Here is the second and final recipe in the sub-series Delicious Biscuits With Unusual Stuff Added To Them and boy is there a lot going on!
We have CHOCOLATE!
We have COFFEE!
We have TOFFEE!
We have ROLLED OATS!
We have ICE-CREAM CONES!
*record-scratch* Wait, what?
Yes! These fabulously crunchy, chewy treats have a bonus texture of crumbled waffle cones mixed in.
They are similar to the Chocolate Chip Cookie of a couple of years ago, but this time with rolled oats.
I have adapted this recipe from one entered into a 2004 baking competition in the US run by Quaker Oats. A winning entry as it happens, submitted by Paula Marchesi from Lenhartsville, PA. Aparrently 16 years is enough time for both Quaker Oats and the internet to forget whose recipe it is, because the number of versions ‘out there’ without attribution are numerous, and the Canadian Quaker Oats website even calls it “Our Chocolate Coffee Toffee Oatmeal Cookie recipe”.
It’s also interesting that Paula Marchesi from Lenhartsville, PA. pops up all over the place, with her recipes appearing on and in websites, bulletin boards and books, but with zero (that I can find) social media presence. So much so that now I’m wondering whether she’s a real person at all. On one of the recipes she claims to have been cooking for over 50 years, but all her recipes are rather modern. Curiouser and curiouser.
These biscuits are wonderfully chewy and crunchy, the sweetness of the chocolate and toffee being tempered with the aromatic bitterness of the espresso coffee. Be warned, though – with all the delicious additions, they are very much in the treat category. In fact they’re just a whisker away from being individually wrapped and sold in the confectionary aisle, so approach with caution. Or at a hundred miles an hour with an open mouth. Your call.
I’d love to be able to fill you in on their keeping qualities, but in this house they keep getting eaten up in no time.
Chocolate Coffee Toffee Oatmeal Biscuits
140g large rolled oats
115g dark or light muscovado sugar
115g unsalted butter, softened
30ml strong coffee (espresso strength) – cooled
30ml beaten egg (½ a large egg)
½tsp vanilla extract
100g wholemeal flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g butterscotch pieces
100g dark chocolate chips
3 waffle ice-cream cones – crushed
- Toast the oat flakes. This is optional (the original recipe didn’t), but I think it adds a fabulous nuttiness as well as contributing to the chewiness of the finished biscuits.
- Sprinkle the oats onto a baking sheet and put into the oven.
- Turn the oven to 170°C, 150°C Fan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring them every 5 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Set aside to cool.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the coffee, egg and vanilla.
- Fold in the flour, salt, soda and cooled oats.
- Stir through the remaining ingredients.
- Portion out in 30g balls and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- When firm, arrange onto parchment-lined baking sheets and press flat. To get regular-shaped cookies like in the picture, press the balls of dough inside a small, round cookie cutter to keep the edges neat. These biscuits will spread a little in the oven, so leave 3-4cm between them.
- Heat the oven to 180°C, 160°C Fan.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes.
- Allow to firm up on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If you want to neaten the edges of any biscuits that have spread themselves a little raggedy, do so now while they’re warm.
- If you want to sneak a ‘taster’, they are amazing when still a little warm.
- When completely cold, store in an airtight container.
 If you don’t have access to these, you could substitute with 100g of crushed Daim bars.
Here we are at week two of my biscuit bonanza and the first of a very short (2) sub-series of Delicious Biscuits With Unusual Stuff Added To Them (might have to work on the title).
This is also a cookie that has been adapted into a biscuit, because crisp biscuits are best. (Spoiler Alert: Tune in next time where I completely contradict myself on this.)
I like this biscuit not only for its crispness – which is mighty – but also because it is not overly sweet, and has a definite saltiness to it onna count of the aforementioned Unusual Stuff added to it.
Firstly, there’s peanuts. Roasted. Salted. Chopped into smaller pieces (a faff, I know, but necessary to avoid the biscuits becoming HUGE and UNWEILDY. And an unwieldy biscuit is not a pretty sight).
Then we have crushed up salty crackers like these (available in the supermarkets).
The lack of fat and sugar in the crackers makes for little pockets of dry, crunchy dullness – MARVEL at how I am really selling this biscuit – dull in a good way, because it is against this plain background the rich roasty flavour of the peanuts can really shine.
