Versatile Muesli Cookies

Very occasionally, I like to remind myself (and everyone who reads this blog), that I am not perfect and that we can’t all be good at everything. It has been a while since I posted one of my epic cooking fails, but this one is a real gem that provided me with the invaluable life lesson that more free time does not a good cook maketh. 

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After Superglue

 

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Before Superglue

You see, now that I’m working from home full-time and the kids are older – although sadly, not any less demanding – sometimes I get this longing to be a ‘fifties meets modern woman’, who can earn a decent crust at the same time as knocking up a batch of something yummy during her coffee break. I must reiterate that this window of opportunity has only come about since the kids grew up and I can callously refuse to enable their Millennial bleats for help. Which means that aside from my 24hr nagging service (which is reinforced by my ‘when are you leaving home’ ringtone), basically I ignore them. Oh, and the cleaning.

 

Anyway, three factors brought on this strange desire to make my own muesli cookies last week:

 

  1. I am always hungry – a common complaint among those of us who work from home and find themselves within 24hr snacking distance from the kitchen. So when I discovered the recipe online, and the cookies looked kind of healthy, (because oats and fruit…) and I ignored the glaring fact that they are meals between meals with calories you don’t need, it seemed like a good idea.
  2. I got sick of paying $5 for them in cafes.
  3. They looked quick and easy, which meant I could slip them in between Facebook sessions.

 

I trust the TASTE online recipes implicitly, nevertheless, once a cheater always a cheater so as soon as I printed the recipe from the Internet I looked for shortcuts. I’m sure you can imagine my hilarity when I discovered that one of the four ingredients listed was ‘homemade muesli’, a requirement that catapulted me to Coles as fast as a two-for-one sale on Tena pads in search of the muesli-fail that looked as close to something I’d knocked up myself. And I found it, by paying a week’s rent for a European version – for which I’ve no doubt some poor migrant scaled the mountains of Switzerland for and was paid the minimum wage.

 

Another minor cheat was that I really couldn’t be arsed to weigh the butter (because then I’d have to wash up the scales) and at this stage in my Masterchef career, I think I know what 100g looks like. In hindsight, it was an interesting decision after flourless cake-gate last week, when somehow I forgot to add the butter completely – one of only four ingredients. Anyway, my generosity with the butter on this occasion was probably what contributed to the versatility of my cookies’, because as soon as they emerged from the oven I sensed they were special and came with a range of extra functions, meaning they could be used as a muesli breakfast cereal, drizzled over salad, used as a sweet version of dukkha (because be honest, no-one really likes the savoury version), drunk as a smoothie or added to houseplants as fertiliser.

 

That’s right, with the consistency of course sand, I needed a trowel to move them from the baking tray to my cake stand, so I can only assume that the egg and flour must have been having an RDO.

 

Perhaps I should have listened more closely to the sage advice of George Colombaris’ to one of the new guinea pigs on Masterchef this week, when he warned her not to go too far off piste in her cooking as she cried into her ice cream soup.

 

So weigh the fucking butter.

 

I’ve given you the recipe below and I’m one hundred percent confident that in the right hands, it will work.

 

Versatile Muesli Cookies 

Calories: Who The Fuck Cares

Ingredients:

3 Cups Supermarket Toasted Muesli (or 3 cups homemade if you’re ‘one of those‘)

100g Butter, melted and cooled

1 Egg lightly beaten

1/2 Cup Plain Flour

1/3 cup honey

Superglue (if necessary)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees

WEIGH butter, then whisk with honey and egg.

Combine muesli and flour together then add butter mixture. Leave to sit for 15 minutes. Roll spoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on lined baking trays.

Bake for ten minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before moving (very important)

 

(Warning: When all the ingredients are combined, the mixture does feel really gross in your hands – kind of like when you find something soft and sticky down the back of the sofa. But the more you compact and flatten these fuckers, the more likely you are to get something hat resembles a cookie.)

 

 

Worst Christmas Cookie Recipe and How To Succeed At Not Being Perfect

I decided to dedicate my last post before Christmas to reminding you that it’s seriously okay not to be perfect; especially at this time of the year. And that I am quite happy to be your role model of imperfection. 

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Nailed them!

If I reflect back on the past year, there have been no really outstanding personal achievements to brag about on Facebook. I haven’t got pregnant or forged a new and exciting career, and my kids haven’t shone at the top of their school or field. Furthermore, I’ve gained weight, I’m drinking more, I still refuse to take exercise seriously or touch a Kale smoothie and a lot of the time I am not very happy.

 

But I am alive, and my dearest and dearest are healthy.

 

I still don’t get why we women continue to torment ourselves with trying to be perfect all the time; and I am the worst offender. Only the other day the strangest urge came over me to show NC and Kurt that I can be a real ‘mom’ by baking for them, and as usual the experience left me feeling about as useful as a snow plough in Sydney over Christmas.

 

There is an underlying fear in my head that my kids’ memories of their childhood will be of this last-minute, anti-mum, who always bought the shop-bought cake to functions and winged everything.

 

‘How hard can it really be to make a few Christmas cookies’, I remember thinking?

 

IMG_0337I didn’t over-stretch myself. I did my research and asked the Google gods to send me down the simplest cookie recipe – yet still assumed that I could modify it a little, if needs be.

 

After all, Jamie does that all the time.

 

But I hit the first roadblock immediately, when in my haste to get a photo of my perfect Christmas cookies up on Instagram, I selected a shortbread recipe instead of a cookie recipe, but didn’t realize my error until my dough was not ‘firm to the touch’, but closer to the consistency of butter icing.

 

It was wet, sticky, about as malleable as a jellyfish and impossible to peel off the work top, let alone shape into a star.

 

You can do this!’ I buoyed myself as the sweat dripped down from my forehead into the yellow goo stuck to my hands and an image of how fabulous Nigella always looks in the kitchen began to torment me.

 

And there were the inevitable ‘FUCKS!” of frustration at my hopelessness when it comes to baking, and I might have even sobbed a little and been forced to resort to some Rescue Remedy (a.k.a wine) for medicinal purposes, to calm me down.IMG_0339

 

But at least the Princess appreciated them.

 

Be kind to each other at this time of the year and remember that no-one is perfect and Christmas is not everyone’s idea of fun. Even as I write this post, the jelly is yet to set on my trifle, I can’t even squeeze into my Christmas dress and my son hasn’t spoken to me for 48 hours. 

 

Star Christmas Shortbread Cookies

250g butter, chopped

½ cup caster sugar

1 1/2cups plain flour

¾ cups rice flour

White icing

 

Combine together all ingredients.

Say ‘FUCK’ liberally.

PANIC when the consistency of your dough feels like wallpaper glue and you can’t even roll it out, then add loads more flour until you can cut those bastard cookies (you wished you’d never started in the first place) into something resembling a star shape with your cookie cutter.

Completely ignore the ridiculous timing suggested by the recipe and cook the fuckers for as long as they need for you to be able to prise them off the tray.

Smear with enough white icing to disguise their fugliness.

 

Merry Christmas and thank you for putting up with me for another year. xxx