Thursday, 15 September 2011

Apple and Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies - a failed Bake of Kindness

Last month, Vanessa Kimbell came up with an inspiring thought - to practice random bakes of kindness. I so liked this idea when I first read it. Nearly two years ago now, I baked for the good burghers of Liskeard and was well rewarded with the delight expressed through their words and smiles, but sadly I haven't really done anything similar since. So, I had an idea. The staff at Liskeard Railway Station, who I see so much of through my daily commute to work have a very hard time of it. They are the ones often on the receiving end of all the manifestations of travellers' frustrations when the trains are delayed or cancelled or the ticket queues are too long; they don't have an easy time of it. So, brightening up their day a little seemed like a nice thing to do.

Not having much time to spare, needing something portable and harbouring a big bag of cooking apples I thought these Apple Oatmeal Cookies would fit the bill nicely - especially when some chocolate was added to the mix. This is what I did:

  • Creamed 4oz unsalted butter with 5.5 oz cardamom sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in 1 duck egg.
  • Mixed in 3oz wholemeal flour, 5 oz oats and 1/2 tsp baking powder.
  • Peeled, cored and finely chopped in 1 cooking apple and mixed that in together with 2oz 40% milk chocolate drops.
  • Placed teaspoonfuls well apart on two trays - one using my new silicone mat and another lined with baking paper.
  • Baked at 180C for 10 minutes.
Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan and although these biscuits were undoubtedly delicious, they were in no fit state to be given away. When I opened the oven, I gasped in horror. All the cookies from the tray on the bottom shelf had run together and looked a terrible mess. Oh well, I thought, at least the top tray (on my new silicone mat) looks good. They may have looked good, but they were horrendously stuck to the silicone mat and the bottoms of the biscuits came away from the tops. Don't be fooled by the pictures. Disaster. Mission aborted.

I called on the emergency services in the form of CT to help with the clean up operation. I have to say, crumbs, they were really delicious.

As I'd run out of time, I did a mini bake of kindness with these Rock Cakes, but the staff at Liskeard station had to wait for theirs.

21 comments:

  1. Those cookies sound lovely, just right for this weather and as a random bake of kindness. Such a shame they didn't want to play along though, don't you just hate it when that happens! They look mighty fine to me though.

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  2. hi choclette... dont despair, at least you tried- i like your thoughtfulness, thats a great character.
    there will be another time.. anyway your cookies look edible and still has shapes, not in crumbs :)

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  3. Getting something to stick to silicone is quite an achievement! LOL! Shame they didn't work out better - they sound delicious.

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  4. What a lovely idea :D they look yummy!

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  5. Chele - I'm just gutted that my new silicone mat which I treated myself to is useless - I shan't be using that again. Also fascinating how differently things cook depending on where they are in the oven.

    Cooking Varieties - thank you. The crumbs occurred when we tried to pick them up - they just disintegrated!

    Suelle - I have subsequently heard reports from others that these silicone mats are not very good for biscuits. I won't be using it again!

    Emmy - thank you, you're very kind.

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  6. Such a darn shame about them, nothing worse that a recipe for a gift that does not go to plan. I'd have still found a way of eating them mind you as they look very good.

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  7. WHAT a shame, although I don't think they look too bad....bet they tasted great too. I have never used a silicone mat, I just like my beaten up old baking trays, they conduct heat so well! LOVELY thought and idea though!
    Karen

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  8. How thoughtful for you to bake cookies to giveaway! I'm sure your next batch of cookies will look better, but at least you have a yummy batch of cookies to keep for yourself ;)!

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  9. These look delicious , love make cookies! gloria

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  10. oh such a shame!... what a lovely thought though, giving them to people who have a tough public-facing job... that's adorable... I have a banana bread in the oven and i think i'm going to do the same... I just need to think of a deserving victim!... shame about the silicone mat too... I love my silicone stuff... maybe oven was too hot?

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  11. Bugger, I didn't think anything stuck to those silicon mats! That must have been very annoying for you! Great idea Choc, you're very kind, and I'm sure they'll weary railway workers will enjoy whatever you finally make them!

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  12. Oh well, it happens to the best of us! At least you got to eat them yourself!

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  13. Mmmm, I love the sound of these cookies! They look pretty good to me though but you sound just like me - I've refused to give bakes to people in the past if they don't look quite right and my boyf just doesn't get it as to him it's just about the taste (although he doesn't complain too much as this means they end up in his tummy instead). Aw what a lovely idea for a RBOK too :)

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  14. These sound like really good cookies - sorry about the problems. I use silicone mats all the time but the one I use for biscuits and cookies has a textured surface which works better than the smooth mats for these delicate items.

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  15. Susan - thank you. I fear a bag of crumbs would have been a bit difficult to eat, although we managed somehow ;-)

    Karen - yes, I'm going back to my baking trays from now on!

    Paris Pastry - this is very true and there is usually a silver lining to be found.

    Gloria - thank you, I think you're rather more proficient at it than I am.

    Dom - I bake with silicone all the time for my cakes and think they are fab, so I was a bit surprised about the mat. Do you have one? Any tips?

    Celia - yes very annoying. But they did get something else instead and they did seem very pleased.

    Janice - Indeed ;-)

    Kim - thanks. Most of my stuff looks pretty rough and ready and that's OK, but these wouldn't hold together, so I didn't really have a choice.

    Phil - good to know they can work. Do you grease the mats before use at all?

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  16. What a shame they didn't work as planned. I like the idea of giving them to the station staff, but the bus driver I see on my way to work is a different one each day and would look at me very oddly indeed if I attempted to give him/her a random bake of kindness!!!

    If it's any help, when I worked at M&S, they baked all of their cookies on silicon mats.... not sure why yours stuck :-(

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  17. Oh they sound a lovely recipe, I had problems with my bake of kindness too (my cookies ended up a bit overbaked)! x

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  18. When I bought one of my first bits of silicone bakeware the instructions told me to grease the silicone lightly before using it for the first time and never again. I've always followed this advice since and it works for me, even though most of my silicone is the cheap stuff from supermarkets.

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  19. That's a lovely idea and I bet the staff at the station would have been pleased with anything you made them.
    Lucky CT came to the rescue!

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  20. What a brilliant idea...and what a bloody pain that they went wrong. I know that feeling when a quick rustle up of a birthday cake for a friend turns into an all-day sage of failures (grrrr!)

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  21. hate it when silicone lets you down - it mostly works but every now and again mine is a tragedy

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