buttery date and walnut cookies

Buttery Date & Walnut Cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

If you find yourself in the kitchen after dinner on the hunt for something sweet… If you find your afternoon cup of tea lacking a little accompanying treat… If you find yourself just in need of baked goods in a heartbeat, these cookies are for you!

Buttery Date & Walnut Cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

They are ludicrously simple. They’re based on a basic cookie dough we were taught at Le Cordon Bleu. I love the addition of dates as they add some chew and the nuts add great texture. You can really add whatever floats your boat or add nothing at all and keep them a dead simple butter biscuit.

Buttery Date & Walnut Cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

Buttery Date & Walnut Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 50g caster sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • about a cup of chopped walnuts
  • about a cup of pitted, chopped dates

Method:

Preheat oven to 180˚C.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and salt.

Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and stir gently until combined.

Fold in the nuts and dates.

Form the dough into little balls. Place onto a lined baking tray. Spread them out well spaced and press down lightly on each cookie.

*if your hands are quite warm pop the dough into the fridge for 30 minutes to chill

Bake for about 15 minutes until lightly golden. Don’t even bother allowing them to cool. Tuck in immediately!

Buttery Date & Walnut Cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

Buttery Date & Walnut Cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

Buttery Date & Walnut Cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

vovo’s oatmeal raisin cookies

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

The husband has been talking about these oatmeal raisin cookies since our early dating days when he only liked me for my washing machine. He explained how his German granny ‘Vovo’ made these for him growing up and no matter what biscuit/crunchie/cookie I baked for him nothing could ever compare to these. At the time I was ever so slightly peeved. How good could these cookies be? Well I recently found out… and they are that good.

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

On our recent trip to the states Vovo arrived at our airbnb one day with a bag full of groceries for me and this recipe. Now no pressure but I had to bake these cookies for the entire family. No problemo. So I get cracking in the kitchen with an oven that keeps tripping, no mixing bowls, no scale or baking utensils and only a 1/2 cup for measuring and one plastic teaspoon. We even had to make a dash to the shops to buy a baking tray. Anyhoo, all that aside and some suspect measuring later the most delicious smell on earth was emanating from the kitchen. This recipe makes about 40-50 cookies depending on their size. They lasted just under 24 hours. They were inhaled.

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

The type of oats you use for these oatmeal raisin cookies is rather important. Try find big, beautiful, large flake rolled oats. Definitely don’t use any instant or quick oats. They will alter the texture and you definitely don’t want that. These cookies are superbly crunchy and chewy at the same time. I found some gorgeous big rolled oats at Wellness Warehouse for those in SA. As for the chocolate- dark chocolate chips are the way forward or else a slab of dark chocolate chopped into chunks that will make glorious oozy gooey pockets of love. Oh and just a warning- the raw dough is ADDICTIVE. I tucked in while rolling the cookies out and actually reduced the amount of work I had to do as I was decreasing the dough rapidly. Whoops.

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

Vovo’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

makes A LOT (40-50 depending on size)

Ingredients:

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 180g brown sugar
  • 115g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 190g flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 330g rolled oats
  • 170g raisins
  • 100g dark chocolate chips/chunks

Method:

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

Cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground cinnamon and sea salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and mix well.

Finally fold in the oats, raisins and chocolate chips.

Place the mixture into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out scant tablespoons of dough into little balls.

Refrigerate the balls for another 30 minutes and then bake them off in batches for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Dunk in some cold milk and enjoy! 

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

oatmeal raisin cookies | The Secret Life of Bee

Anzac biscuits- like my mamma made

Anzac biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

As winter approaches I find myself wanting a hot cup of tea and something to dunk into it. These Anzac biscuits are one of my all time favourite biscuits for dunking and general munching. I have been making this recipe with my mom since I was too short to reach a counter top. Apart from their obvious baked, crunchy yumminess I think I loved this recipe as a child because the raw mixture it utterly delicious and I would eat half of it before it made its way to the baking tray. That and the foamy bubbling awesomeness when you add the bicarb to the butter and syrup makes this such a fun recipe to teach eager little budding cooks.

Anzac biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

Our dear and ancient cookbook that the original recipe hails from is half glued shut with bits of batter and syrup. It also might be missing a few several pages out of it. The original recipe is from “The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits” by The Australian Women’s Weekly. I have no clue where our sticky copy of this beloved old book is now but the recipe is so easy you’ll know it off by heart after the first try. To be honest most Anzac biscuit recipes are very similar and just differ by the amount of coconut or sugar some people add. So don’t fret about this recipe ever not turning out if you add a bit too much or a tad too little of something. I add a good dose of vanilla and some sea salt to mine which the original recipe doesn’t call for but I think are lovely additions. Now put the kettle on and get baking!

Anzac biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

Anzac biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 215g brown sugar
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 60g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 125g butter
  • 45g golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 Tbsp boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method:

Preheat oven to 150˚C.

Combine the flour, sugar, oats, coconut and salt in a large bowl.

Place butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan and stir over heat until the butter is completely melted. Mix the bicarb of soda into the boiling water and add to the saucepan. Stir well until completely combined and foamy.

Pour butter mixture into the dry ingredients, add the vanilla, and mix well.

Roll tablespoon size balls of the mixture and place evenly spaced out onto a greased or lined baking sheet.

Bake at 150˚C for 20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool and firm up slightly on the baking tray before transferring the biscuits onto a cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Anzac biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee

Anzac biscuits | The Secret Life of Bee