pink badge, ate a cake in an ice cream cone and spent hours looking at little and tiny broaches.  I bought her a top with wings on it.  E bought CDs for 50c each.  We watched go go dancers dressed in school uniforms in tribute to Chrissy Amphlett and a performance of 'Step in Time' from Mary Poppins.  Sadly we missed seeing the Morris dancers and the merimbula band.  Our trip ended with a curry at Sarabella Cafe and a visit to the library.

After the Carnivale, we went home to relax and bake.  I've had my eye on these biscuits for some time now.  I discovered the recipe when trying to rid myself of a few cookbooks.  A while back I went through a phase of feeling the need for more chocolate cookbooks.  Then I had too many.  I decided that the Enjoy chocolate: recipes to make you go mmm cookbook made me go hmmm.  The cover was cut to ribbons by a small girl and many of the recipes were ones I was unlikely to make or already had elsewhere.

I am always reluctant to get rid of any cookbooks.  So before any go, I usually try and find any recipes I might want to make.  The hazelnut, oat and coffee choc chips biscuits looked so good and a wee bit healthy.  Instead of the coffee, I planned to substitute some lovely smoky hazelnut agave syrup and some ground wattleseed.  This made them more exotic than your regular choc chip cookie.

I love baking choc chip cookies.  I bake them regularly enough to be surprised when a recipe directs to bake them for 16 to 18 minutes in a 190 C oven.  It seemed rather a lot.  I cursed myself for not following my gut instinct when they came out of the oven looking rather well cooked.  We like cookies soft and chewy rather than crisp in this house.  I cooked the second batch slightly less.  Yet the darker ones were just as soft and chewy. 

The recipe said it made 24 biscuits.  I made about twice that.  Fortunately I had plans to share them.  We visited friends at Point Lonsdale on Sunday.  Jane and Andrew made us a lovely spread of DIY sandwiches at their holiday house.  We were quite a crowd and I was pleased that the box of biscuits was welcomed after lunch.  Everyone loved them.  They were very nubbly with oats and hazelnuts, but still managed to taste decadent with the choc chips.  In fact they were so good that I wondered at the wisdom of getting rid of the cookbook.

There was enough winter sun to eat on the deck.  After lunch we went to the beach.  The tide was in and we watched people standing along the sea wall being drenched by the waves splashing over them.  We stopped briefly at a playground and then walked on to the pier and lighthouse.  The walk gave us a renewed appetite and we ate the remaining biscuits back at their house.

While we were in their neck of the woods, we visited my sister and kids.  Susie had baked a banana cake and Grace and Ella were in the mood for craft.  They raided the recycling bin for old boxes to make into traffic light signs.  The boxes had an opening so we used them as a postbox to write notes to each other. It was great fun.  Sylvia drew pictures for her notes and can now write her name.

Finally the Monday was a quiet day at home for E and Sylvia.  I went out but thankfully not until after lunch.  Fittingly the film I saw was called Farewell My Queen.  Just right for the end of the Queen's Birthday long weekend.  Set in the last days of Marie Antoinette life, it was very beautiful to watch, both in the opulent royal chambers and in the simpler servants rooms.  It was an interesting insight into a turbulent time in history and made me reflect on life before social media.

Four Seasons Food
Four Seasons Food hosted by Delicieux and Chezfoti

I am sending these choc chip cookies to the Four Seasons Food Challenge, a new challenge to promote dishes inspired by the season.  Actually this is a European challenge so I am out of step with their seasons but these biscuits were eaten on the deck of a beach holiday house in the sunshine so they would go just fine with the theme of Picnic Food and Outdoor Nibbles.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: MLLA Minestrone and some vegetarian reflections
Two years ago: Smoky tomato soup and recent cooking
Three years ago: Chocolate custard crumble
Four years ago: GF Apricot and Cranberry Cake
Five years ago: Polenta Quinoa Sticks with Rhubarb Sauce

Hazelnut oat choc chip cookies
Adapted from Enjoy chocolate: recipes to make you go mmmm
I made about 50 biscuits (cookies)

175g butter (I used nuttalex margarine)
200g brown sugar
1 egg
70g plain white flour
70g plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground wattleseed (or coffee granules)
pinch of salt
1 tbsp hazelnut flavoured agave (or other sweetner like maple syrup)
225g dark choc chips
200g rolled oats
100g finely chopped hazelnuts

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in egg.  Stir in flours, bicarb soda, wattleseed and salt, then agave, then choc chips, oats and hazelnuts.  Mix until well combined.  Drop dessertspoonfuls of mixture on a lined oven tray and bake for 14 - 16 minutes at 190 C or until golden brown.  (NB my slow oven baked then quite brown in 16 minutes so watch them if your oven is quite powerful.)

