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.)

 

 

The Idiot’s Guide To Homemade Muesli

Who’d have thought that one day I would be smug enough to make my own Muesli? And brave enough to brag about it? But in these days of health madness, it’s not just Pete Evans who can be radical in the kitchen; you can be too. You might even get a modicum of respect for your domestic prowess when you pour this amount of wholesomeness into the kids bowls each morning. 

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Process the nuts unless you know someone who can do the Heimlich Manoeuvre

Not if your kids are anything like mine, admittedly. There was a united ‘eugghhh’, followed by a collective sigh as they watched me throw my Muesli all together and then begged the old man to buy the boxed Sanitarium version from Aldi instead.

 

But at least you’ll know you tried.

 

I find breakfast very uninspiring typically, mainly because I’m not a morning person and frankly the last thing I want to do (other than sex) is eat at 7am, unless it’s a hot “all you can eat” English breakfast buffet in Scotland; secondly, I can’t actually coordinate my limbs before my coffee, which makes breakfast complicated.

 

I’ve stuck faithfully to porridge with some sliced banana since winter set in here in Sydney a month or so ago, for comfort really, but it’s getting a bit monotonous now and I can’t seem to prevent those fears creeping in about what we don’t know about microwaves….

 

Then, when we were on our mini break recently in the Hunter, what should I find in the kitchen cupboard but Alpen sachets; the type that we used to get in English B and Bs, and I got all excited and melancholy.

 

Because Muesli always did have a certain class about it, didn’t it? It recaptures Switzerland perfectly and all the really good stuff about it like its freshness and chocolate and Roger Federer and snow-capped mountains, and chocolate, and Heidi… and definitely not skiing, because we all secretly hate skiing.IMG_2626

 

Just me?

 

Anyway, according to www.mindbodygreen.com, the benefits of Muesli are:

 

  • Muesli typically has less sugar and calories than most breakfast cereals on supermarket shelves.
  • It is high in fiber and whole grains, which regulate the digestive system, are filling and can aid in weight control.
  • Muesli is a potent source of antioxidants.
  • The addition of nuts provides a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids (especially walnuts).
  • Milk or dairy alternatives that usually accompany muesli is a source of dairy and protein.

 

And if that isn’t enough, it probably helps you poo daily which can be a concern at our age, because all that healthy stuff does that. The moment I tore open my first sachet it reminded me how partial I am to the odd bowl of Muesli, especially when I’m in a healthy phase because I need to get back in my swimming costume soon.

 

The only problem with Muesli is that it can be a bit harsh on the budget, having to be carried down mountains by goats herded by Heidi and Peter, and the old man does have a newly revised and very tight food shopping budget.

 

So I did some research and realised quickly that a) muesli does not require a degree in cooking or really any cooking techniques whatsoever, and b) it uses up all those dredges of nuts, raisons and seeds that have floated around in your kitchen cupboards for decades sending out mating calls to moths since that time you made protein balls in 1902.

 

So here’s my recipe… stolen from generations of online Swiss Museli-Makers and then adapted to suit what I had in the cupboard:

 

Ingredients:

 

1 cup Almonds or walnuts

4 cups of rolled oats

1 cup coconut flakes

3 tbsp of Chia

1 tsp of cinnamon

2 cups of dried fruit (I used dried cranberries and dates)

1 cup of bran

1 cup of sunflower seeds

1 cup of pumpkin seeds

½ tsp salt

 

NB. Process the nuts unless you know someone who can do the Heimlich Manoeuvre, then mix it all together and feel the smugness wash over you. Add milk, or yoghurt if you’re a little bit fancy.