Wednesday, 11 March 2015


Apricot & Yoghurt Oatmeal Cookies

Time taken: 40 mins
Ingredients: 175g plain flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, a teaspoon of cinnamon, 150g rolled oats, 75g  light brown sugar, 120g dried apricots, 150g natural yoghurt, a splash of vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of oil.

Hi readers,
Literally, both outside in the sky and inside in my heart today, there is a great big sun shining. I’m feeling so positive at the moment! The first signs of spring are all around us everywhere we look. In Newcastle, there are flowers in bloom and buds on trees. Clear blue skies and warm gentle winds. Without howling Arctic gales shaking the roof tiles and blowing you off the pavement you can HEAR birds singing in the trees. Real live birds and they’re SINGING because it’s spring.
Other signs of spring? Easter eggs in shops (I want them all right now… Lent is SO tough). My Mother Bear reports that she hung some washing out on the line and it was neither rained on or blown away. Obviously, students have got their flip flops out (very premature). I walk past houses with their windows open letting in a breeze. And the ChefBeHere flat has taken on a near-constant aroma of toasted hot cross buns (which I’m allowed on Lent – thank God).
I’m embracing all these signs of Spring. Even yesterday, just to be a comedian, I put my flip flops on to walk to the post box. And it was fun! I’m so excited for summer to come now so that we can enjoy these things for real. And get out our arms and legs, drink cider outdoors, have a spontaneous BBQ, mow the lawn, throw open every window! AND TAN. So much excitement.
Meanwhile, just for now though, a blue sky in a morning may have to be enough to tide us on. We’ve got Mother’s Day, Easter Sunday, The Grand National, Comic Relief, The Eurovision… a few things to look forward to. And then summer.
Also, in the meanwhile, we can officially launch Spring baking!!! This, I’m so excited for. In my eyes, readers, Spring baking is a big, big deal. It’s all about the fruit! I think that, in winter, we:
a) Pick the heaviest options we can. And gain about a stone. This is vital weight to keep us warm on cold winter nights and fill out our Santa suit.
a) Eat a lot of chocolate. We’re given it for Christmas and it’s advertised all over TV and, generally, everyone needs chocolate to make themselves feel better on a winter night.
b) Eat a lot of pastry. Winter is the season of pies and mash in gravy, and then a festive mince pie for your pudding. A warm cheesy quiche and spiced egg custards. Pastry galore!
c)  Chuck custard on everything. Crumble, jam roly poly, Christmas pudding… the list goes on. Nobody orders those with ice cream between the months of November – February.
But now it’s Spring! And everyone has a change of heart. We might not be nibbling a garden salad on a sun terrace quite yet but I think that people, generally, have reached their limits with stodge. No more! Now it’s time for FRUIT by every means possible.
Cherry scones, strawberry cheesecakes, lemon drizzle sponges, fruit-filled tea breads, blueberry muffins… so many options! And I intend to explore a good number of them. Starting today. In this post, readers, I’m sharing with you a new recipe that I tried out earlier this morning. This recipe I found, basically, by Googling a list of the meagre ingredients I have in. It was my top search result!
This recipe is one that I found on a lovely blog called Halal Home Cooking, which you can take a look at HERE. I may not follow a Halal diet, but this blog has so many recipes that I’m really excited to try! Black seed, honey & date oat bars have definitely caught my eye. And with recipes like carrot cupcakes, or cinnamon sugar apple muffins, I may need to go stock up on muffin cases! If you have the time then definitely check out this recipe-filled blog. Also, follow my lead, and have a try at baking a batch of Apricot & Yoghurt Oatmeal Cookies!
Here’s how to lovingly craft these cookies, in just ten easy steps…
1. Heat your oven to 180˚C.
2. Chop your apricots into small chunks.
3. Lightly grease a couple of baking trays.
4. In a mixing bowl, add your flour, baking powder, cinnamon, oats, sugar and dried apricots. Stir it all up!
5. In another bowl, beat together your yogurt, vanilla extract and oil.
6. Fold evenly into your dry mixture to make a firm dough.
7. Use your hands to shape the mixture into about fifteen balls.
8. Space these out evenly on your trays and flatten a little, into cookie shapes.
9. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until firm and golden brown.
10. Use a spatula to move each cookie over onto a wire cooling rack, where you should leave them to cool for a little while before you tuck in.
Such a simple recipe! Here are my cookies…
And these cookies taste delicious! It’s hard to describe but they taste kind of cakey and sweet. But they aren’t heavy or too sweet. They’re just incredibly delicious. And very more-ish! Like I just tried one and already I want more. And more and more and more. Which is good!
And this recipe is HEALTHY. First off, these cookies have got fruit in them and, secondly, they replace eggs and butter with yoghurt and oil – these are both far healthier options. Plus, the amount of sugar going into these cookies is quite low. So they get a health thumbs up!
Simple recipe. Cheap ingredients. Easy to make. Quick to bake. Can you fault these cookies at all?? Let me know! Because I certainly can’t. Are you in love with these cookies like me, readers? Or not feeling the apricot-yoghurt vibe? Share your thoughts.

And spring safely,

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