The peanuts are crunchy, the cracker pieces are crunchy, there’s a delicious lick of salt aftertaste: they beat biscuits made with peanut butter hands down.
They’re perfect for a little salty-sweet treat. Go on, treat yourselves.
Peanut Cracker Biscuits
I like a really crunchy biscuit, but they might not be to everyone’s tastes, so I suggest trying a test bake of just one or two at the lower baking time. Be sure to allow them to cool completely before tasting and deciding, as they will firm up as they cool. If you’re happy with the crunch, stick with the baking time. If you like something a bit crisper, bake a little longer.
60g unsalted butter, softened
45g cream cheese, softened
150g soft brown sugar
½ large egg
90g plain flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
80g salted peanuts
2 x portion packets Doriano crackers
- Chop the peanuts into pieces the size of a small pea. Chop the crackers into similar sizes.
- Put the butter, cream cheese, sugar, treacle and egg into a bowl and whisk until smoothly combined.
- Sift together the flours, soda and salt and add to the butter mixture and fold in.
- Fold in the peanuts and the cracker pieces.
- Lay out heaped teaspoons (15g or so) of the mixture onto some baking parchment and put into the freezer for 30-45 minutes to firm up.
- When firm, roll into balls (about the size of a large grape/cherry tomato) and lay onto Silpat/parchment-lined baking sheets. These will spread a little, but not as much as the Scotch Cookies, so you can lay them with about a 5cm gap inbetween.
- Wrap the base of a tumbler in cling film and lightly grease it with a little butter. Press the tumbler base onto the balls of dough to flatten.
- Heat the oven to 180°C, 160°C Fan.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes until nicely browned.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.
As you may know, I have one or two cookbooks lying around *ahem* and I haven’t actually got around to making absolutely all of the recipes contained therein.
But I’m working my way through slowly – and it’s just fabulous when I discover little gems like the recipe this week, tucked away as it was in a nondescript little booklet from the 1940s.
For a start, I have all the ingredients in the cupboard – I just LOVE it when that happens. A huge pet peeve is finding something delicious in a recipe book or online – only to discover a trip to the shops is required. So these are a great ‘spur of the moment’ bake.
Second, the recipe doesn’t make a whole mountain of biscuits – I got just twelve out of this batch. And they’re so fast to put together – little bit of melting/warming of liquids, chuck in the dry ingredients and you’re done. Even taking the time to pretty their appearance up doesn’t take long, and with 12 minute cooking time, you can be dunking them in a cuppa in not much more than 20 minutes.
Also – oats. YUM! Just LOVE oats in a biscuit – they make them it so crunchy and satisfying. Great energy snacks too. I can just imagine these biscuits being stuffed into pockets to snack on during invigorating afternoons tramping about the countryside.
And then we come to the main reason this recipe caught my eye. The lard. Yes – I did a double take too. But it works beautifully – and deliciously. And for me it also absolutely makes it a biscuit of country origin. Back in the day, not everyone could keep a cow – but most cottagers would have a pig, and once butchered for the winter, a ready and plentiful supply of lard. If you really can’t face it, you could try butter, but I haven’t tried it myself, so do let me know how it goes if you do.
What are you waiting for – get spur of the moment baking! 😀
56g golden syrup
28g demerera sugar
56g plain flour
56g wholemeal flour
56g medium oatmeal
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
grated zest of a small lemon – or of half a large lemon
1/2 tsp salt
6 almonds – halved
- Preheat the oven to 175°C, 150°C Fan.
- Put the lard and the golden syrup into a small pan over a low heat to melt/warm
- Mix all the other ingredients together.
- When the lard has melted, tip in the dry ingredients and stir to combine. You’ll end up with a moist paste.
- Divide mixture into 12. I have a small-ish ice cream scoop which was perfect at portioning out the mix. Roll into a ball then flatten slightly. Place half a split almond on each biscuit.
- Put the biscuits onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 12 minutes, turning the baking sheet round 180 degrees halfway though the cooking time. The biscuits should be just browning around the edges when done. They might seem a little soft, but will crisp up beautifully as they cool.
- Lift the biscuits from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.