Necessity is the mother of invention

My lovely, lovely fella, Nic, bought me my Kitchenaid a couple of years ago. There are a few brands of mixer available, but Kitchenaid wins. They look the coolest, which means you are far more likely to leave them on display all of the time, which means you're far more likely to actually use them!

My favourite recipe book is The Grand Central Baking Book. The page containing their Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies literally falls open when I take it off the shelf!

Last night, I decided to make some cookies to christen my new oven. Imagine my despair when I found I didn't have enough chocolate, or flour. How embarrassing. I really need to go shopping.

I had some other stuff in the cupboard, so I decided to wing it with what I had. Here is what I used:

8oz unsalted butter, at room temperature (proper butter)
7oz golden granulated sugar
7oz packed light brown sugar

2 eggs
¾ teaspoon almond essence (run out of Vanilla!)
9oz Plain Flour
1oz ground almonds (not enough flour!)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

 ¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon seasalt

9oz rolled oats
4oz dark chocolate cut in to chunks

4oz milk chocolate cut in to chunks
4oz dried cranberries (only one bar of each chocolate in stock. Shameful)

This metric malarkey will never catch on you know.

So I guess I've made Cranberry and Almond Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies. Or thereabouts.

If you're interested in having a go, it's pretty simple. Cream the butter and sugars together, slowly mix in the eggs and almond essence, then spoon in the flour and other dry ingredients - I whisk them together first to get rid of any lumps. If you're using a mixer, stop it every now and then to scrape the sides and bottom. Finally, add the oats, cranberries and chocolate chunks.

This recipe will make 24 big cookies or 36 biscuit sized cookies. I only put 6 on a tray, well spaced apart, and straight on to baking parchment. I flatten them slightly as in the picture above, then pop them in a preheated oven at 175c for 10 minutes, turning them 1/2 way through the baking time. I leave them to cool on the tray as I like my cookies gooey in the middle, so you can't move them until they're slightly cool. They actually carry on baking once you remove them from the oven, so don't be alarmed if you don't think they're quite done yet.

They're pretty good. It's inspired me to play with my all-time-favourite cookie recipe a bit more. And it feels more like home here now.

Berylune, 45 Park Street, Leamington Spa CV32 4QN.