On the Stereo:
Living in the 70s: Skyhooks

25 comments:

  1. those cookies look so very moreish! I think I would have trouble stopping at one, or two, or three.....

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    1. Thanks Lisa - I was glad to share them or I would not like to say what would have happened if we just had them all hanging around the house :-)

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  2. These look totally divine, and I'm loving your intriquing additions of hazelnut agave (I don't think I've come across it over here!) and wattleseed (definitely not available, even had to google it!). The whole mix of ingredients sounds truly wonderful and the perfect outdoor nibble. Thanks so much for entering our new Four Seasons Food challenge, and I believe this is the first Australian entry!

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    1. Thanks Louise - I have never seen hazelnut agave before either - nor even heard of it before but it is really delicious and probably helped give depth of flavour to the biscuits. Glad to represent the Aussies on your challenge

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  3. Mmm I love how you added oats because they're a cross of my two favourite cookies then! :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - now I am curious to know what cookies you refer to - choc chip cookies and anzacs perhaps?

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  4. Reef knots with jelly snakes! That is brilliant :) The cookies look fab too.

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    1. Thanks shauna - girl guides weren't that much fun in my day :-)

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  5. Oh noooo how could I not have known about the Coburg Carnival??? The local paper is hit and miss in my street, some weeks we get it, others not!

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    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - I wondered if you had been there - it was a good day and nice to have some good weather considering how dreary this week has been - I think I heard of it because I picked up a pamphlet locally and we didn't have any plans that day. That's a bit slack with your paper delivery

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  6. I've never had hazelnut-flavoured agave syrup. Sounds interesting. I like the exotic addition of wattleseed!

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    1. Thanks Leaf - the hazelnut agave is wonderful and I love to have some wattleseed in my kitchen to use instead of coffee

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  7. They do sound like scrumptious cookies. I love any kind of chocolate chip cookie, too (and we are also a "soft cookie" household). :) I had to smile at your comment about winter--seeing Sylvia without a sweater or jacket! Sigh.

    And of course I'm curious: did you end up keeping the book? :)

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    1. Thanks Ricki - the book is still here but I still plan to put it out when we get a load together for a charity shop. And it is quite an effort to get sylvia to wear a jacket esp as the one we have for her is a really warm european one so it doesn't get used that much

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  8. Sounds like you had a fun packed weekend Johanna. Great picture of Sylvia in pink :)

    Your biscuits sound like my sort of biscuit - it was the wattle seed that sold me. Wattle Seed Shortbread is one of my favourite food memories from Australia.

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    1. Thanks Choclette - it was a great weekend and we have many pictures of sylvia in pink - it is her favourite colour. I have never tasted wattleseed shortbreads but I must try them - I love how wattleseed gives a nutty slightly bitter edge to sweet baking

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  9. That carnival sounds like what my childhood dreams were made of. The only thing I'd want added would be fairy floss :)

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    1. Thanks Hannah - there was no fairy floss (but sylvia would have loved it if there was) - there was face painting and balloons and morris dancers walking around with jingling bells on their knees - I hope your carnivals had these too :-)

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  10. These oat cookies remind me of the ones my grandmom used to bake around Christmas - no choc or hazelnut though, but sometimes she included coconut flakes. :)

    Your coast pictures make me miss the sea ...

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    1. Thanks Kath - I've love coconut flakes in these cookies. And it was lovely to see the sea - I think it is good for the soul!

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  11. I'm glad you enjoyed your long weekend. Reef knots with lolly snakes sound very novel and these chocolate chip cookies appeal to me more than the standard sort - although like you, I prefer mine soft so would shorten the cooking time too. Good to see you got some sunshine too!

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    1. Thanks Kari - I was surprised and pleased that these cookies were soft even with getting so brown

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  12. Looks like you all had a great weekend. I think these cookies look great.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - it was a fun weekend

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  13. hahahaa sounds like we were having the same weekend just in different states! We also went to markets, enjoyed baking and craft and went to the movies! lol

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