Good morning, campers. And Happy New Year!
You may want to stand back a little. We are The House of Pox. Sadly it’s not some kind of good, war-going Game of Thrones-style family House with an unresolved feud and a taste for bloody murder but rather a boring and rather inconvenient case of chicken pox on the part of NewHuman.
Obviously this has given me ample opportunity to rail against Stupid England (trademark pending) as in Australia these days a vaccination against the pox is standard issue. Here in the UK they, on official websites, have lots of lovely sensible reasons as to why it’s not on the regular timetable of vaccinations but they are also happy for you to cough up £150 for it, if you want, so clearly it’s totally a money issue. I meant to pay for it. Life just got in the way, and by life I mean me, being shit.
I remember having pox when I was about 8 years old. And I remember both my younger sisters getting it at the same time. And I remember getting mumps pretty much straight after. And both my sisters getting mumps, too. And I have no idea how my mum didn’t lose the plot at the time. Maybe she did. Did you, mum? We were living in Queensland’s Darling Downs, in a lovely old clapboard house with a green roof (93 Patrick Street, if I remember rightly), and I mostly recall being in bed and having no discernable neck by the mumps stage. And I remember having baths in water flavoured with porridge oats and being turned pinky-purple by copious Calamine lotion application.
Anyway it’s all much less exciting this time around. NewHuman has pox in places I never thought pox would be interested in going, and I’m certain he’s going to be a giant pox-crater once the blasted things have all disappeared. At least he’s getting it in time to be recovered for our trip home to Amazing Australia (trademark pending) in March.
Right. I’m on hell diet so can’t eat anything nice. I need to be on hell diet in order to avoid having to buy a second airplane seat for my arse alone. In the interests of good hosting, when some unsuspecting friends came over with their children for a playdate and we unwittingly exposed them to the pox (the guilt is awful), I made these biscuits. Smitten Kitchen is usually really reliable. This time around – not so much. Having said that, I must claim some responsibility for not following the recipe completely but pretty much I did, and I don’t rate these biscuits so highly.
You try, let me know.
Preheat your oven to 175C.
115 grams unsalted butter, softened (I used salted, as is standard, and mine was cold-hard from the fridge, for reasons to be revealed)
125 grams light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
95 grams plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt (I didn’t use, absolutely no good reason as to why not)
120 grams rolled oats (I used porridge oats, same diff really, don’t think it matters)
120 grams raisins (I used sultanas. Absolutely does not matter)
65 grams, chopped (optional) (I didn’t bother) In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
Yeah. So. As you can see below, ‘smooth’ isn’t something I achieved. It’s hard to manage ‘smooth’ when you start with rock-hard butter. The reason I started with rock-hard butter is I didn’t have time to chill the mix, as the recipe later recommends, and so I wanted to make some time up by having the mix a bit cold by using said rock-hard butter.
This experiment may not have worked.
It looks reassuringly like vomit, though, which is a stage all good bakes seem to go through.
Smitten Kitchen says to whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a separate bowl. I didn’t. I just stirred them into the butter/sugar mixture as below.Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.
It’s a stiff bitch of a mix, stiffer than the back of a recently offended middle manager on a compulsory work outing.
It’s at this stage that SK recommends you chill the mix, whether in the bowl or having already been laid out in cookie-sized lumps on the trays.
I didn’t, as previously mentioned. She says if you don’t the cookies will end up slightly less thick. THAT IS A LIE. If you don’t chill, in my experience, the cookies end up like the recently evacuated poops of an organically fed rabbit. But hey, what do I know. After dropping heaped teaspoons onto lined trays, chuck into the oven for 10-12 minutes or till the edges start to brown.
NewHuman below, 24hrs before the pox made themselves known. As you can see, he was trying to tell me. I didn’t listen.