Wednesday 8 May 2013

Honey and Prunes Oatmeal Cookies

This is the time of the year when I am the busiest!! With 3 birthdays (one of which includes mine too) in a row, falling right one after the other, there is hardly any time to breathe. It all starts with my daughter's birthday on the 25th of April followed by my son's on the 11th of May and finally ending with mine on the 14th of May. But for us - its a happy time of the year, full of fun and excitement and loads of "sweet" celebrations. I just thank God that the kids are grown up and I no longer have to spend sleepless nights organizing their birthday parties (with hardly a breather for me between the two birthdays) baking and icing birthday cakes, managing to keep busy a dozen of highly energetic kids. Life is so much simpler now with kids preferring to take their friends out to the mall for a birthday treat. But on second thoughts, I do miss those times too - even though they were exhausting it was good fun decorating the whole house with balloons and streamers, planning the menu, the birthday games, slaving over their specifically demanded birthday cakes (from a barbie doll cake to teddy bears, Powerpuff girls, Ben 10 to Power Rangers) and forgetting about all the hard work you put in after seeing the excitement on their little faces and the shine in their eyes on seeing their birthday cake. Those little moments are truly precious and will always remain close to my heart. Even though they are considerably grown up now (my daughter just turned 17 and my son will be 12 in another 3 days) the tradition of baking their birthday cakes at home still goes on. In fact there are always two cakes, one to cut at 12 0 clock at night to welcome in the birthday and another, a more elaborate one to cut the next day with friends and family.
This year on my daughters birthday, in addition to an Orange Chocolate Cake and a Chocolate Beetroot Cake (she is a die-hard chocolate fan), I also baked some cookies for her to share with her friends. The original recipe asked for cranberries but as I did not have any dried cranberries, I used prunes instead. I also added a dash of honey in the end, the sweetness of the honey complimenting the freshness of the orange flavor. Incredibly easy to make the cookies were deliciously soft and chewy with a delicate hint of orange and honey. With the summer holidays just around the corner, go ahead and plan to make these with your little ones. I am sure they will love it !!

100 gm butter
100 gm castor sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
Grated zest of 1 orange
100 gmsplain flour 
1 tsp baking powder
100 gms rolled oats ( I used Quaker's oats)
50 gms dried prunes, chopped
25 gms candied orange peels
50 gms raisins 
2 tsp honey
1 tsp dried orange powder 

Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
Place the butter and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Stir in the orange juice and orange zest. Remove from heat and beat in the remaining ingredients.
Place dessert spoonfuls of the mixture on a baking tray allowing enough space for the mixture to spread.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes till slightly browned on the top.
Allow to cool for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.