Saint Nicholas has left for Spain so we can turn our thoughts to Christmas without feeling guilty.
And “turn our thoughts to Christmas” means mainly “start baking Christmas cookies”. Because of an overdue kitchen renovation I find myself, at the moment of writing, without an oven. Or rather, I do have an oven: it’s sitting pretty in the middle of our living room, very much off grid. Also, it was delivered without baking sheets. Hopefully things will get better tomorrow.
But because I knew this was going to happen I baked 5 batches of cookies last week. Some old favorites, some I’d never made before, like these crispy cane cookies.
There are oats in these cookies. Don’t worry though, there’s butter and sugar, too. Also, they’re dipped in chocolate for good measure. The oats are roasted first with a bit of sugar. Roasting with sugar results in caramelization. The oats aren’t there to make the cookies “healthy”, but to make them crunchy. Shaping the cookies is fun. No rolling out thinly, no cookie cutters necessary. If you have little helpers (and I don’t mean fairies), let them help. They’ll enjoy it. One year ago: chocolate pretzel cookies
Crispy cane cookies
makes 40 cookies
From Christa Schmedes: Weihnachtsbäckerei
100 g (1cup) quick cooking oats
2 tbsp icing sugar
150 g (2/3 cups) butter, at room temperature
75 g (1/3 cup) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
220 g (1 ¾ cups) all-purpose flour
100 g dark chocolate
Mix oats with icing sugar and roast in a frying pan until golden, stirring frequently. Let cool.
In a large bowl, mix softened butter with sugar. Add egg and roasted oats. Add flour and mix everything quickly into coherent dough. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll into cylinders. Wrap in cling film or parchment and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours (longer is no problem).
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 F). Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment. Divide each roll of dough into 20 pieces. On a floured surface, roll each piece into a 9 to 10 cm (4 inch) rope, curve top down to form handle of cane and place on baking sheet.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until just beginning to colour. Let cool.
Melt the chocolate au-bain marie. Dip the tip of the cane in melted chocolate.
Store in an airtight container. The cookies can be made up to 3 weeks before Christmas.