How things change. About a year ago I was blog-less (and to be honest, rather considered blogs to be the preserve of people without fully functioning social abilities). How wrong I was. The blog has actually been a brilliant way to meet people in Prague, and to keep in touch with friends elsewhere. Who knew?
Recently I participated in the #fbcookieswap and met some more local bloggers (who, I am pleased to report also had fully functioning social abilities). The general idea was: bake, share and eat cookies and blog about it afterwards, once you’re too full to do anything except roll around in front of a computer, or have given yourself early onset diabetes from eating so much cake.
The cookie swap rules suggested mailing cookies but as every single expat in Prague is terrified of having to visit česká pošta lest we fall foul of the hideous customer service and cold stares of the pošta staff, we decided to meet up in person instead and have ourselves a little winter tea-party.
This was planned about a month ago – I thought (it being December) it would be a snowy, twinkly afternoon just perfect for cosying up with a cuppa, a cookie and a couple of friends. Actually, the weather here is complete crap at the moment, so it was dark, damp and drizzly instead. We made our own sunshine though – thanks Sarah for hosting a lovely afternoon, and to Agog in Prague and Peggy Harowitz for baking.
I ploughed on with the Christmas theme regardless and baked Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies, courtesy of the lovely Nigella. They were very yummy (even if I say so myself), and here is the recipe:
150g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
75g rolled oats (not instant)
125g soft butter
75g dark brown sugar
100g caster sugar
1 egg (actually, I used 2 as the mixture seemed a little too dry with 1)
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g dried cranberries
50g pecans, roughly chopped
150g white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 180oC/ 350°F/gas mark 4.
Measure out the flour, baking powder, salt and rolled oats into a bowl.
Put the butter and sugars into another bowl and beat together until creamy — this is obviously easier with an electric mixer of some kind, but you just need to put some muscle into otherwise — then beat in the egg and vanilla.
Beat in the flour, baking powder, salt and oat mixture and then fold in the cranberries, chopped pecans and chocolate chips.
Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into a ball with your hands, and then place them on a lined or greased baking sheet and squish the dough balls down with a fork. You may need two baking sheets or be prepared to make these in two batches.
Cook for 15 minutes; when ready, the cookies will be tinged a pale gold, but be too soft to lift immediately off the tray, so leave the tray on a cool surface and let them harden for about 5 minutes. Remove with a spatula to cool fully on a wire rack.
Nigella tells me that these ingredients will make 30 cookies. I think that’s ambitious, but maybe I’m just greedy. Enjoy!