Cakey Red Currant and Oat Cookies
by eat in my kitchen
To eat fruits right from a bush or tree is one of the most satisfying culinary experiences I know. A couple years ago, I went for a walk through Buskett Garden nearby Dingli in Malta with my boyfriend and his mother. We strolled along a little stream lined with mulberry bushes, fig and pomegranate trees. At one point we couldn’t stop ourselves picking a few of the giant berries and ripe figs bursting in the hot afternoon sun. The honey sweet juices dripped of our fingers and we could only smile, overwhelmed by such peace, it felt like the Garden of Eden.
My granny Lisa’s garden used to put me in the same mood, set in the north of Europe it offered a completely different scene. Lined with dark fir trees on one side and the most beautiful cherry tree on the other, where I used to sit on a swing after I picked its sweet fruits right from the branches. One of her neighbors used to grow red currants on little bushes, every year they were gifted with luscious produce. The branches were so packed with berries that the bushes looked bright red at one point in early summer, sprinkled with a few green dots from the leaves. Luckily, the owner planted the bushes so close to my granny’s garden that they grew through the fence. He also didn’t mind me sitting there in the grass, stuffing my mouth with one handful of these red berries after the other.
In the city, I miss out on this experience which is a pity. I have to buy the fruits by the boxes but the results that come out of my kitchen after I used them for my sweet treats are as satisfying and ease my sorrows. Today’s wonderfully cakey red currant and oat cookies did a great job. They feel like little cakes, not crunchy at all, but rather juicy. Their soft texture combined with the nutty oats, mashed banana and sweet and sour fruits made me forget about hand-picked harvests and anything else!
You could also use blueberries for this recipes if you can’t find red currants.
Cakey Red Currant and Oat Cookies
For about 26 cookies you need
plain flour 200g / 7oz / 1 1/2 cups
rolled oats 150g / 1 2/3 cups
salt 1 teaspoon
baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
baking powder 3/4 teaspoon
butter (soft) 170g / 6oz
granulated sugar 200g / 7oz / 1 cup
ripe banana, mashed, 1 (about 100g / 3 1/2oz)
organic egg 1
pinch of vanilla (scraped from the pod)
red currants (or blueberries), ripe but not soft, 200g / 7oz
Set the oven to 180°C / 360°F (fan-assisted oven) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, oats, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar until fluffy with an electric mixer. Add the banana, egg and vanilla and continue mixing until well combined. Stir in the dry mixture with a spoon until you have a lumpy dough (with a bit of flour left here and there). Gently fold in the red currants (leave out a small handful of berries), use 2 tablespoons and don’t mix more than 4-5 times. Try not to damage the berries too much, you want their juices to stay inside their skin. For each cookie, drop a tablespoon full of dough on the lined baking sheet, leave enough space in between them as they will expand in the oven. Flatten them softly with a fork (just a little) and gently push the remaining red currants into the dough. Bake in the oven for about 13 minutes or until golden, they will be quite soft. Take them out and let them cool on the tray for a few minutes before you transfer them onto a wire rack. The texture is nicest on the first day as they soften in a cookie box, but the taste was just as good the next day.