Oaty Shortbread Cookies

I am calling these ‘Leaving Cert’ cookies! In our house at the moment it feels like we are all doing the dreaded Leaving Cert (once was enough!). The skills, time, support and patience required are not to be under estimated.  We have now experienced two types of student –  I don’t know which is worse! Mr ‘Laid Back’ who starts at 0% and works upwards towards getting a bare pass in all subjects – anything more is seen as unnecessary and a waste of energy! Then we have Miss Anxiety who is the opposite – works non-stop,  starts at 100% and stresses about not knowing everything on the course in an effort not to lose marks. This is the one we are going through at the moment – counselling, chats, hugs, cups of tea, coffee, treats, the list goes on, all part and parcel of being a parent of a Leaving Cert student nowadays. Continue reading

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Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men 2

These cookies are worth baking for the smell alone that will fill your house while they are in the oven. There is nothing like the scent of cinnamon and ginger to put you right in the Christmas mood. They are easy and fun to make and have a lovely crisp texture and gingery taste. I tested these out successfully on my Spanish classmates, on some of my swimming friends (yes they ate them at breakfast!) and also at a Book Club gathering and I promised everyone I would share the recipe. Everyone adores Gingerbread Men so they would make a great homemade Christmas gift. The mixture is made in a food processor so the only real work is in the rolling and cutting out and of course the decoration (which is the real fun bit!). They are great for children to make too as very little can go wrong with them. You can have lots of fun decorating them with icing sugar, silver or gold balls, raisins or edible gold or silver dust.

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Quick (sugar-free) Chocolate chip cookies

This is a recipe from Derval O’Rourke’s cookbook ‘Food For The Fast Lane’ and is great for using up very ripe bananas that have been abandoned in the fruit bowl.  There are only 4 ingredients so the cookies are very simple and quick to make as well as tasty.  If like me you are trying to cut back on sugar these cookies are a great guilt-free alternative and are delicious (and filling) with a cup of tea!

Sugar-free cookies final wtmrk

(Makes 6 cookies)

Ingredients

2 bananas peeled and mashed

50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) chopped

40g porridge oats

25g desiccated coconut

Method

Preheat the oven to 160˚C/325˚F/gas 3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking sheet.

Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to  mix everything together. The bananas will bind the mixture so make sure to give them a good squeeze with your fingers. When the cookie dough has formed, roll it into balls, and place them a few centimetres apart on the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to flatten the cookies slightly.

Bake for 15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the tray before removing to a wire rack. These are best kept in the fridge where they will last for 2/3 days.