Thursday, 6 December 2007

Thunder, Lightening, a Hot Drink and Oties…

Last night was dramatic; long before nightfall the wind was whipping the loch into a frenzy of whitecaps. Black clouds banked up over the hills on the other side and as darkness descended (just after 4 pm) the sky was lit by intermittent flashes and rolling, rumbling thunder.

The Rayburn was out-performing anything we had managed to achieve last winter, with a new grate, thanks to the kindness of a dear friend; who gave us the one from her soon-to-be-replaced old faithful. Having worked late, with supper long gone and the weather growling ‘round the house, it was time for coffee and a snack so I made a batch of these South African favourites. They’re quick and easy and if you don’t have all the ingredients, they still work with substitutions.


500ml / 2 C oatmeal (not instant) quick cooking is fine
250ml / 1 C flour - I use fine whole-wheat flour
250ml / 1 C shredded coconut - I use dried or desiccated coconut
200 ml / 4/5 C sugar - any type, white is OK, soft brown is yummy too!
250 g / 1 ½ sticks margarine - This seems like a lot of trans fat! I used 125grams butter!
15 ml / 1 Tblsp. golden syrup – I didn’t have golden, maple worked well.
5 ml / 1 tsp. baking soda
5 ml / 1 tsp. baking powder

Melt margarine and syrup together in a large pot.
Add baking soda and stir.
The mixture will froth up; just keep stirring until it has all frothed up.
Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.
Press into a greased baking sheet. (I used my roasting pan)
Dough must be 1 1/2 cm thick.
Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. (Adjust time according to thickness-golden brown is good!)
While still hot, cut into squares and leave to set before removing to cooling rack.

M thought that this batch was a bit dry so next time I’ll use about 200 grams of butter. Although I’ve made heaps of these over the years, it’s only lately that I’ve been trying to make some of our favourite recipes healthier. I always kid myself that these are good for us because of the oats, coconut and whole-wheat flour! When our sons were small, a tray of Crunchies would easily disappear in an afternoon (although I get thirty squares out of each batch) but they can last for two or three days in an airtight container.

The Rayburn made short work of these…they were ready and brown after only fifteen minutes! Oh boy, but then we had to wait until they cooled down enough to eat! The birds loved the crumbs from the baking tin this morning and we’ve got biscuits for the weekend. There’s something so satisfying in having a tin full of homemade goodies, no additives or other nasties…I feel very virtuous!


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